Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Glass

"Pint creep," the subject of the last "Advocate This" column in BeerAdvocate magazine, was recently written up in The Wall Street Journal:

Two of the world's biggest glassware makers, Libbey and Cardinal International, say orders of smaller beer glasses have risen over the past year. Restaurateurs "want more of a perceived value," says Mike Schuster, Libbey's marketing manager for glassware in the U.S. Glasses with a thicker bottom or a thicker shaft help create the perception. "You can increase the thickness of the bottom part but still retain the overall profile," he says.

Dedicated beer drinkers are fighting back, with extra vigilance about exactly how much beer they get for their buck. They are protesting "cheater pints" and "profit pours" by outing alleged offenders on Web discussion boards and plugging bars that maintain 16-ounce pints, in hopes peer pressure will prevail. And they are spreading the word about how to spot the smaller glass (the bottom is thicker).

Of course, the same thing has been happening with other goods for years, and not all bar owners are so unscrupulous:

Portland's Raccoon Lodge recently started serving pints in 20-ounce glasses, up from 16 ounces. The 16-ounce glasses held only about 14.5 ounces, says restaurant manager Lisa Crombie; the 20-ounce glasses hold about 18 ounces. "We just thought it was fair," Ms. Crombie says. "People were paying for a pint, so they should get a pint."
We couldn't agree more, Ms Crombie!

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