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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Honest Pint, Further Thoughts

The latest incident of dishonest behavior has provoked a bit of speculation about the Honest Pint Project and how to proceed. Although I've been slow to get the site up and running, I've actually thought this through. Here's how I plan to do it (eventually).

Honest Pint by Definition
I'll certify pubs for serving 16 ounces or more of liquid. When someone orders a pint, they expect a pint of liquid, not that they're getting 14 ounces served in a 16-ounce glass. The project is designed to reward good behavior, not punish bad behavior, so we can afford to be stringent on this requirement.

Certification Process
I hope to make this a national initiative (or anyway, the Wall Street Journal and NPR coverage have made me want to), so I had to come up with a way of certifying pubs I can't visit. The process will be the same for everyone. They'll need to take a photo of the contents of the pub's glass in a clearly-market measuring cup. The liquid contents must measure at least 16 ounces. The picture should be taken in a distinctive part of the pub so other patrons can verify by quick visual inspection. (At the bar, for example.) Once someone submits this photo, I'll list the pub on the site as a "Certified Purveyor of an Honest Pint." Finally, I plan to make up stickers that announce the place as "Certified Purveyor of an Honest Pint" and mail them out to the person who took the photo (or the pub, whichever).

I have meant to go around and do this in Portland as a way of showing how to do it, but December's a packed month. Probably in January.

Help Fund the Project!
In comments on the Rogue post, someone suggested that it would be cool to have a t-shirt. You're in luck! I've made up two versions (light and dark) in women's and men's sizes. You do it through Zazzle, and they cost a premium because they make them individually, but I get a couple bucks without having to spend anything. That will help fun the website and cost of printing stickers for pubs. I ordered one, and the quality's good. Zazzle has it set up so you can order the shirts in any style or size you wish.

Men's dark











Men's light














Ladies dark














Ladies light

20 comments:

dr wort said...

The shirts are nice, but do we have do we have to throw more money towards something that could/should be State or Federally regulated?

"Concerned Beer" guy/gal may have a point with the legalities of weight and measures. That said, I don't think we'd get a response on the government level.

It would be much easier to make a phone call to the weights and measures people and say, "Go check out Rogue, there's not selling within the legal weights and measures."

A "Sticker" is nice, kind of like the CAMRA approved pubs in England. But, won't there be the need of a task force to watch that the proper measures are maintained? After a pub gets their "STICKER," what stops them from saying, "Great! We got out little sticker, lets now go back to under pouring those pints!"

Just a thought...

Jeff Alworth said...

Doc,

The shirts are nice, but do we have do we have to throw more money towards something that could/should be State or Federally regulated?

You certainly don't have to buy a tee. There was actually a lot of interest, which provoked me to do it. If costs get out of hand, I'll figure something out. As for the weights and measures thing, that would require a rather large bureaucracy to police, and it seems like we can do almost as well with a carrot as a stick.

ut, won't there be the need of a task force to watch that the proper measures are maintained? After a pub gets their "STICKER," what stops them from saying, "Great! We got out little sticker, lets now go back to under pouring those pints!"

Yeah, that's an issue. However, if a patron worries that a pub is using different glassware than they were certified under, it only takes a pyrex measurer to confirm. In that case, I would muster the force of public shame on the offending pub.

dr wort said...

It was just some quick gut reactions and thoughts....

iggir said...

"It would be much easier to make a phone call to the weights and measures people and say, 'Go check out Rogue, there's not selling within the legal weights and measures.'"

actually, i think Jeff did contact Oregon Weights and Measures and they were sorely understaffed and/or underbudgeted and uninterested in checking to see if pubs were using 16 oz glasses.

correct me if i'm wrong.

DA Beers said...

I would hope if a location switched up their glasswear after getting the sticker there would be some good public humiliation involved.

Jeff, if you need help with getting the website up and running let me know, i'd be glad to help.

Bill said...

Hot diggity!

Lane said...

Up front... I agree with what you're doing and hoping for, but there is an easy out for the bars...

Just don't advertise that you are selling a pint. For example, they could have on the menu:

Beer $5.25 (glass $3.75)

No where on there does it imply that the $5.25 will get you a pint, that is only your assumption.

Anyway, if the menu/board does say a pint is a certain price, I sure would expect a 16 oz.

dr wort said...

LANE has a good and easy fix..for the pubs.

It would like going to a Ball Game where they ask, "Do want a SMALL Beer or a BIG Beer?"

;-}

Jeff Alworth said...


Just don't advertise that you are selling a pint


Yup. I've always said it's the false labeling. If a pub calls it a pint, it should be a pint.

Anonymous said...

To me, "Pint" implies that it's served in a 16 oz-capacity glass, NOT that it contains 16 fluid ounces. A good beer has a foam collar, and foam is only 25% beer!!!

I think you've really gone off the semantic deep end on this issue. Call out those establishments with cheater pints, definitely, but leave the rest of us alone, please. Sorry to pee in your pool, but you're driving me crazy.

dr wort said...

Anon: "To me, "Pint" implies that it's served in a 16 oz-capacity glass, NOT that it contains 16 fluid ounces."

That's odd, to me a "Pint" is description of measure. A measure of liquid in the case of beer sale.

I guess we could call it a "Glass," "Stein" or whatever, but if the word PINT is used....

According to the Dictionary:

pint: a liquid and also dry measure of capacity, equal to one half of a liquid and dry quart respectively, approximately 35 cubic inches (0.473 liter).

According to Wikipedia:

The pint is an English unit of volume or capacity in the imperial system and United States customary units. The imperial version is 20 imperial fluid ounces and is equivalent to 568 mL, while the U.S. version is 16 U.S. fluid ounces and is equivalent to 473 mL.

Semantics:

1. Linguistics.
a. the study of meaning.
b. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.

I think we have the correct vernacular meaning of the word PINT and OUR semantics are correct.

To give you the benefit of doubt, I searched for an IMPLIED meaning of the word PINT and just can't seem to find your definition. ;-}

iggir said...

when i go to the store and purchase a gallon of milk, i don't expect there to be a gallon, i expect it to be served in a gallon capacity container...so, if i only get half a gallon of milk, i'm sweet.

the dairies could get around this by simply advertising "Milk $3.99
- Glass of Milk $1.99". this way they don't have to specify a gallon of milk.

it's a win-win. i don't know how much i'm paying for and dairies get to sell me however much milk they feel will turn a profit.

weights and measures, who needs 'em?

Jeff Alworth said...

I think you've really gone off the semantic deep end on this issue. Call out those establishments with cheater pints, definitely, but leave the rest of us alone, please. Sorry to pee in your pool, but you're driving me crazy.

Look, you have to draw a line somewhere. I have chosen to draw it where I think it's most reasonable to draw it--the general understanding of the word "pint." No solution will thrill everyone, and I count you a (shy) dissenter.

Keep in mind that I'm not declaring war against pubs with 16 ounce glasses. I'm just trying to encourage people to serve 16 ounces of beer. The Rogue issue is a special case: it's a cheater pint, and Rogue appears to have adopted the glass as an intentional deception. Uncool.

But lots of places like the Pilsner Room, the McMenamins, Lompoc, etc. all use 16-ounce glasses. I'm not suggesting anyone censure them. I'd love it if they joined the Raccoon Lodge in upgrading their glassware to imperials (and would in fact certify them purveyors of honest pints), but they're no target of mine. You say "leave the rest of us alone." But I have always done so.

sterles said...

A little OT...
We were at brunch at the Screen Door recently and they had what appeared to be the 14 and 16 oz. glasses mixed in all together. Like someone ordered new glasses and got the 14 oz. ones and added them to the stash of old ones which were 16 oz. It was interesting to watch the bartender make Bloody Marys that morning. He obviously had a set amount of booze and mix that went into the shaker, but when he poured it into a 14 oz glass, he always had a little leftover that he would just dump out.
What's more, I ordered a Bloody Mary and my boyfriend ordered a beer. I got what appeared to be a 16 oz. glass and he got a 14 oz. glass (and wasn't too happy about it). I think a lot of places just don't seem to know or care. At least they weren't advertising any of their drinks as "pints."

dr wort said...

This is getting ridiculous!

We got one guy who thinks a PINT is the name of GLASS or mystery volume, but has no sense of legal, historical or even the worldly definition of the word. Apparently, thinks serving the public by proper weights and measures is redundant and unnecessary.

Now, we have a regular who thinks:

"when i go to the store and purchase a gallon of milk, i don't expect there to be a gallon, i expect it to be served in a gallon capacity container..."

I guess when you go to gas station, you don't really care if you're getting a gallon of gas...Maybe, 3.7 Quarts is good enough. eh?

Holy Sh*T! No wonder the pubs are getting away with serving the public whatever they want!!

There are standards of legal purchasing in this country, whether you care if there's exactly a gallon of liquid in that GALLON Milk container or not!

BTW, I have some Ocean front property for sale in Kansas...interested? ;-}

...and JEFF! Don't go soft of this! This is your baby and very worthy cause! PINT has a definition, a definition of measure. Beyond that, businesses are required by law to serve us a fair measured amount.

There are countries all over the world that provide glasses and containers of MEASURE! Whether it be a soft drink can, a can of Tomatoes, a bottle of beer or even (God forbid!) a beer glass with a measure line on it! They are all required to be within correct weights and measures, legally!

Now, if you are like "Iggi" or whatever he wants to go by and not care if you buy food or products within legal measurement.... Fine! You can continue to get less than your monies worth... Doesn't take a cent out of my pocket! You must have money to burn, good for you.

IF! You are like our ANON friend, who works in the beer or restaurant biz and doesn't understand weights and measures... Here is the Oregon law in regard to weights and measures:

Oregon Standards of Weights and Measures - Chapter 618

618.206 Manner of selling commodities; exemptions; rules.

(1) Commodities in liquid form shall be sold only by liquid measure or weight and, except as otherwise provided in ORS 618.010 to 618.246, commodities not in liquid form shall be sold only by weight, measure of length or area, or count. However, liquid commodities may be sold by weight, and commodities not in liquid form may be sold by count only if such methods give accurate information as to the quantity of commodity sold.

Oh, but there's more!

618.226 Commodity price and quantity advertising requirements; restriction on use of certain advertising terms.

(3) There shall not be included as part of the declaration required under this section such qualifying terms as “when packed,” “minimum,” “not less than” or any other terms of similar import, nor any term qualifying a unit of weight, measure or count such as “jumbo,” “giant” or “full” that tends to exaggerate the amount of commodity.

This means PINT, means PINT of measure!!! You can't use the word PINT to mean an unknown volume in a 16 oz. glass.

So, if anyone who owns or works a restaurant, pub, brewery, bar, tavern, whatever...Whether you want to go by some IMPLIED CONCEPT of the WORD PINT, Quart, Gallon or teaspoon. The LAW is above all ignorance and is still the law.

I don't think there is any "Rest of US" who own a business in this state? Everyone falls under the law! Read the law above, you are NOT above that law. Nor should this project ignore anyone who thinks they are above the law.

In fact, if it was up to me and I new where ANON worked, his establishment would be the first on my list to check.

You want to do this thing Jeff? Damn it, lets do it!

If the State doesn't have time to check and inspect weights and measures, I'm sure they wouldn't mind our help. Maybe, we can just send the State a list of violators and they can send out the citations?

If compliant, you can give them their sticker (stamp of approval)... ;-}

Nurse Trub said...

Hey Doc Wort, iggir was totally joking. I suppose he was making his point via sarcasm, but you guys are on the same side here. We need some sort of rolling-eyes emoticon to make condescension a little more clear.

dr wort said...

Sorry Iggi!

Sarcasm or not, you made a good example of how SOME people do think or not think... ;-}

My answer still applies all to those who do THINK it doesn't matter. So your sarcasm came to use, for my examples...

The question is... Are people serious about this or are we just pissing up a rope? Sorry, Nurse Trub for the male reflextion! ;-}

It would be nice to have a symbol for sarcasm. My emails would be riddled with them!! :-O

Maybe we could use (!!) for sarcasm...

Anonymous said...

"when i go to the store and purchase a gallon of milk, i don't expect there to be a gallon, i expect it to be served in a gallon capacity container...so, if i only get half a gallon of milk, i'm sweet."

You don't think that's a tad obvious? :D

-anónimo

Jeremy in SE PDX said...

The fact that anybody would be against truth in advertising just shows that people will fight about anything, especially on line.

If I PAY for a PINT of BEER, I WANT a PINT of BEER. Preferably in a 20 oz glass, topped off by a modest head of foam.

If pubs don't want to do that, they ought to just sell glasses of beer as "glasses," not "pints" -- I'm fine with _caveat emptor_, but not outright deception, whether it comes from incompetence or malice.

Long live the Honest Pint Project! I put a t-shirt on my Christmas list.

--JT

dr wort said...

Sarcasm, Anonimo?

Yea, it sounds so stupid, it would have to be sarcasm, but we just had a guy say that HE thinks a "PINT" has nothing to do with measure. So, I was prepared for anything.... ;-)

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