The Half Pint Glass

Matt Kory, October 27, 2015

What makes a good beer glass? There’s lots of theories and in the end it really comes down to what feels comfortable to you, fits in your hand best, and holds good beer. Some say beer is best in a tulip glass, others prefer a British pint, and personally I like all kinds. Tonight I drank a fresh hop beer out of a (cleaned) jelly jar. Quite enjoyable!

So when I say I didn’t really enjoy the experience of the HalfPint glass, that’s just, like, my opinion, man. You might be different. The HalfPint glass is just that, literally a pint glass cut in half.

It’s not until you actually fill it with beer and try to drink from it that it dawns on you: how the hell am I supposed to drink out of this? The conventional pint glass is brilliant in its simplicity. You grab any side, bring it to your lips, and drink delicious beer.

But this glass doesn’t and can’t work like that because its odd shape doesn’t allow it. Drinking from the flat side doesn’t work because as liquid flows evenly over the side, some will enter your mouth and some will flow on either side of your mouth and end up on your shirt likely via your chin. You can’t drink from the round side because the flat side will hit you in the nose when attempting to tip back. It’s amazing how convenient the conventional circle is and, like many things in life, you don’t notice it until it’s gone. I found myself drinking from the point created by the confluence of the flat part and the round part, which is a bit like drinking from the spout of a pitcher.


Perhaps even worse than its unwieldiness when drinking is its unsteadiness on the table. Just looking at it you can see that it doesn’t take much to knock it over, just a simple brush with the hand or a bump to the table it’s on can send it sprawling and your beer flying as well. I kept finding myself bracing it up against something else and I didn’t dare leave it on the table by itself, lest I come back to find it lying on it’s side helplessly while my beer made a jailbreak over the table to the carpet.

But even all of that would be fine if there was some greater point, which brings me to the question I kept coming back to in all this: what is the point?

The box says it’s an “ideal gift for friends who aren’t big drinkers but still like to fit in.” I’m not sure there’s a way to use this glass and “fit in.” It intrinsically stands out, which I kinda thought was the point, but apparently not. If the goal is to look like you’re drinking a full pint while actually sneaking just a half point, I should point out that the HalfPint actually holds 13 ounces of liquid when filled to the brim, so at most your shy friend is saving three ounces and doing so while looking like the odd duck in the room.

That all said, it’s not that it’s not fun. It is, sort of anyway, as novelty beer glasses go. If nothing else it’s a curiosity. I spoke to a neighbor of mine about the glass and he thought it would work much better as a planter for succulents or some other small plant than it would to fill with liquid and consume. I’m not sure he wasn’t right.

Earlier I used the word “novelty” to describe the HalfPint (it would be more accurate to call it the 0.8125Pint) and that’s essentially what this is. Which is fine. Environmental implications aside, there’s nothing wrong with something intended to be used once or to be presented as a joke. But it doesn’t appear that this is what is intended.

Still, who cares what’s intended? If this tickles your fancy, grab one! Just don’t expect to get much use out of it after the laughs subside.