‘Beer! Glorious Beer!’
Ok, well that is not quite how the famous song from Oliver Twist goes, but you get the sentiment.
Aussies love a good beer. For many people it’s their longest relationship. One they have been committed too since they were 18. (Well legally anyway).
For the nation, drinking beer is a national past time. It’s something generations of Aussies have done ever since the first convicts started to craft their first brews back in 1808.
But while the love of beer in this country is consistent across all states, what is not is the size of the beer glass you drink out of.
When the metric system was launched in Australia in 1970, the breweries and publicans failed to take it on board. As a result we now have a situation where you need to be an expert in metrology to maintain some kind of idea of which beer glass size to choose.
With that in mind we have produced this handy guide to beer glass sizes in Australia. Which should be invaluable to you, when you next visit a pub in any given part of the country, and fancy one of the beers they have on tap.
Measuring in at 570 ml the good old pint glass is arguably Britain’s best colonial export.
A real heavyweight of the Australian beer glass scene, the pint is one of the few beer sizes that all states in the country agree on.
Considering a metric conversion of 20 imperial fluid ounces, the pint glass is bigger than the generally more popular schooner. It maintains a steady popularity though on account of the thousands of ex-pat Brits that live in the country.
Somewhat regally, in South Australia this particular pint glasssize is referred to as an imperial pint.
Coming in at 425ml, the schooner is another size that is consistent amongst all states, bar South Australia, who considers this size to be a regular ‘pint’.
Housing a decent amount of beer to quench your thirst, this is the most common size drink in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
In the 1930s the term ‘schooner’ was commonly referred to, especially in Sydney, as an unstamped and unofficial glass which contained varying levels of beer, that was typically much less than a pint.
However the state formally adopted the schooner as a standard beer measure on 1 November 1948. After an update of the state’s Liquor Act regarding beer glasses became legislation.
A beer size with more names than Puff Daddy, this 285ml glass is referred to as a pot in some states, as well as a middy in others.
It’s also called a ‘handle’ up in the Northern Territory, a ‘seven’ down in Tasmania, and even, just to confuse you further, a ‘schooner’ in South Australia!
Whatever you refer to it as, this glass size is standard issue in Victorian pubs.
It may be a little on the small side for some, but that just gives you more opportunity to boast about how many beers you drank last night.
Quite why the 140ml pony size glass is so called is shrouded in mystery. But the smallest of the main stream beer sizes, can be found at pubs, bars and clubs throughout most of Australia.
If kids could drink beer we would say this is a kids size, and while it’s not advisable to drink any alcohol before you drive home, one pony sized beer is probably ok.
The jug is famous in cricketing circles where anyone who scores a 100 or gets 5 wickets has to buy one for his teammates.
Standing at a colossal 1,140 ml, it is perfect to share with a group of mates and especially cash-strapped students who are wanting a cheap night out.
Unlike with other beer sizes, you can buy a jug of beer anywhere in the country knowing that you will get a consistent size of your favourite brew.
Other Beer Sizes
Over in South Australia they like to do things a little differently when it comes to beer glass sizes, so they have thrown the Butcher size into the mix.
At 200ml it’s a very middle of the road beer glass size. Not big enough to really satisfy your thirst, though not small enough toat least partially sate it.
Apparently Butcher sizes are so called because back in the 1880s, the pubs who served it were often close to butcher shops or meat works, and it was their workers that were the ones who drank from it most.
Small Beer Size
Its hardly the most imaginative of names but the small beer size is very much a part of the beer glass scene in Tasmania.
Measuring in at 115 ml, this beer size is probably a good one to order when tasting a new beer you aren’t sure you will like.
Similar to Tasmania, Western Australia also has a small beer size which they fondly term the bobbie/bobby.
At 170ml it is slightly bigger than that of its counterpart in the Apple Isle. But with a number of craft breweries in the state offering a host of excellent brews, you will be able to try a nice selection of them over the course of an evening, without getting too sozzled.
Most Popular Beers
So now we have established what beer sizes there, all that is left to ascertain is what the most popular beers in Australia are.
Whilst this is a whole different article of its own, in terms of sales at least, Aussies tend to consume (in alphabetical order) Carlton Draught, Tooheys Extra Dry, Tooheys New, VB and XXXX Gold the most.
Prices of course vary depending on what state you are in, and what beer size and brand you buy. But typically you can expect to pay between $8-12 for a pint throughout Australia.