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Friday, April 03, 2009

Honest Pint Bill Update

This morning Jules Bailey's Honest Pint bill (background here) had a hearing in Salem. In the past couple days I've gotten calls from reporters at the Oregonian and Register-Guard, and both wonder why I'm not more out in front of this thing. The R-G reporter called after this morning's session and wondered why I wasn't there.

I have only very minor ambivalence about the bill itself. I never envisioned the HPP as a legal initiative, but the way Jules Bailey has crafted his bill, it's mostly promotional, not punitive. At worst it will fail to deliver the goal of bringing transparency to glassware. It's not going to cost anything and won't be difficult to implement. The risk is very low. The reward is quite a bit higher. It could easily provide an incentive for pubs and restaurants to start using full pints and bring transparency to the customer. It might well burnish Oregon's already unimpeachable cred as the state that takes beer seriously. Who knows, it might even nudge us toward the gold standard--a European-style system of marked glassware. Legislation that is low-risk and high reward is axiomatically good.

My ambivalence comes from having found myself the face of the Honest Pint movement. If I had known it was going to go this way, I would have kept my mouth shut. Staying out of Salem allows me to transfer some of the burden to Jules Bailey, who is now championing the cause. As a constituent of his, I am pleased and proud to have a beer guy representing me. So, I'll probably stay low-key on the legislation, but no one should read this as disapproval.


  1. Would bar owners be required to pour a true pint or could they just call it a GLASS of beer and pour any size they want?

  2. It's based on glassware, Mark. If a pub consistently short-pours, it will be obvious to patrons when they get the large-headed pints.