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To say that beer is a popular beverage would be quite an understatement.
Originating in the UK and becoming popular in Canada and the US, the phrase “let’s go out for a pint” is a casual way of inviting a friend out to a pub for a beer or two. It’s a friendly invitation that is uttered and understood in many parts of the world.
Cordial sentiments aside, what is a pint exactly? How many ounces are in a pint of beer?
In the United States, a pint is 16 oz (473 ml). Many standard pint glasses will hold 16 oz if you fill them up completely but most of the time your beer will arrive with an inch or so of head. While this may enhance your beer drinking experience, you might only get 14 or 15 oz of beer in the glass.
In a lot of pubs and restaurants, a pint is simply a large glass of beer. You may get 14, 15, or 18 oz depending on the type of beer you order.
How Many Ounces Are in a Pint of Beer in the UK and Canada?
England and Canada both use the 20 oz (568 ml) imperial pint.
When draft beer is advertised as a pint in Canada, it’s legally required to be 20 oz – which is the most Canadian thing I’ve heard of! If you can prove that you haven’t been served a full pint, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Government.
In countries outside of England and Canada where the metric system is in use, beer is often served in 500 ml glasses.
How Many Ounces Will a Pint Glass Hold?
Let’s talk about the glass your beer is served in. Surely, pint glasses are manufactured according to rigid standards. They’ve got to be designed to hold 16oz… right?
While a pint usually denotes the volume of beer being served, the term “pint glass” is often used to describe the style of glass used to serve beer. Pint glasses are shaped like a cylinder that is wider on top than it is on the bottom – but they may hold more or less than a pint.
Many pubs and restaurants simply offer draught beer with no mention of how much beer you’re getting. They strategically avoid any mention of the word pint.
I recently added a set of 4 20 oz pub style glasses to my home bar setup. They’re inexpensive, I love using them when friends come over, and with a 20 oz capacity they hold a full Imperial pint!
If You’re Not Sure, Ask!
How many ounces are in a pint of beer? There are supposed to be 16 oz (473 ml) in a pint of beer if you’re in the USA. 20 oz (568 ml) in Canada and the UK.
Not all beer glasses hold a pint. If you’re not sure how much beer is in your glass, or you have doubts that the bartender has poured a proper pint, you can always ask!