Time called on British beer measures

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Britain's restrictions on beer measures are to be scrapped, the government said Wednesday, meaning a "schooner" or two thirds of a pint, could become a common order at the bar.

The pint (568 millilitres) is so cherished it is even an on official list of Icons of England.

Current laws state that draught beer and cider must be sold in measures of a third or a half of a pint, or multiples of half a pint.

But the government wants to lift the restrictions, alongside others on wine and bread loaf sizes, in a bid to give the market greater flexibility.

"Under the government's changes... beers can be sold in 'schooners', which are two-thirds of a pint," the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said.

The measure is common in Australia, where a "schooner" stops cold lager turning warm in the hot climate before drinkers have finished their glass.

"This is exactly the sort of unnecessary red tape the government wants to remove," said Science Minister David Willetts, who announced the proposals.

"We are freeing businesses so they can innovate and create new products to meet the demands of their customers."

The British Beer and Pub Association welcomed the moves.

"There is no reason why beer shouldn't be enjoyed in a wider range of measures and glass styles. This removes an anomaly which was just daft," said chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

"While the pint remains a great British icon, the two thirds measure will give greater flexibility over how beer is served."

© 2011 AFP

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