Britons ripped off as under-filled booze costs average drinker £114 per year

Britons ripped off as under-filled booze costs average drinker £114 per year

WATCH: Britons campaign to rebuild Britain's "wonkiest pub"

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 24/05/2024

- 19:29

Hospitality businesses have been called upon to stop serving customers less than they bargained for, while Jess Phillips MP said 'being served short measures adds insult to injury'

Over two thirds of beer and wine sold in British pubs is being under-measured, a shocking new survey has revealed - leaving thirsty Britons more than £100 out of pocket every year.

A staggering 70 per cent of drinks, when checked by Trading Standards authorities, came up short, prompting outrage from public figures as alcohol prices continue to skyrocket.

Pubs are mis-measuring beer at a much higher rate than wine - 86 per cent of the brews studied came up below their advertised volumes, according to data compiled by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

The CTSI said the average deficit for short-measured beer found in their survey was four per cent, while for wine it was five per cent.


A staggering 70 per cent of drinks came up short in the CTSI survey


For the average British beer drinker, this represents a a loss of £1.70 per week, or £88.40 per year - while wine drinkers are losing out on £2.20 per week and £114.40 per year.

Investigators found the shortest measure came up at a deficit of 15 per cent on a 175ml glass of wine in Walsall, though the drink cost £3.20.

Rounding out the top three, CTSI surveyors spotted a 13.4 per cent deficit on a £7.20 glass of wine in Belfast, and a 12 per cent shortfall on a glass of wine purchased in Havering for £5.75.

Trading Standards also spotted that under-45s were happier than their older counterparts with pubs and bars pouring spirits "free-hand", or without a measure - younger drinkers were three times more supportive than over-45s, a poll found.


\u200bJess Phillips

CTSI Vice President Jess Phillips MP said "to discover you’re being served short measures adds insult to injury"


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Alongside issues with drinks being under-poured, authorities have been arguing over whether a measured pint of beer should include the frothy head or not.

While the head is legally included, more CTSI polling found that over a third of the public felt it should not be included in the pint measure, while just under a quarter believed it should.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) maintains that the pint measure should not include the head, and that consumers should make the most of their glasses and have a right to a 100 per cent liquid pint.

Labour MP Jess Phillips, the CTSI's Vice President, said: "The cost of living means people can hardly afford a drink... To discover you’re being served short measures adds insult to injury.

"A short measure cheats us all, but affects those worst off, the hardest. Being able to afford to go out for a drink is not easy and you should get what you pay for."

The CTSI's Chief Exec, John Herriman, said: "While this is a snapshot, it is the first time that we have been able to build a national picture of how widespread short measuring of alcoholic drinks are.

"The potential detriment to the average consumer of around £115 every year suggests there is the need for more comprehensive research to better understand the impact of short measures, not just for alcoholic drinks but across a broader spectrum of consumer goods.

"We are calling on the hospitality sector to ensure that consumers get value for money by making sure they are correctly measuring the drinks they are serving to customers in the nation’s pubs and bars and for further research in this area."

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