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    Wednesday, 30 April 2008

    The Third Of A Pint - Is It Enough?

    The third of a pint measure seems to becoming ever more commonplace at festivals these days, whether they be CAMRA organised or pub festivals. They have been available at both the Coventry CAMRA and Merchants Inn festivals which I have been to recently.

    I guess they became popular again in 2006 when it was introduced at GBBF to such demand that they ran out of glasses pretty quickly. They didn't have the foresight then to have third pint measure lines on the larger glasses which we are now seeing at festivals, obviously giving the customer the choice which of the three measures they want. Increased customer choice is certainly the way forward.

    I ranted about Peterborough beer festival last year where I was refused a third and even told it's not a legal measure, yet now they are more readily available, I'm not sure it's what I really want.

    Real ale is a funny beast. Quality can vary so dramatically due to all sorts of influences. Of course some beers are plain bad, but others are effected by age, handling or whatever else. So you really can never guarantee what you are going to get. If you read Tandleman's, or Tyson's blog, you will see that very often they are disappointed with their beer, and for each disappointment money has been handed over. With beer averaging around £2.50 a pint around here, I'm not sure I'm willing to waste my money to that extent, and even £1.25 for a nasty half may be a step too far. So 80 odd pence for a third may not seem such a waste. BUT a really good third of a pint is over in no time. I am left wanting more. But do I really want to buy another third (or more) when there's so many other beers to try? I make no excuses that I have a ticker mentality, and although I have promised to tick less this year, that's proving harder than I thought.

    So should I revert to halves? Should I drink thirds and if it's a good beer be grateful and move on?

    I think the third pint measure seems to be popular; I do see lots of people having them. What is your take on the nip?


    Ron Pattinson said...

    What's wrong with quarts? That's the proper standard beer measure.

    Stonch said...

    At the GBBF trade session I drank third pints. It's the only way to tour the different stands, talk sensibly to people at them, and still stand up at the end of it. However when I returned with mates on the Friday night I just stuck to pints.

    Tom Scotney said...

    I'm with you, thirds are such a good idea in theory, but I just can't bring myself to use them.

    You get the taste but none of the satisfaction of drinking a beer.

    Bailey said...

    I am slowly coming round to the view that certain beers taste way better by the pint than in any kind of smaller measure. Something to do with being able to get your nose in the glass, Jilly Goolden style, maybe? I like the third, though. It's the only way really strong beers make sense in the pub/at a festival.

    The Southport Drinker said...

    I had to laugh at your comments about Tyson and Tandleman. We've all been disappointed with certain pints we've had but I would suggest that both men were still glad to have tried them. Although some beers don't measure up to our ideal, buying a real ale is still the best use of money bar bunging a quid in the Red Cross box.

    Meanwhile, I think you need to have at least a half to get the full measure of a beer, while drinking a pint of a product also throws up different experiences.

    All beer festivals are different as well, at some you want to have a good time drinking pints with friends, while others are more of a sampling exercise, to store up knowledge for when the beers come on to your local boozer. Thirds are perfect for that.

    Anonymous said...

    You know what I think!!


    young camra collectiv said...

    Yes, a third is enough. Best invention since sliced bread. Tick, tick, tick, tick!

    The Beer Nut said...

    Totally agree with Bailey about the Full Pint Experience.

    I've never had a third pint measure of beer, so can't realy comment here. But at the big Danish gig in September all measures will be just over a sixth of a pint, except for some beers which will be by the twelfth. I think that's the point where you start to worry about how anyone could actually enjoy the beer.

    Tandleman said...

    Southport Drinker has more or less exactly summed up my views on them, though in truth I'm a pint man, but there are occasions where a third is very handy.

    I think on quality, I just tell it how I percieve it at the time. It's a blog - if you can't be honest in that where can you be?

    Whorst said...

    1/3 pint glasses have no place in beer culture. Leave it to people like Stanch, and soon cocktail umbrellas with brewery insignia will be considered acceptable.

    maeib said...

    Gosh, this has got some responses. Cheers all. I think they do serve a point, but really it's not a big enough measure to do a good beer justice. I've been to festivals abroad where the measure is even smaller and I'm not sure I see the point.

    My comments about Tyson and Tandleman's blog were made to highlight that we all are disappointed with a fair few beers. I agree honesty is the best policy, and I like to read about a bad beer far more than an average beer. Good beers though are a better matter.

    haddonsman said...

    Sorry, Mark, but a third can be plenty to do a beer justice. Especially a high ABV beer - Brewdog Paradox? Bass No.1? Belgian beers at the Swan & Rushes?

    Some people can even get a decent impression of a beer out of a quarter pint...

    Some low ABV beers are designed for slaking thirst; dare I say Mild??? You need a pint of that stuff to get the feel of the beer. Higher ABV stuff is there to be sipped, so a third is more than you'd care to neck in one swoop anyway.

    And, hey! Southport Drinker! A pint of product certainly throws up different experiences. Especially if those pints are Brewdog Paradox ;-)

    Anonymous said...

    I love thirds. There way to many light fruity bitters at some festivals and a thirds MORE than enough. But i adds flexabiltiy.
    At recent JDW, i often saw 2 beers i wanted. 1 i new i loved and 1 new. SO i had a 1/3 of the new and 2/3 of the One i liked. Far better than a half of each. So why Not just carry that to a festival.
    Have a 1/3 of all. if its nt up to much youve saved yourself a bit, if its good have another 1/3. Then youve gained some GOOD beer.

    Win Win Win. Less of the poor More of the Good.


    impymalting said...

    At the GBBF I used a 1/3 glass and it was more than enough. I almost wished for a smaller glass...(In America microbreweries often do flighst of beers-- you taste the whole range in small glasses)

    I recently went to a beer festival where the only glass available was a half and I was only able to try 8 ales before I was useless! Maybe I am a lightweight.