Birmingham has become the epicentre for a nationwide drama surrounding the size of a pint. A nationwide restaurant chain was forced to recall its glasses after an investigation by Birmingham Trading Standards found that it was serving pints in glasses that were 8.1ml too small. An initial recall of 41 glasses from two bars in Birmingham was later extended across the UK.
"It was referred to the relevant body to action and an audit was carried out,” said a spokesperson from the Birmingham City Council. "The supplier and retailer took corrective action to remove all the glassware from use and supply with immediate effect."
While the investigation and removal took place in November, it has just been revealed in the council's regulation and enforcement annual report.
"There was a significant complaint made about short measure beer at a large restaurant chain,” the report read. “Investigations found that a particular brand of glass had been made too small to contain a full pint. This prompted a nationwide recall of the glasses after large numbers were seized from two premises in Birmingham."
Neither the chain nor the glass manufacturer has been named as the investigation did not result in a prosecution, but the story has gripped the city.
"To come between a man and his pint of beer is one thing, but to come between a man and his short pint of beer is another,” said Mile Leddy, a Labour councillor and member of the Licensing and Public Protection committee. "I commend the department for finding that a number of pint glasses had been made too small, and therefore short measures were being made at certain licensed premises and the way that they instituted, not just a recall from Birmingham bars, but nationally as well."
This isn’t the first instance of pint-sized drama in the UK – in February, government officials warned publicans not to short-change customers by putting too much head on a pint. This was based off an interpretation of the law which argues that a ‘pint’ should refer to a pint of liquid, while others claim that the head should be included as well.