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bascule

Why America will never switch to the metric system

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I'm an connoisseur of beer. That may be surprising, as I come from the country that brought the world Budweiser, Miller, and Pabst. My home state of Colorado is the top beer producer in the nation, thanks in part to our massively successful regional brewery Coors. But they all taste like ass. So my taste turned elsewhere.

 

I soon developed a strong taste for the nitrogen-infused beers of Great Britain and Ireland. Guinness, Boddington's, Murphy's, Belhaven, Tetley's, Old Speckled Hen, and Wexford soon topped the list of my favorite beers. From these beers I learned that what had always been described to me as a "pint glass", wasn't.

 

All of the above beers come in one pint (or thereabouts) cans. For anyone familiar with the Imperial System of measure this constitutes 16 fluid ounces. For some reason Americans, at least around here, have gotten into the habit of calling 12 ounce glasses "pint glasses", and worse serving 12 ounces of beer as "a pint."

 

Trying to pour one of the above beers into a 12 oz glass makes abundantly clear a simple fact: 12 oz is not a pint! I now own several true pint glasses suitable for pouring one of the above beers into at once, so I need not let it sit around in the can as the nitrogen bubbles out of it. It all goes straight into the glass.

 

But now I feel like the only American who knows what a pint actually is.

 

A few times I made the mistake of ordering "a pint" when given the decision between 12 and 16 oz at various restaurants. Inevitably I would receive my "pint"... in a 12 oz glass.

 

So I gave up on that. Since "a pint" clearly means 12 oz to these people, I'd order exactly what I wanted: a 16 oz beer. I'd await my 16 oz beer, and unsurprisingly be served a paltry 12 oz glass. What the hell?

 

So I gave up on that approach entirely. Clearly units of measure are beyond these people. I'd go with something much safer: I want a mug of beer. Sadly, this approach failed as well, for they'd return... with a 12 oz mug.

 

Apparently in America, it's simply incomprehensible to order beer in anything other than 12 oz units.

 

Think these people could switch to the metric system? They can't even figure out what a pint is... try getting them to serve you half a liter of beer.

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ROFL, is there actually a distinction between a US pint and UK pint? As I know with a gallen they are actually different volumes, although, I've no idea why.

 

One thing that has always puzzled me with American in particular, but only because it is obvious with them, but the lack of the use of the unit of a stone, 1 stone = 14 pounds... 14 being a sensible number of course....

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So I gave up on that. Since "a pint" clearly means 12 oz to these people, I'd order exactly what I wanted: a 16 oz beer. I'd await my 16 oz beer, and unsurprisingly be served a paltry 12 oz glass. What the hell?

 

You have my deepest sympathy Bascule.

 

Have you tried ordering an 'English pint', that might work, they may question what you mean, but to all intents and purposes, you've still ordered a 'pint'...but it does seem bizarre that even when given the choice, 12 oz has been ingrained into the beer servers psyche as a 'pint.' I mean you don't have '1 pint' on a measuring jug at the 12 oz mark...and beer, of all things is victim to this nonsense.

 

I've gotten quite into my ales recently, mainly because our local changed hands, and is now under Dark Star Breweries, and there are some fine ales to choose from, Natural Blonde and Hop Head being my favourites.

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England has been metricised by dictat of the EU bureaucratic juggernaut, but we still get our beer and lager in pubs by the pint. English pints, not U.S.

 

Some things even the devil has not yet dared to mess with. One small finger gesture for the remnants of power and influence of ordinary beer guzzlers.

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It does seem strange in a country where your meals are generally twice as much as you need. Maybe most bars serve more pitchers than pints. They want you to feel like you're getting more so they put it in smaller glasses.

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Out of interest how much is a 16oz glass of beer (shudders) in the States, I know it probably varies quite a bit from state to state, but on average.

 

Where I'm from some bars will charge up to £ 3.50 for a 'pint', roughly $ 6.00. I seem to remember beer was very reasonably priced when I was over there. Of course, you're not the only country to have paltry glasses of ale, in Australia they serve 'schooners' (is that right, it was a few years ago now.) I think they're just under half a litre, but correct me if I'm wrong.

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England has been metricised by dictat of the EU bureaucratic juggernaut, but we still get our beer and lager in pubs by the pint. English pints, not U.S.

 

Some things even the devil has not yet dared to mess with. One small finger gesture for the remnants of power and influence of ordinary beer guzzlers.

 

I'm actually all for it. if we switch to metric we could realistically expect to start seeing steiners in pubs...

 

I soon developed a strong taste for the nitrogen-infused beers of Great Britain and Ireland. Guinness, Boddington's, Murphy's, Belhaven, Tetley's, Old Speckled Hen, and Wexford soon topped the list of my favorite beers.

 

may i reccomend newcastle brown ale? i remember finding some when i was in the us; it's more of a 'real-aley' gassy chemical beer (if that makes sence).

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I'm not sure if I'm for it...half a litre is 0.8 pints, plus a pint seems to be 'just right', probably because that's what we're used to, but still.

 

Also I would expect the price to go down if we do switch to metric, unless of course they're serving litres. Another problem would be gauging the 'oh, just one more, then I'll go home' would one be enough, perhaps I should have two more (half litres), the whole thing could end in chaos...chaos I tell you.

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I visited the oktoberbest in munich last year for my first time, and I never pissed that much during a single night. They only had the 1 litre glasses, and as soon as it was emptied there was another one.

 

It was an interesting and unforgettable experience too see an entire city circle about beer. On our way back to the hotel the subway was jammed due to all the people that had been to the beer feast.

 

OTOH, for enjoying a beer at it's best I still prefer a regular german beer restaurant. The oktoberfest was more nice german culture than beer IMO. I won't forget the 2000 germans in the tent I was in standing up on he tables and dancing synchronously, all of them have consumed a few liters of beer each :)

 

/Fredrik

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You just have to find a bar that understand beer, too. They're out there. Although I really don't understand what Americans' problem is with producing non-ass-beer in significant quantities. Even the British, home of possibly the world's blandest cuisine, are far superior in that regard. Bass, not ass, is my motto.

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i know why they only hae the 12oz glasses in america. who the hell would want to drink more than that of american beer?

 

i'm not a beer person to be honest. i don't even like it unless i'm already a bit drunk but even i can tell that american beer is a bit sucky (usually because after i start drinking american beer i sober up a little.)

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I've gotten actual pints when ordering beer before. The choices were a glass (12 oz) or a pint (16 oz.) The pint glass was definitely larger than 12 oz.

 

Note that a British pint is 1.2 US pints.

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actually some of the best beers in the world are produced in America by microbrueries

 

I suppose nobody here has had any of the dixie beers, magic hat, or Troegenator?

 

its just that large breweries in america suck at prodcing anything that a cow would want to drink.

 

(excepting some Sam Adams brews)

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If I had to pick one favourite type of beers it would the belgian abbey ales. I visited US a couple of years and got hold of this beer called blue moon, supposedly a belgian style wheat beer, but I sense it was a disgrace to the belgian beer.

 

/Fredrik

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Actually, about 75 % of America uses the metric system. United States is the only country that does not.

The beer bottle size is just 12 ounces to promote repeated sales as drinking only one or two of those children size beer bottles are never enough. (multiple wallet squeezes) Want a grown up size beer? Get a litre.

Miguel

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Is that popular in us btw? blue moon? from what I recall in the illinois area there was alot of beer signs in restaurants marketing blue moon?

 

/Fredrik

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I reckon American beer gets a bad press because, having got rid of the brits, it was flooded with an ubstoppable tide of middle and eastern European immigrants who only knew how to make cats-p*ss lager. Some of it is quite strong, granted, but I like to have had a good taste experience before I fall down insensible, makes it more worthwhile somehow.

 

I wonder if prohibition did not happen in Britain because our "proper" beer of the time was too precious to be poured down the drain, but who cried over that lager stuff.

 

Anyway, poor Belgium has been overlooked again.....probably home to the greatest diversity of micro-brewery diversity. Ever tried Lambic beer? Those Belgian Monasteries are certainly good for at least one thing.

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Out of interest how much is a 16oz glass of beer (shudders) in the States, I know it probably varies quite a bit from state to state, but on average.

 

Depends a lot on the type of beer. A 16 oz Guinness is usually around $5.00. Some of our local microbrews will run you $6.00.

 

actally some of the best beers in the world are produced in America by microbrueries

 

Very true. I used to live in Fort Collins, home of New Belgium Brewing, known primarily for Fat Tire (not one of their more remarkable brews, but definitel ythe most popular for some reason)

 

There's some excellent microbreweries around, to be sure.

 

If I had to pick one favourite type of beers it would the belgian abbey ales.

 

Yes, they are definitely awesome. 500 years of traditional preparation by Trappist monks definitely makes for a tasty beer.

 

I visited US a couple of years and got hold of this beer called blue moon, supposedly a belgian style wheat beer, but I sense it was a disgrace to the belgian beer.

 

That's made by Coors (Colorado's own crap brewery) It's truly awful. It's a sub-par unfiltered wheat beer.

 

Is that popular in us btw? blue moon? from what I recall in the illinois area there was alot of beer signs in restaurants marketing blue moon?

 

I've seen a fair number of signs advertising it. Can't say it's really popular.

 

We have a number of Beglian-inspired microbreweries around here (most notably New Belgium) who make some excellent wheat beers. Compared to them Blue Moon tastes like water.

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actually some of the best beers in the world are produced in America by microbrueries

 

I suppose nobody here has had any of the dixie beers, magic hat, or Troegenator?

 

its just that large breweries in america suck at prodcing anything that a cow would want to drink.

 

(excepting some Sam Adams brews)

 

Magic Hat is vile, but otherwise you're right. There are some excellent microbrews out there. And I'd forgotten about Sam Adams, some of those are actually alright.

 

And yeah, for some reason you see Blue Moon everywhere, even though it's a pathetic immitation. The real stuff, like Hoegaarden Witbier, is not nearly as widely available.

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Here's another fun story:

 

I went to a bar last night. All they had were 10 oz mugs and 23 oz glasses (which appeared to me to only hold about 18 oz).

 

They also had "pint" glasses (12 oz) which you could order Guinness in... and nothing else.

 

I tried asking for a "British pint" and the bar tender held up the 12oz glass with a confused look on his face.

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My word! Do you lot really not know that a pint is 20 ounces (568ml)?

For the record a gallon is 8 pints or 10 pounds of water (about 4.54 Litres).

 

The stone (14Lbs) makes perfect sense- it's half a quarter.

A quarter is 1/4 of a hundredweight and 20 hundredweight make a ton (2240 pounds).

BTW, what's the typical strength of American beer (I realise there will be a huge range; whats the mode?)

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Out of interest how much is a 16oz glass of beer (shudders) in the States, I know it probably varies quite a bit from state to state, but on average.

 

Where I'm from some bars will charge up to £ 3.50 for a 'pint', roughly $ 6.00. I seem to remember beer was very reasonably priced when I was over there. Of course, you're not the only country to have paltry glasses of ale, in Australia they serve 'schooners' (is that right, it was a few years ago now.) I think they're just under half a litre, but correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Where I am, low-end "big breweries" beers go for around $1.50 for a bottle (coors, bud, etc), but you can get a 12oz glass of PBR for 75 cents on tap at one bar here....if you don't mind the headache you get 1/2 way through.

 

For other beers, its usually $3.00...sam adams, guiness, corona, fat tire, alaskan amber, etc, all 12oz I believe.

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I tried asking for a "British pint" and the bar tender held up the 12oz glass with a confused look on his face.

 

Rofl...awesome.

 

My mistake for saying 'English pint' earlier. Regarding what Swansont stated earlier, on an American measuring jug, where is a pint in relation to ounces ? On a British pint glass, there's a line marking a half pint...do you have the same in the States, but obviously that would be 6 oz.

 

It's a sorry state of affairs, that you may have to resort to taking a measuring jug into a bar.

 

That actually reminds me of a guy at work who was disputing the fixed price of toast in the canteen, and was measuring the thickness of the bread each day...'It has come to my attention that on Wednesday, a medium slice, measuring 15mm in depth was served in the staff canteen at 15p a slice, however on Thursday, I was shocked to discover, that a slice measuring 13mm in depth, was sold for exactly the same price.'

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My word! Do you lot really not know that a pint is 20 ounces (568ml)?

 

Ounces and fluid ounces are different...16 oz for a pint, 20 fluid oz is also a pint.

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wikipedia says that its still 16 ounces over here but our ounce is different (slightly smaller) I think our gallon iht be 10 pints

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