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Short Measure Alert

Campaigners call for urgent action to stamp out short measures CAMRA is calling for urgent action to protect beer drinkers from short measures in Britainís pubs. The action follows the result of a survey of pub measures in the North East, the West Midlands, the South West and Wales.

The survey reveals that: ∑ Guinness drinkers are getting a raw deal with pint measures averaging only 93% liquid nationally. ∑ Drinkers of smoothflow beers donít fare much better with a 5% shortfall. ∑ Real ales served through a Ďsparklerí to give a large, tight creamy head average only 93.5% liquid. ∑ Cider and lager drinkers (typically served without heads) get 98% and 96.5% respectively ∑ The worst offender was found in a Cardiff pub - 15% short of a pint.

Mike Benner, Head of Campaigns and Communications said, Our research reveals that short measure is still rife in Britainís pubs and it is the practice of serving beers with big heads which is ripping drinkers off. Many real ales are wrongly served with creamy heads when they should be served with smaller, looser heads, but it is stout and smoothflow drinkers who are getting the worst deal.

The survey, carried out by CAMRA in September, used special defoaming agents to remove the foam from beer. The results therefore account for any liquid held in the head of the beer, the amount of which varies from product to product.

Mr Benner added, We need to see urgent action from the Government, which is expected to launch a further consultation into this issue in the autumn. The industry has had plenty of time to get its house in order, but has failed and it is consumers who are paying. While customers have the right to ask for and receive a top-up, most do not and it is very difficult to stand up for your rights in a busy pub on a Friday night. Only legislation which will guarantee full liquid pints will overcome this long-standing abuse. We are fast approaching a £2 a pint average price in pubs and a pint which is ten per cent short costs the drinker a staggering 20 pence.

Similar results were found in a survey in Rotherham last year.

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