Michigan Bill Wants To Make Sure All Pints of Beer Are 16 Ounces

By Lisa White in Food on Oct 8, 2013 6:20PM

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Photo credit: Seth Anderson

Of all the things to worry about during these uncertain times as a government official, making sure the public doesn’t get cheated out of a few ounces of beer seems like a logical top priority. Or at least that is the rational in Michigan, where last week (you know, during the start of a government shutdown) a bill was introduced that would amend the Liquor Control Act so that it would be an offense to “advertise or sell any glass of beer as a pint in this state unless that glass contains at least 16 ounces of beer.” For those not in the know, many pint-style beer glasses have a thicker bottom, thus only being able to hold anywhere from 12-14 ounces.

I’m all for getting the most bang for your buck, but when I think of the important things I’d want my elected officials working hard on if I lived in Michigan, making sure I get a few extra ounces of beer isn’t at the top of my list. It isn’t even on the list. Michigan, do you know what is happening in Detroit? I know the whole state isn’t one city, but wasting time on something seemingly frivolous makes your priorities seem off to the public eye.

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, a cosponsor of the bill, said it’s not the most pressing issue lawmakers need to address (ya think?) but, he said, “a lot of people, I think, would appreciate knowing what they get when they order a pint.” I would venture a guess that most people care more about the taste of the beer and making sure the pour is correct than a few ounces. And at this point isn’t ordering a “pint of beer” becoming a catch all phrase for just ordering beer? Even if it isn’t served in a pint glass?

Those who oppose the bill are mainly bar owners, who under the new law would have to buy new glassware if theirs did not meet the required 16 ounces. Meanwhile I’m sure there is a large group that neither opposes or supports the bill in Michigan, opting to simply state “who cares?” instead.