Now, the number of establishments in Houston using these bigger beer glasses has dwindled to just a trio. While many places do use the imperial pint glasses for pours of Guinness – only for Guinness in only Guinness glasses, of course – the three bars that serve the vast majority of their beers in imperial pint glasses have a certifiable British or Irish heritage: The Richmond Arms, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck and The Red Lion. I certainly do enjoy imbibing at these places, as I have over the years, but I cannot begrudge other establishments for not following their lead.
It really makes sense not use imperial pint glasses here. This country does not have the tradition of the larger imperial pint glasses; there is absolutely no demand for them outside of British- and Irish-themed bars that have been using them for years. There are financial factors, too: larger imperial glasses are more expensive than the American pint glasses and more difficult to replace; and the extra size that should necessitate an additional cost might be tough to fully pass off to customers, as pint prices could approach the $10 mark. With mad growth in the number of breweries around the country in the past decade, many beer bars have been turning away from even the 16-ounce shaker glasses, as many of the small brewery beers are highly alcoholic – even 16-ounces can easily be seen as too much for a single serving – and the beers that they brew taste better in other, smaller glasses.
Though I really do believe that these are good trends, my inner cheapskate – I mean, as an intermittent Anglophile and certifiably longtime CAMRA-sympathizer – does miss the more frequent imperial pint sightings.