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Press Release

08/06/2022

“Make mine a pint!”, CAMRA tells Government as they look to change weights and measures laws

The Campaign for Real Ale is asking the Government to use the return of the Crown mark and forthcoming changes to weights and measures legislation to ensure consumers always get a full pint of beer. 

The Campaign for Real Ale is arguing that return of the Crown mark on pint glasses should be matched with a change in the law to make sure drinkers always get a full pint of beer at the bar. 

Whilst the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy acknowledges that “the Crown stamp gave customers confidence that they were not being sold a short measure of beer”, CAMRA wants the Government to use a recently announced consultation on changing the law on weights and measures – together with the reintroduction of the Crown mark – to make sure pub goers have a legal right to receive a pint that is 100% liquid. 

At the moment a pint of beer isn’t defined in law as 100% liquid meaning consumers could be short-changed every time they buy a pint – and don’t have any recourse if a top-up is refused. 

Reacting to the announcement on changing weights and measures laws, Nik Antona, CAMRA Chairman said: 

“The Jubilee Bank Holiday was a brilliant success for pubs and social clubs across the UK, and it was great to see a decisive statement from the Government on fairness for consumers. However, while the Crown mark is a flagship signifier of the nation’s favourite drink, it isn’t enough to guarantee a full pint on its own. 

“CAMRA has been calling for a pint of beer to be legally defined as 100% liquid for many years, to ensure that consumers are not short-changed at the bar. The Government now have a fantastic opportunity to give consumers the right to a full pint – defined as 100% liquid – as part of the new consultation on weights and measures.  

“There is no better way to top off a fantastic weekend of celebrations than ensuring that consumers get what they pay for when they’re at the bar.” 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

A press release on Friday 3 June from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated:  

In a tribute to Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, new government guidance published today will help businesses apply the Crown symbol to pint glasses.  

As long ago as 1698, British pint glasses intended for measuring and serving beer were marked with a crown stamp as a declaration that the glass, when filled to the brim or to a line measure, accurately measured a pint of beer. The Crown stamp gave customers confidence that they were not being sold a short measure of beer. But the symbol was replaced by the EU-wide ‘CE’ marking’ in 2006 in order to conform with EU rules in the UK.  

Alongside the Crown symbol guidance, a consultation has been published today on how to implement a change to the law on weights and measures, so that shoppers and business have greater choice over the way they buy and sell products. 

The full press release from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy can be found here: Crowning glory: Crown symbol pint glasses making a comeback as nation celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  

CAMRA’s letter to Business Minister, Paul Scully MP, reads: 

RE: Enshrining the right to a 100% liquid pint in weights and measures legislation 

Dear Paul Scully, 

I am writing from CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, to ask for your support for a small change to weights and measures legislation to ensure that, alongside the Crown symbol, consumers have a legal right to a pint of beer that is 100% liquid.  

The Jubilee Bank Holiday was a brilliant success for pubs and social clubs across the UK, with many hosting events and bringing communities together to celebrate.  

Alongside this, it was great to see a decisive statement from your Department on the use of the Crown symbol to signify to consumers that they have received a full pint of beer (reference: press release dated 3 June 2022 titled Crowning glory: Crown symbol pint glasses making a comeback as nation celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee).  

We wholeheartedly support the use of the Crown symbol, as the hallmark of the Great British Pint.  

However, many consumers do not realise that a pint of beer isn’t defined as 100% liquid in law. This means that every single time a consumer buys a pint, they could be short-changed without any real recourse if a top up is refused. We consider this an issue of basic consumer rights, and there is a very simple solution.  

Therefore, we would ask that the Government tops off a wonderful weekend of Jubilee celebrations by committing to a small legislative change to enshrine the right to a full pint in law, alongside the welcome guidance on the Crown mark, and the consultation on choice of weights and measures units. 

I would welcome to opportunity to discuss this further with you, and the Campaign will submit a response to the consultation on Choice of Units of Measurement in due course.  

Yours sincerely, 

Nik Antona, CAMRA Chairman 

Ends

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