Within the bar world, local regulations at the city and state levels can govern many aspects of how, where, and when alcohol is consumed. When it comes to the glassware the establishment uses, the amount poured into the glass can vary. Even though people might request a pint, it might be more about the style of glass than the number of ounces. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the U.S. does not legislate pint size. Although 16 ounces is considered a standard pour, bars do not have to conform to that custom. In comparison, the U.K. has a very specific standard for its pint measurement. The imperial pint is about 586 milliliters, or some refer to the amount as 20 ounces.

Recently, Grub Street published one beer writer’s lament over the lack of true imperial pint pours in New York City. While the various English bars had their excuses for the less-than-full draft, the ambiance of the Union Jack on the wall or even Premiere League on television might be the only reference to an authentic pub experience. Although the ounces in the glass matter, it may be the style and consumption of the beer that impacts the overall experience. 

More importantly, the beer drinker should be aware of the amount being drunk. Four ounces might not seem like a lot, but it does make a difference with alcohol. Although no one needs to bring a measuring cup to the bar, a little knowledge can be helpful. After all, drinking two 20-ounce beers versus two 16-ounce beers can make a big difference by the end of the night.

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