According to Wikipedia, the “pint” is a unit of volume or capacity that was once used across much of Europe with values varying from state to state from less than half a litre to over one litre. Within continental Europe, the pint was replaced with the metric system during the nineteenth century. However, in the United States, the United Kingdom and various other Commonwealth countries the unit has continued to be in use. The imperial pint (568 ml) is used in the UK and Ireland and to some extent in other Commonwealth nations. There are two customary pints used in the United States: a liquid pint (473 ml) and a less-common dry pint (551 ml). This difference dates back to the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which standardized the various pints in use at the time to a single imperial pint throughout the British Empire. The US pints were unaffected by this and can be traced back to pre-1824 English pints. Each of these pints is defined as one-eighth of the respective gallons but because of differing gallon definitions, the imperial pint is approximately 20% larger than the US liquid pint. However, whereas the imperial pint is divided into 20 imperial fluid ounces, there are 16 US fluid ounces to the US liquid pint making the imperial fluid ounce slightly smaller than the US fluid ounce. Is that more than enough of the metric system than you needed today?
Chances are the majority of pubs you visit here between San Francisco and Boston your bartender will be providing you a US liquid pint of 16 ounces with your favorite beverage. There’s a young lady of ours traveling the globe during her spring break who has already passed the news along to her dad that she has “obtained” a few imperial pint glasses during the crazy twenty-four plus hours she spent in Dublin, Ireland during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. She knows her daddy loves to collect pint glasses and the upper cabinet in the kitchen holds nearly forty of these glass receptacles and not a one of them was purchased. So near and dear to her old man’s heart, our oldest daughter did the right thing and grabbed a couple for me from the old country. I always said should I ever become the owner of a pub I would not adorn the pint glasses with nifty and creative logos as they sometimes (in my case, all times) grow legs and find their way into my dishwasher. When Bonnie and I arrived here on the west coast we dedicated Thursdays as “Pint Night” and it was that night of the week where we’d hunker down in one of Petaluma’s old saloons (of which there are many) and knock back a number of pints, have a bite to eat and welcome in Friday with a slight haze … breast cancer however rattled our schedule and “Pint Night” took a backseat.
Last night we treated ourselves to one of the finer Italian restaurants in town and although Bonnie’s palate was calling for a nice zinfandel, mine was not and I’ll tell you – Birra Moretti’s La Rossa Doppelbock is a fine companion to a plate of mussels and little necks! I’ve had a long relationship with the Moretti logo as one of my favorite little haunts in the village known as Woods Hole [The Leeside Tavern] had a large Moretti fixture behind the bar where the well dressed Moretti moniker with chapeaux and moustache would stare at you while you worked on your own consumption. Although I was not being stared at last night, I can honestly say it was truly a gift to be out on a Thursday night rubbing elbows with my bride and other patrons doing what we do best – enjoying each other’s company. Cheers to that!
Long live PINT NIGHT – imperial or otherwise!