AlcoholTourismBeerSizesOK, drinking world, we have to get our act together.  You would not believe the number of times we have asked for something we think is perfectly clear and reasonable, only to have a server or bartender say, “Do you mean This Other Word That Describes the Exact Same Thing?”  Yes, that. Or we’ve asked for a certain size of a drink and they look at us like we’re crazy, but we’re not! THEY’RE the crazy ones! So let’s try to settle this once and for all.


Beer Sizes

Imperial Pint – US: 20 oz

Pint – US: 16 oz, UK: 20 oz.

Half-Pint – This is often 10 oz.

Schooner – UK 8 oz.  Not sure what happens if you order this in the US.  We’ve been somewhere which served a 32 oz stein and called it a schooner.

Taster – 3-5 oz.


Tasting Flight == Sampler Flight == Sample Platter of Beer/Wine/Liquor

This one shouldn’t be that hard, but we encounter it routinely.  We’ll ask for a tasting flight and they respond with, “Like a sampler?”  Yes, that’s what a tasting flight means. Get it together alcohol world.

Type of Locale

Winery/Brewery/Distillery/Cidery/Meadery  – Your primarily business is selling an alcohol product, probably the majority of which is for off-premises consumption.  You may have snacks, but it is unlikely you have a kitchen. You make your OWN products.

Brewpub – You are a restaurant which makes their OWN beer and/or cider.  The majority is consumed on-premises, but you may fill growlers.

Beer Bar – You are a bar which serves OTHER people’s beer, cider, wine, spirits, and/or mead.  Your primarily business is as a bar. The majority is consumed on-premises.


NOT a brewery or brewpub- a craft beer pub!

Craft Beer Pub – You are a restaurant which serves OTHER people’s alcohol.  The majority is consumed on-premises.

If you do NOT make your own beer, DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A BREWERY OR BREWPUB!  This is so incredibly frustrating because it comes off as deliberately misleading.  Maybe they don’t know the difference. Maybe they assume most people don’t care if they make their own beer or not.  Or maybe they are trying to take advantage of the craft beer revolution and sucker people in.

I realize there are some legal definitions which interact with these, but we believe these are the most common, accepted parlance among alcohol tourists.  Businesses of the world, please recognize these and get in line.

3 thoughts on “Terminology

  1. Carol Hofmeister

    This is a fantastic explanation of the situation with the growth of Beer industry. You should hire yourself out to send this to the powers that regulate the Beer industry. I’m printing a copy of this to have for myself And I’m sending it to the new Craft Beer club starting in my development.

  2. Karl

    Very informative! I enjoyed your blog post as always :)

    There are many times I reflect on your adventures of brewing in Brickleberry. I have always had a higher appreciation for a well made beer after seeing the trials and tribulations that went into making one.

    One note about terminology: I have noticed in the Seattle area a lot of beer bars call themselves tap rooms. Is this a regional dialect or pretty common across the U.S.?

    1. AlcoholTourism Post author

      “Tap room” is a bit ambiguous, because a LOT of breweries use that terminology to denote the place where they sell beer directly to the public. I think my default assumption of a “tap room” would be that it is dedicated to a single brewery – like the Lagunitas Taproom on NW 49th St. in Seattle.


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