Jeff Alworth over at Beervana has been plugging away on his Honest Pint Project for a while now. His basic premise is that if you pay for a pint, you should get a pint. He started by certifying certain Portland pubs as purveyors of honest pints.
The rub is that many pints you receive on tap don't actually contain 16 oz. of liquid. Some have false bottoms that rob the glass of capacity. (This is apparently most often a problem at chain restaurants). But even 16 oz. glasses don't yield 16 ounces of beer after the foam has dissipated.
Alworth's idea has caught on way beyond the blogosphere. He earned a write up in the Wall Street Journal last year. On Thursday, Oregon's House of Representatives gave its approval to a bill that would allow bars and restaurants to request a health inspector to measure their glassware. As Seattle Weekly reported, "If it passes the full-pint test, the establishment is certified as serving an 'Honest Pint,' good for two years and for the privilege to display a sticker on premises."
Oregon's legislation is amusing but it may have some real effects. It's probably most valuable as a public relations vehicle in getting people to associate Oregon with serious beer drinking.
Locally, Soggy Coaster congratulates Steamworks and The Irish Embassy on serving honest pints. Those two establishments offer 20 oz. "imperial pints" that if ordered guarantee at least 16 ounces of actual beer.
The other option is to simply not call your beer a pint. Lost Dog advertises its $2 beers as "drafts." That's honest, and for $2, it's one of Soggy Coaster's favorite taps in Durango.