What Is A Pint?

You’re out at the bar with your beer-drinking friends and they all order a pint.

“I’ll have a pint of the IPA.” It goes just like this. The bartender nods and looks to you. You order a pint.

But what is a pint? What did you just order?

Ok, maybe this is a little extreme. Probably just extreme. The point is, plenty of people order a pint every day without really knowing what it is. If you ask for a full pour at a bar, odds are that you’ll get a pint. If your ask for a beer, odds are that you’ll get a pint.

Pint Definition: Sometimes a Full Pour

In the United States, a pint is a 16-ounce pour of beer. This is four ounces more than you would get from most bottles (typically 12 ounces), and it’s pretty much the universal go-to size for a beer at a bar.

An imperial pint, on the other hand, is a 20-ounce pour. If you order a pint in the UK, you’re likely to get a 20-ounce pour before 16. Also, some bars will offer an imperial pint on some beers – so you can expect it to be more than a normal pour.

Then we can break it down into other sizes. A half pint is (you guessed it) an 8-ounce pour.

Some breweries offer specialty drinks or beers with a high ABV that you probably don’t want a full pint of. In these cases, a full pour might be 12oz, 10oz, or even 4oz if you’ve just ordered a barleywine.

It’s also worth pointing out that some beer glassware can’t hold a pint, and that’s intentional.

Chalices, Goblets, Tulips and Confusion

Depending on where you go, someone may pour your beer in an awkward looking glass that looks like it should be holding red wine at your local church.

These glasses, depending on their shape, are probably chalices, goblets, or tulips. There are generally designed to hold 12-14 ounces of liquid, but generally aren’t filled to the brim. You’ll be looking at something closer to 8-12 ounces of beer. While you won’t be getting as much as you would in a pint, these beers tend to be a little on the nicer side than your Bud Light.

Why use a different glass and not just mark “12 ounces” on a normal pint? Well, depending on the type of beer you order, a certain glass will bring out a larger aroma, help the bubbles come to the top faster or slower, create a larger head of foam on top and more.

There are even more niche types of glassware, including my personal favorite: the Teku glass. Did I mention I love glassware?


Everyone knows what a stein is. That is, unless you don’t know.

Just imagine a stein as a beer mug with a handle. There are plenty of types of steins, but the most common ones in pop culture are those that are found at Oktoberfest.

Steins can hold anywhere from 16-32 ounces. If you get a full Oktoberfest-size stein of beer, you’ll be looking at nearly 34 ounces of beer.

Why is it important to know the difference between glasses? Well, different glass sizes will tell you a lot about the beer you’re drinking. First off, you’ll know how much beer you’re drinking, so you’ll be able to gauge your night/afternoon/morning. Second off, you’ll get a better idea

First off, you’ll know how much beer you’re drinking, so you’ll be able to gauge your night/afternoon/morning. Second off, you’ll get a better idea

Second off, you’ll get a better idea of the quality and style of your beer. Nobody is going to pour PBR into a chalice, and you won’t be drinking a Belgian tripel out of an Oktoberfest stein.

Thomas Short
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