A Pint-Sized Problem

Whether you think it's half-empty or half-full, your glass is almost always two ounces short.

So what should the cheated consumer do? "The first remedy is for the patron to complain," says Ken Lane. "Then if the bar owner didn't comply, we might take a look. But that's a big might."

The agriculture department's Athearn offers another option. "You can ask the bartender to top it off," he says. And if he doesn't do it? "Give us a call. We'll go out and educate him: 'Your glass at less than full fill doesn't hold sixteen ounces; therefore, you shouldn't advertise it as a pint.'"

Wallace suggests that consumers should insist on having their glasses topped off. "The consumer has the right--no, the responsibility--to call the bartenders on the fact that they aren't getting a full measure of beer," he says. "They shouldn't be embarrassed about it. And if they don't do it, then don't go back there. Tell your friends, 'Don't drink beer there--those people are serving short pints.


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