Pub escapes censure for illegal metric measures

Related tags Trading standards Pint Pint glass Public house

by The PMA Team Worcestershire trading standards officers are turning a blind eye to an Austrian pub landlady who is selling beer in litres. The...

by The PMA Team Worcestershire trading standards officers are turning a blind eye to an Austrian pub landlady who is selling beer in litres. The department has decided that it has more pressing issues to deal with than crack down on the pub's illegal metric servings. Andrea Shütz, a former psychologist, and her partner, Anton Limlei, bought the freehold of the Cardinal's Hat in Friar Street, Worcester, in March last year. The couple, who dress in traditional lederhosen and dirndl dress behind the bar, have been serving five draught Austrian beers in half litres, 300ml, litre and two-litre sizes as part of the authentic Austrian atmosphere. Said Shütz: "We offer half and pint glasses but everybody nowadays asks for the metric measures ­ it's been a long time since we sold a pint." Local trading standards officers initially told the couple they would have to serve beer in pint measures. But now the department has chang-ed its mind. A spokesman said: "At the moment we have other ongoing priorities in terms of public health and safety issues to deal with." The decision by the Cardinal's Hat to sell beer in metric measures has won the support of the British Weights and Measures Association, which presented them with its Inch Perfect Award for 2003. Schütz said: "I'm very, very proud of the award. It was given to the person whom the association believes has done the most to maintain freedom of choice." Asked how she was enjoying running an English pub, she said: "We're really happy here. My psychology background has been useful in dealing with staff and customers." Cardinal's Hat customer Ron Gordon said: "I come to the pub every day. The beer and atmosphere make it so different. You can relax properly here, which you can't do in an English bar." Morning Advertiser legal expert Peter Coulson said: "She is breaking the law. But she's doing nothing detrimental to the public and it's entirely up to trading standards what they prioritise." Licensee Nigel France was fined £12,000 in 1992 after serving beer in metric measures at a pub he ran in Slough. Some licensees back sacked Adnams tenant by Max Gosney Some licensees have backed an Adnams' tenant who was dismissed by the brewer for banning pints at his Southwold pub. The Morning Advertiser has received a number of messages of support for Nigel France following the termination of his tenancy by the Suffolk brewer and retailer earlier this month. France's decision to replace the pint with half-pint glasses and two-pint pitchers angered Adnams chiefs. Martin Pendle, of the Lion Inn, Suffolk, branded the brewer "short sighted" over the sacking. "I think Adnams should have given him a bit longer to prove himself. As long as he is still serving the brewer's ales then I do not see the problem. They have always appeared to be a forward-thinking company, but I think they've got this one wrong," he said. Varied and unusual glassware attracts customers to a pub, according to Barrie Vincent, licensee at the Crown Inn, Brundish. He said: "People like to go to venues that offer something different. As long as the ban has not reduced beer sales then I can't see that Adnams has a case." France will leave the Kings Head pub on 27 October. He stressed that Adnams was aware of his anti-pint attitude when the tenancy was agreed and the measure had boosted trade. "Adnams made it clear they did not want to be part of pint culture'. What better way of rejecting the trend than banning the vessel completely? My figures show a 170% increase in sales since the ban," he said. France, who also banned children and vinegar at the pub, proved too "alternative" for the small family brewer, according to Morning Advertiser columnist Phil Dixon. "This type of eccentricity was not in keeping with the company's heritage. From Adnams' point of view it's not good if customers cannot go into one of their pubs and order a pint of Broadside." Adnams declined to comment. What can you serve? The law states that pubs must use Government-stamped glasses when serving beer. These must be in 1 3 pint, 1 2 pint or multiples of 1 2 pint measures. Pubs are not breaking the law by refusing to sell pints as long as they offer 1 2 or 1 3 pint alternatives. Whisky, rum, gin and vodka must be served in either 25ml or 35ml measures. Other spirits are not restricted. Cocktails ­ that is mixed drinks containing more than two beverages ­ are not restricted. Do great things come in small packages or is the pint the perfect measure? Let us know by e-mailing or call 01293 610234.

Related topics Legislation

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