Litre of beer battle begins

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Draught beer, Gordon brown

Litres of beer are not allowed in Britain
Litres of beer are not allowed in Britain
The licensee of a Polish bar has vowed to take his battle to serve beer in litres all the way to the House of Lords after being threatened with a £2,000 fine and given 28 days to switch glassware over to pints.

The licensee of a Polish bar has vowed to take his battle to serve beer in litres all the way to the House of Lords.

Nic Davison, Punch leaseholder at the Kuchnia Polska in Doncaster, has been warned that he faces a court appearance and a £2,000 fine if he does not serve his draught beer in pints.

The Polish themed café and bar opened in May this year to serve the 18,000-strong Polish community in Doncaster. However, Trading Standards issued an Infringement Notice against Davison for breaching Weights and Measures legislation on 24 July because he serves Polish beer Zweic in 0.5L and 0.3L measures.

But Davison has vowed to ignore Trading Standards warning to switch over to pint glasses within 28 days.

"This is absolutely farcical," he said. "I want the law changed to give the British public the right to choose whether they want beer in pints or litres.

"We clearly mark that our beer is in litres so everyone knows what they are getting. I am looking forward to my day in court because I believe Trading Standards is wrong.

This is absolutely farcical. I want the law changed to give the British public the right to choose whether they want beer in pints or litres​Nic Davison, Kuchnia Polska bar

"It's a silly law and I have already written to my local MP David Miliband and Prime Minister Gordon Brown - although I believe they may be busy with other issues at the moment. I will take this all the way to the House of Lords."

Metric Martyrs

Davison has teamed up with campaign group Metric Martyrs - which was set up to support Sunderland market trader Steve Thorburn after he was convicted of selling bananas in pounds in 2001.

"Yet again we have officials who have failed to exercise any common sense," said campaign director Neil Herron.

"This is going to make the Government a laughing stock all over Europe. At the same time they are signing up to the European Constitution intent on being good Europeans, the mad officials on the ground are preparing to hit a Polish pub with a 10lb sledgehammer."

Legal clarification

UK law states that all draught beer, lager and cider products must be served in either a 1/3 pint measure or multiples of 1/2 pint.

"Although most other goods have to be sold in metric measures of some kind, beer and cider must not be sold on draught in metric measures," said MA legal expert Peter Coulson. "In bottles, yes, but not when it comes to pouring a pint."

"Draught beer has the unique distinction of being ring-fenced so those licensees who would like to sell in metric are actually prevented from so doing.

"You would think that Trading Standards Officers had better things to do with their time, to prevent people being ripped off. But they say it could cause confusion with the public, not knowing whether the 'pint' they were getting was 568ml or a half litre (500ml)."

Related topics: Beer

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