Campaign for Real Ale Vancouver (www.camravancouver.ca) is pressing the government and the service industry to confess to the true size of their so-called pints.
Originally Posted January 17th, 2011
By The Green Man, Randy Shore of the Vancouver Sun
A recent investigation by my colleague and fellow beer enthusiast Larry Pynn found that a pint can be anywhere from 14 to 19.5 ounces. Of the 15 establishments he visited not one sold a true 20-ounce pint.
Though to be fair, when he did his rounds, it was technically illegal to sell a 20-ounce pint in B.C. That rule has since been changed. But has the size of your beer?
In most cases, no.
CAMRA Vancouver is collecting e-signatures on petition calling on the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to enforce their own rules for liquor service, which require licensees to post the actual size of alcoholic beverages on the wall or in the menu or at least provide information to customers who ask.
The truth is many bar and restaurant managers don’t even know how big a true pint is and most servers don’t know how many ounces or millilitres of beer are in the sleeve they are handing you.
Which brings us to the biggest scam in the beer world: The Sleeve.
The LCLB defines a sleeve in its guidelines for licensees as 14 ounces, but sleeve glasses used in the real world range anywhere from 12 to 16 ounces. And a lot of places call them pints, which is outright illegal in Canada.
Truth is all we are asking for here.
Bars that use branded glasses from Stella or Guinness provide some assurance that the consumer is getting the appropriate measure, whether that’s 330 millilitres or 500, said Trevor Kallies, food and beverage manager for Donnelly Group which runs ten establishments in the Vancouver area.
Donnelly properties – Bimini, Bar None, Repulic, Library Square Public House, Granville Room and the Lampighter among others - are adding serving sizes to their menus as new menus are printed.
The Whip has introduced full 20-ounce pints on some of its offerings. Central City Brew Pub, too.
To reward bars that are up front about their serving sizes, CAMRA BC is considering awarding “CAMRA-approved” stickers for establishments that meet the standard to help guide beer drinkers in their quest for value and transparency.
I will have a full treatment on this story in The Sun later this week.
In the meantime feel free to post the names of establishments that respect their customers enough to tell the truth.