Thursday, 6 January 2011

The 2/3rds-pint schooner; progress, or just wrong?

It's the hot topic of the week, the introduction of the 'schooner' or 2/3rds of a pint glass.

In one corner; the fierce traditionalist of the British pub scene, who thinks it's all just a ploy to get more money out of the customer whilst confusing bar staff with the extra glassware. Then after that there's the fear that if it takes off things could change. The ways of old; blokes on the town, knocking back pint after pint, whoever drinks the most is the most manly. Not that that doesn't still happen.

But then in the other corner; numerous beer enthusiasts across the nation, the British Beer and Pub Association, Brew Dog, beer writers and almost everyone else who thinks it's ether responsible or good for consumer choice.

At the end of the day, the customer decides what they want, and if they have more options to choose from then all the better. Right?

For me, well I'm not one for getting all patriotic about the 'British pint' Al Murray style. I like a pint of real ale, but find the whole term 'pint of real ale' a bit dated. For a start I only really drink pints when presented with a narrow range of beers to try, if the range is broad I usually get a half of various (more choice, same volume). Secondly the term 'real ale' is just an explanatory term invented by CAMRA in the 70's to differentiate to their target audience the difference between cask and keg conditioned products. But since cask beer is basically now revived, I say call it cask/naturally conditioned beer and ditch the 'real'. But that's a different blog post in itself.

Lets not digress. The option of getting beer served in a 2/3rds pint glass sounds to me like a great idea especially for pubs that offer 8+ different beers on tap. Customers who want to try an unknown beer but were usually deterred by the thought of being stuck with something they don't really like will benefit. Those who drink the same beer frequently and are intrigued to try something new will benefit, and those who are driving or only have only a limited time in a pub will benefit.

But here's the best thing, and its from a point made here.

“While the pint remains a great British icon, the two thirds pint will give greater flexibility over how beer is served. This is particularly important when it comes to getting more women to choose beer, as many avoid the traditional pint glass”

It's what Cole, Brown, Brew Dog and the rest of them have been ranting on about for such a long time now. If the move changes the image of beer in the UK to be more approachable to audiences that previously turned their backs on it, then this is surely a great move, and that's even if converts only a few people to great beer.


Ed said...

I'd say neither as I'm pretty much indifferent. I nearly always drink pints in the pub, though I often drink halves at beer festivals, and I can't see either changing.

Leigh said...

LOVE the idea. Means more choice, as simple as that, and that's always good.