Beer Cheaters Pour It On

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, June 7, got to the soggy bottom of a problem that has people across the country hopping mad: short pours, or the practice of using smaller than pint-sized beer glasses in bars and restaurants or glasses with thick bottoms and rims. Or even -- as former Westword writer and beer expert Marty Jones wrote in his own story way back in August 1999 -- topping off a "pint" with an inch or two or foam.

The reason for milking the malt? "Beer prices at bars and restaurants have risen over the past few months, as prices of hops and barley have skyrocketed and retail business has slowed alongside the economy," read the Journal report. "Some restaurants have replaced 16-ounce pint glasses with 14 ouncers -- a type of glassware one bartender called a 'falsie.' And customers are complaining that bartenders are increasingly putting less than 16 ounces of beer in a pint glass, filling up the extra space with foam."

Known as "cheater pints," "profit pours" or "short pours," the practice is nothing new, as Jones discovered (In fact, the Journal even used our headline). So keep your eyes out and your measuring cups handy. -- Jonathan Shikes

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes