The Wholly Sensible Concept of Half Pours

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,278) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I was in peekskil NY last night. At the Peekskill brewery, they do half pours for half price. It's an every day thing. It was nice in that my friends were half way done. And I wanted another beer but not a 20 oz beer. Was perfect.
    rodbeermunch and Badfish like this.
  2. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (347) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Beachwood BBQ & Brewing has been doing this (for house and guest beers) at least since their brewery opened in 2011; I can't remember if they did them at Seal Beach before that.

    It's perfect. More than a taster, but not too much that you can't do a side-by-side.
    rodbeermunch likes this.
  3. Beerbom

    Beerbom Zealot (507) Dec 20, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Most places I go in Northern CA do half pours with a mixed bag quite simply doing half price for a half pour and the others charging $1 above half price. I don't mind paying the extra $1 fee for the half pour. I do 1/2 pours often as I fly solo often. When I'm with my buddy we simply order two different, full size beers and switch with one another when we're half done. Saves us a lot of time in busy bars/breweries, we get to try more variety and neither of us gives a Schnit about getting the other's cooties.
    jgido759 and DogbiteWilliams like this.
  4. Lurchus

    Lurchus Aspirant (236) Jan 19, 2014 Germany

    Lol, or even try ordering a Seidla. Just a different culture.
    herrburgess likes this.
  5. jonb5

    jonb5 Savant (962) May 11, 2010 United Kingdom (England)

    The article is well meant, but gives the impression that the Schnitt is part of everyday German drinking culture.
    Lurchus and herrburgess like this.
  6. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,016) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Or lay your empty Seidla on its side on the table...
    Lurchus and jonb5 like this.
  7. RockyCoast

    RockyCoast Initiate (137) Jul 3, 2013 Maine

    Some of the most seemingly complex problems throughout human history have been solved by simple, elegant solution, much like a half-pour.

    When the farmers needed more daylight to work the fields during peak growing season, the answer was to set the clocks forward an hour. Ben Franklin invented that, and Ben would have appreciated that concept of a half-pour.

    On second thought, Ben may have been more satisfied with yet another full pour!
    rodbeermunch likes this.
  8. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Poo-Bah (2,148) Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    My only criticism of the half pour is the price. An establishment will sell you a 16oz beer for $5 but charge you $3.50 for a half pour. The economics don't often make this a smart buying decision. I wouldn't be opposed to a slight upcharge, like $2.75 for the above case, but charging 50% more per ounce doesn't sit well with my frugal fingers. This is also why I don't drink "session" ales. Why should I pay $5 for 3.5% abv when a perfectly good IPA at 6.5% abv is the same price? The sessions are basically twice the price.
    Witherby and DogbiteWilliams like this.
  9. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (517) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I will NEVER understand this $/ABV concept in decisions on beer. Why not just go vodka?
    beertunes and rodbeermunch like this.
  10. urtyp

    urtyp Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2006 Austria

    To make it even more complicated-in Austria a Schnitt is called a mixture of dark and lager type of beer, e.g. ottakringer schnitt. :slight_smile:
    drtth likes this.
  11. Lurchus

    Lurchus Aspirant (236) Jan 19, 2014 Germany

    Yeah, that is what I thought........
    Well, Schnitts are part of a part of a regional german drinking culture..
    I feel like that is something that many people outside of europe really struggle to grasp:
    That there is basically no such thing as a unifying "german beer culture", but many local beer cultures, not only with unique beers, but also with unique ways in serving and consuming them.
    rodbeermunch likes this.
  12. whatsleftofyou

    whatsleftofyou Aspirant (231) Mar 12, 2006 Michigan

    Last month's BA editorial - "4oz pours are just the worst!"
    This month's BA editorial - "6oz pours are wholly sensible!"
    Next month's BA editorial - "5oz pours are meh, I guess if you have to..."
    rodbeermunch and Pisthetaerus like this.
  13. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,517) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    @Andy's column isn't an editorial. It's an opinion piece that's not necessarily the opinion of BA.
    ebin6 likes this.
  14. whatsleftofyou

    whatsleftofyou Aspirant (231) Mar 12, 2006 Michigan

    Fair enough.

    It's just funny how in February he writes, "I’m going to try and enjoy beer as the brewer intended, one glass, pint, half-liter, or more at a time" then this column talks about how great 6oz pours are. It's ironic, if nothing else.
    beertunes and rodbeermunch like this.
  15. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,016) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    A Schnitt is not 6 oz. Typically it's around 10 oz. -- or even more at many places.
    ebin6 likes this.
  16. whatsleftofyou

    whatsleftofyou Aspirant (231) Mar 12, 2006 Michigan

    There are also references to "half pour" and "half pint". This still means that somewhere between a 10oz pour and a 4oz pour there's a deliminator that separates "best pour size ever!" and "this is bullcrap, not what the brewer intended, can't enjoy this, grrrr!"

    My comments here are tongue-in-cheek, btw.
    Pisthetaerus likes this.
  17. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,131) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    You have me confused. I don't see anywhere that he talks about the greatness of 6 oz pours.

    It also seems to me his comments in this opinion piece involve a last, but less than full serving, of the beer one has been drinking for one or several pints just before asking for "Ein Schnitt." The point being that one has a bit more beer to nurse along while others are finishing their last pint so that the person is not just sitting there with an empty glass watching everyone else slowly finish their pint. In otherwords, context matters.
    ebin6 likes this.
  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,266) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I'd love if it became more common around me, at the same price per oz. or a nominal increase (25-50¢ extra) but they're going to have to come up with a better term than "half pour"...( or "schnitt" for that matter :grimacing:).

    I suggest "glass", as in:

    "I'll have a glass of XYZ IPA"
    "Gimme a pint of XYZ IPA"
    (if you only want 14 oz. :grinning:)​
    ebin6, beertunes and DogbiteWilliams like this.
  19. whatsleftofyou

    whatsleftofyou Aspirant (231) Mar 12, 2006 Michigan

    A good portion of the article is about half-pours being used as an alternative to flights/samplers.

    I'm on board with the concept, just having a little fun playing devil's advocate. Cheers everybody.
    Pisthetaerus likes this.
  20. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,131) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well since it's a bit hard to see the twinkle in you eye.... :-)
    ebin6 likes this.
  21. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (488) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I tore up dozens of half pours on our trip to Cali and Ashville the past two weeks... Loved them.

    Sierra Nevada was priced the best, I think $2.75 for half pour or $5 full pint.

    Burial was the worst if I recall, something like $4ish half or $5 full. You could tell they didn't want to do them... lol

    I hope it becomes a SOP for breweries... Half pours are really nice... I would actually promote eliminate flights and just offer half pints only as a substitute.
    rodbeermunch and DogbiteWilliams like this.
  22. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (117) Mar 28, 2015 California

    I'm OK with a small upcharge to cover the bartender's labor. Pouring two beers takes more time and effort. A big upcharge is gouging lightweight drinkers like me, or those who just want to try something new.

    I seldom drink at a bar, but two 8 ouncers of different styles is much more appealing than a pint of one style.
    Witherby likes this.
  23. bbtkd

    bbtkd Meyvn (1,402) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    When I need to drive home from a taproom and I'm drinking higher ABV beers, I want a pour big enough to review and enjoy, but not so big that one pushes me too close to DUI. Most taprooms seem to offer 9oz pours when it is high ABV, but one local taproom recently sold a 12.5% in 12oz doses. That's pushing it a bit, equivalent of three normal 12oz 4.2% ABV beers.
    #63 bbtkd, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  24. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (811) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I think the author needs to get out more.

    Selling half pint pours is hardly new nor limited to Germany. IIRC, every pub it visited in the 80's in England sold full pint and half pint pours of everything on tap. (Sure, those were Imperial measure, but the concept is the same.) I don't remember the pricing, since I hardly ever ordered a half, but to expect the half pint to be exactly half the price of the full pint is millennial entitlement naiveté.
    beertunes likes this.
  25. grover37

    grover37 Savant (910) Nov 14, 2007 District of Columbia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agree with @whatsleftofyou about the irony of this article - it was what jumped out at me immediately. I am a huge fan of the half pint, which are typically 6-8oz at the places I frequent. However, I typically split them with my wife, which means we're drinking an appalling 3 oz each in many cases. In the end, I think this is an overblown issue, and it's making a big deal out of nothing.
    rodbeermunch likes this.
  26. L_Willard

    L_Willard Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2015 Colorado

    Curious as to what region the writer is coming from. Shortys seem fairly commonplace these day
  27. Beartrap108

    Beartrap108 Initiate (105) Oct 29, 2015 Delaware

    In UK they offer half pints, priced proportionately, but poured in 8 oz glasses. Like the US the "half-pint" is viewed unfavorably amongst real drinkers, but that is easily avoided by pouring your fresh 8 oz pour into your existing pint glass.
  28. ZappaCat

    ZappaCat Aspirant (219) Jun 23, 2004 Louisiana

    This is also generally my experience in Boston at bars. Breweries/brewpubs seem more likely to offer options with varying pour sizes, though other "regular" bars that take their beer seriously are serving each beer in specific glassware with pours that range from 9-20 oz. From a practical standpoint, having even more half-sized glassware on hand would be more work than it's worth for a lot of places.

    I do think it would be nice it it were universal practice for any sub-6% beer served in a 16 oz. pint to be available as a half pour. most places have high-ball glasses already which tend to be 8 oz. I wouldn't even mind paying a slightly higher cost per ounce for this.

    That being said, I've never really had a major issue balancing my desire to have a drink with my need to either drive somewhere or get back to work after a sit down lunch. If having a single 16 oz. 5-6% beer is going to be any sort of problem for whatever I'm about to do, I really don't have a problem just not ordering one at all.
  29. Dan_K

    Dan_K Disciple (399) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    It's not?
  30. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,016) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

  31. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,266) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    But, in states with a sub-minimum "tipped-employee" wage rate, the bar owner doesn't pay the bulk of the bartender's salary - the customer does via the tip.:grinning:

    Well, actually the half pint UK glass is over 9½ US ounces, since the British Imperial pint is 19.2 US oz.
    #71 jesskidden, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  32. notnice_75

    notnice_75 Initiate (123) Apr 7, 2017 Iowa

    Half pints are available at all UK pubs, clubs, wine bars and what have you, and as far as I know, always have been. Not convinced this is a German innovation, or an innovation at all. Ought to be standard practice, and probably is in most cultures. Nothing like a cheeky half of best, eh?
  33. BayernTrips

    BayernTrips Initiate (126) Feb 24, 2017 Germany

    That is definitely the "rule," but rules are meant to be broken. I have seen people order several schnitte in a row and haven't seen a waiter call them on it. However, at one of my regular places, Augustiner am Platzl, the waiters always try to talk you out of it by saying that the full beer is almost the same cost as a Schnitt, so you might as well just have a normal one!
    StoutElk_92 likes this.
  34. jaxon53

    jaxon53 Meyvn (1,125) Mar 1, 2006 Connecticut
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    My former local spot used to do this. Couple beers with lunch, didn't really want a third, bartender asked if I would like a short pour. Perfect! A win for everyone. I could try something I wasn't really sure about, bar gets an extra 3 bucks out of me they normally wouldn't get..
  35. corbmoster

    corbmoster Aspirant (253) Dec 15, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

    A brew pub near me (B-52 brewing) offers half pours on the menu. It really is a beautiful thing
  36. DonSch

    DonSch Initiate (114) Mar 26, 2015 Oregon

    Portland, Oregon: plenty of places do half-pints or smaller pours, and Belmont Station in particular has many of its drafts in pints (or 500ml), half-pints, and 4-ounce pours. Hard to think of a bar or taproom that doesn't offer a smaller-pour option.
  37. DonSch

    DonSch Initiate (114) Mar 26, 2015 Oregon

    Certainly not a thing in the Altbier pubs in Düsseldorf, since the "normal" pour is 250ml, or the Kölsch pubs in Cologne, where the "normal" pour is 200ml. Who's gonna bother with a 100ml pour?
    herrburgess likes this.
  38. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,100) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    No doubt but I think this is more of a thing people desire when the minimum pour size is around 14 oz / ~400 ml.
  39. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (511) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    One of my favorite local breweries offers half pours, though they don't explicitly advertise them. I like to get them from time to time, especially considering a lot of their beers are 7-9% abv. They have specific glasses for them too.

    I do wish it was a more common thing here in the states. I'm not always in the mood for a full pint of a specific beer, but a smaller pour hits the spot. It's also good if you need to drive, but still want to be able to enjoy a few different beers.
    DogbiteWilliams likes this.
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