You MUST Serve Half Pints

As I presume we all know in the UK it is the law that beer MUST be served in measures of: third of a pint, half a pint, two thirds of a pint; pints; and multiples of half-pints.

A lot of options. But also a bit of a pain for folk wanting to do “tasting flights” as breweries back home in Australia do. A third is too large for the purpose really. But hey ho… this is beside the point here.

The reason for this quick post is that whilst I knew it was mandatory for licensed premises to be able to serve beer in half pints I realised this is just what I’d been told and I didn’t know where it was in legislation. Google searching didn’t quickly lead me to the answer and I wasted half an hour pinning it down.

To answer the question: Yes, it is MANDATORY that you are able to serve beer (and cider) in ½ pint measures. You also MUST advertise the fact.

See page 9 of “Guidance on Mandatory Licensing Conditions”:…/file/3…/2014-08-29_MC_Guidance_v1_0.pdf

After some hunting, here is the relevant legislation – section 5 on page 3 of “The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010″:…/8…/pdfs/uksi_20100860_en.pdf

  • 5. The responsible person shall ensure that –
    • (a) where any of the following alcoholic drinks is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises (other than alcoholic drinks sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container) it is available to customers in the following measures–
      • (i) beer or cider: ½ pint;
      • (ii) gin, rum, vodka or whisky: 25 ml or 35 ml; and
      • (iii) still wine in a glass: 125 ml; and
    • (b) customers are made aware of the availability of these measures.

Hopefully Google/etc picks this up and anyone else seeking the information in future has a quicker time of it than I did.

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