Michigan Beer Bill: No Skimping On a Pint!By: Erika Watts - October 7, 2013
Ever sat down and ordered a pint of beer only to drain the glass a little too quickly? If so, don’t be too quick to call yourself a lush because that pint you ordered might not have really been 16 ounces. Lawmakers in Michigan are working to make sure that their constituents aren’t victims of ounce skimping and introduced what is being called the “Michigan Beer Bill” last week.
According to the amendment for the Liquor Control Act, establishments can’t “advertise or sell any glass of beer as a pint in this state unless that glass contains at least 16 ounces of beer.”
Finally, a bill that people can get behind.
Representative Brandon Dillon, co-sponsor of the bill, told NBC News that they simply want to make sure restaurants and bars are being truthful about their specials. “It’s kind of a truth-in-advertising issue,” Dillon said. “When you sell a product, you have to sell what you’re claiming to be offering.”
Jeff Irwin, a state representative from Ann Arbor, put his view on the Michigan Beer Law a little more bluntly. “When people buy a pint and they’re served less than a pint, it strikes me as sort of low-level fraud,” said Irwin.
Ouch. That’s a man who clearly takes his pints of beer seriously.
Scott Ellis, executive director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, says that the word “pint” is usually used to describe any glass of beer and that it doesn’t necessarily mean a person will get a full 16 ounces–many so-called pint glasses often only hold between 12 and 14 ounces. “We have other pressing issues right now that need to be addressed over the amount of alcohol in the pint,” said Ellis. “I’d want to see how much of a problem it truly is,” he said.
The Michigan Beer Bill might be met with some resistance from restaurant and bar owners, since they may have to replace their glasses with true pint-size glasses and serve more beer. Otherwise, most Michigan residents are pleased with the work their lawmakers are doing on the bill.
Gary Lord, a plumber in Lansing, said he’s in support of the law since he knows of a few taverns that don’t serve the pints they advertise. “A pint should be a pint, and a U.S. pint to the best of my knowledge has 16 ounces,” Lord said while sipping a beer.
It’s nice to see lawmakers working together for the common good–take some notes, Congress.