Publicans across the UK will be able to offer drinkers a new measure of beer – 2/3rds of a pint – from October 1 this year.
The measure is popular in some parts of the world, including Australia, because it is less likely to grow warm in the sun.
The 2/3 pint will be allowed across the UK as a result of the The Weights and Measures (Specified Quantities) (Unwrapped Bread and Intoxicating Liquor) Order 2011 which comes into force on 1 October 2011. Leading licensing solicitor Stephen McGowan, Director of Licensing and Gambling at Lindsays said:
“The 1st October 2011 is set to be an interesting date for the licensed trade in Scotland. As well as the 2/3 pint, it is the date on which various new licence conditions come into force, including the mandatory “Challenge 25” condition which requires all licensed premises to ID persons who look under 25.” The 2/3 pint measure, whilst unknown in the UK, is common in other parts of the world such as Australia. Stephen added: “In hotter climates the 2/3 pint is popular because it is less likely to lose its chill in the sun – whether such logic applies in the sun-drenched beer gardens of Scotland is of course another story.”
The 2/3 pint will not be mandatory but instead a matter of individual choice for premises across the UK as to whether they decide to start stocking up on new glassware. However, McGowan, who is also a council member for trade body BII Scotland, expressed some reservations: “Whilst I have no quarrel with the lofty aim of reducing alcohol harm in Scotland, my concern is that vast majority of social drinkers will not drink less overall but just order more 2/3 pints as they are consumed quicker. I suppose that there is every possibility that the 2/3 pint could penetrate the zeitgeist in Scotland but I am not currently convinced.”
The 2/3 pint is one of a handful of changes to weights and measures law. Other changes include:
• the legalisation of wine “samples”, allowing wine to sold in quantities under 75ml,
• an update of the measures for fortified wine which will only be allowed in measures of 50ml and 70ml.