Larry Pynn of the Vancouver Sun ran an interesting article this morning on the legality of an imperial pint in BC. In Canada the legal definition for a pint of beer is 20 oz. or 568 ml; however, in BC no establishment is legally allowed to serve a beer over 17.5 oz., or 500ml.
The federal government insists that anyone who claims to be selling a pint in Canada had better pour a full Imperial pint measuring 20 ounces, or 568.26 millilitres.The province’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, however, stipulates that individual servings of draft beer cannot exceed 500 millilitres or 17.5 ounces — effectively legislating a legal pint out of existence in B.C.
The Vancouver Sun tripped across the contradictory regulations while conducting a random survey of 15 pubs in Metro Vancouver to determine just how much beer customers receive when ordering a “pint.”
The Sun found pubs served 17 ounces on average, representing a three-ounce or 15-per-cent discrepancy.
The Golden Spike in Port Moody served the smallest amount at 14 ounces, followed by 15.1 ounces at the Mountain Shadow in Burnaby. Two pubs that effectively served the legal limit included Steamworks in Vancouver and Jimy Mac’s in Langley at 19.4 ounces.
As the article pointed out, very few pubs and restaurants in BC serve an imperial pint, Steamworks being one of the few pubs serving beer close to a federal 20 oz. pint. It seems the provincial government is turning a blind eye to this situation; the provincial government claims that the the point of the law is to avoid over intoxication and they seem to be enforcing the spirit of the law and not the letter. 20 oz pints tend to sell for more, meaning more liquor tax revenue to the government – I can’t see the government being all that upset about establishments serving 20 0z pints.
Lets hope this article doesn’t have a negative impact on those businesses that are serving a proper pint. Check out the full article here.