Beer and wine are being poured, Trading Standards warns – BBC News

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Image caption, Beer and wine drinkers are likely to miss out on a full pair of glasses, according to a ‘snapshot’ study

  • Author, Alexander Phillips
  • Role, BBC news

New research shows that more than two-thirds of pints of beer and glasses of wine poured in pubs and bars in Britain contain less booze than they should.

A report published on Friday by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) found that 70% of beer and wine tasted across the country were measured too short.

It calculated that this meant an average beer drinker lost around £88.40 per year, while a wine drinker lost around £114.40 per year.

Trading Standards urged pubs and bars to ensure they measure their drinks correctly.

The research comes as prices of alcoholic drinks have risen rapidly in recent years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, alcohol prices have risen by 6.1% in the past year. However, as inflation has slowed recently, it only rose 0.3% last month.

Labor MP Jess Phillips said the ongoing cost of living crisis means taking short-term measures will “make things worse”.

“It’s not easy to afford to go out for a drink and you should get what you pay for,” she added.

CTSI found that when beer was measured short it was on average 4% less than a full pint, while for wine it was on average 5% less than the standard 175ml glass.

The consumer body said that of the 137 drinks it sampled in 77 pubs and bars, the most under-served drink was purchased in Walsall, in the West Midlands, where there was a shortage of 15%, or 26ml.

Major shortages were also identified in Belfast and Havering in East London.

Duncan Stephenson, a spokesperson for CTSI, told the BBC it would not identify individual venues or chains where it had identified underserving drinks “because we don’t want to do that”.

He also said it was “difficult for us to say” whether there were certain parts of Britain where short measurements were likely to be more common, as the study was a “snapshot” with “a small sample size”.

CTSI has called for broader research into this issue.

John Herriman, CEO of CTSI, said it was “calling on the hospitality sector to ensure consumers get value for money by ensuring they correctly measure the drinks they serve to customers”.

But Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association and a former Conservative MEP, told the Mirror that landlords “don’t want to be accused in any way of shortchanging the millions of customers who enjoy visiting pubs every week.” visit our country. “.

Away with their heads?

CTSI researchers measured the test beers based on a pint being completely liquid – although there is an ongoing debate over whether the head should be counted as part of the pint.

When a 5% head – the industry standard for beer – was disregarded, CTSI found that about a third of the beers it sampled still measured too short.

The Campaign for Real Ale says consumers should have a legal right to a fully liquid pint.

Its chairman, Nik Antona, said punters were ‘well within the ballpark’ [their] rights” to request a supplement if the deficit is more than 5%.

He added: “Consumers should not feel changed when they support their favorite pubs, social clubs and taprooms.”

Ms McClarkin said industry guidance reflects the requirement for a 95% liquid pint and confirmed that consumers who want a smaller head on their beer should “always feel free to ask for a top up and this should never be refused “.

A poll conducted by Censuswide on behalf of CTSI found that more people thought a head should not be counted as part of a pint than those who do – 35% compared to 26% – although there was no clear majority on the issue.

The survey of 2,001 adults in Britain also found there is a generational divide over whether pubs and bars should be allowed to serve spirits without a measuring device, with around half of under-45s saying they should, while 59% of people aged 45 or older say this is necessary. not.

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