What is “A Glass of beer?”

April 1887

Leeds Times, April 23, 1887

What is “A Glass of beer?”

A case of interest to persons who ventured to drink the discredited fluid known as beer was decided on Tuesday in the Queen’s bench.

The Licensing Act of 1872 requires that beer shall be sold in standard measures. An innkeeper at Conisborough was fined 2s 6d (half a crown) for bringing a pint of beer to a customer in his parlour in an earthenware jug.

The innkeeper testified that he had drawn the beer into a properly marked Imperial pint measure, and had afterwards poured it from thence into the earthenware jug to be drunk.

The magistrates held that the Act requires that the beer shall be supplied in a properly marked Imperial measure, and fined the innkeeper half a crown.

It was not denied that the beer was in the first instance drawn into “it’s native pewter,” but the transfer was made without the knowledge of the purchaser.

“Therefore,” said the Queens Bench, because “the magistrate were right in convicting; “sold” must mean “sold and delivered.”

From this decision it is evident that a “glass of beer” cannot legally be served. The keepers of restaurants and railway refreshment rooms, by ingenious reduction of the size of their glasses have of late years arrived at selling something less than 1/3 of a pint of beer at the price of a nominal half pint, will do well, as the old proclamations say, to govern themselves accordingly.