On a recent weekend afternoon trip through a couple of pubs, I've noticed that an Imperialist can put their mind at ease when they find the proper markings on their glass. Some bars have glasses that are the characteristic shape of the Imperial pint, but the volume of the glass is significantly smaller. This is a shame. We've talked about it before. Maybe it's the economy. Maybe it's capitalism. It really doesn't matter in the end, because, sadly, it doesn't work out in the drinkers favor.
The certfied Pint Glass is usually stamped with the Crown and the word "Pint" and / or CE on it (ensuring it has been checked by authorities). These can be also followed by a number (as seen in the glass at right). Each city in England has a specific number. This is the UK law for the marking of a full pint. Further to this, it is illegal under UK law to serve less than a pint (counting the head of the beer is a sneaky way of doing so), and if you do, customers must be told as such. Believe me, they are serious about it. These laws currently do not exist in the US. I feel that US (at least in the east) customers are being taken advantage of (hence this blog). It is unfortunate, because even before the event of baby pints, the US pint is 0.8327 of a UK pint. The standard of glass, which should be marked, is the Nonic pint glass. I have spoke of this earlier. Sadly, this shape has been co-opted and shrunk down to give the feel of an actual pint, but essentially, giving the odds to the house.
The actual origins are a bit less sinister than your narrator would let on. The American pint glass actually started out as a mixing glass for cocktails and other spirits, but eventually ended up as the defacto beer glass (Thanks to a post by Serious Eats for the info!).
During the renaissance, innkeepers / bartenders were called Publicans. Any similarities to Republicans? A sad attempt at humor.
Moral of the post - look for the markings. They will ensure you are getting your due.