Michigan Law Would Guarantee All Pints of Beer Are 16 Ounces

The federal government might be shut down but Michigan lawmakers are hard at work protecting our right to a good value. Rep. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) have written a proposal to amend the state Liquor Control Act to make sure that when a pint of beer is offered at a bar or restaurant, customers are getting an “honest pint.”

The bill would officially make it illegal to “advertise or sell any glass of beer as a pint in this state unless that glass contains at least 16 ounces of beer.”

Some bar owners are quietly objecting, arguing that a pint is more of a “description” than an actual measurement of beer. Grand Rapids bar owner Mark Sellers also argues that the law would require bar owners to buy new glassware thus making the transition from existing 12 or 14-ounce glasses very expensive.

A similar bill was proposed in Oregon in 2007 though it failed to pass in the state senate. But government-related pints aren’t uncommon: in the UK, the “Imperial Pint” (19.2 ounces) has been a “government-regulated standard for several centuries” and bars there must use officially marked pint glasses to serve customers.

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