# Pint Glass Numbers

Why do many pint glasses bear the numbers 303 or 562? I asked this question on my Open Questions page, following a conversation in a pub with Huw Davies.

To my surprise, Colin Batchelor responded by conducting a detailed study of the numbers appearing on glasses in pubs mostly in and around Oxford. To my horror, Kate Pugh responded by sending in even more numbers. Before we list the results, indexed chronologically by glass number, here are some thoughts from Colin.

Colin Batchelor ``Bedroom'' writes:

For some reason the knobbly glasses you get beer in score higher than the straight-sided ones you get cider in. These things have been noted separately.

But it did give me an idea for a game to play on pubcrawls. Everyone tots up the numbers on their successive beer glasses, takes the average, and the winner gets bought a drink by everyone else. This was very late in the evening's entertainment though.

Andy H writes:

Like you my housemates and I have become fascinated by the numbers on pint glasses.

We initially believed 562 to be a pint in millilitres but after finding a 2043 realised that this is not the case. Since then we have found many different numbers, with no discernible pattern in either shape or logo (if present).

My housemate was researching the subject on the internet and found your website. Of particular intest was Colin's research, which on the whole we agree with. However we have five things to add:

• I was reading the list of numbers and attempting to find one which had that he didn't when I noticed that the glass I was using at the time (from our cupboard and therefore used many many times) was a 1345 which neither us nor Colin had seen before.
• Secondly, we belive 2043 to be the next most common after 562. Colin believes it to be 303 but we have only ever seen a dozen or so, and most of them have been half pint or wine glasses.
• All of the two-pint pitchers we have seen have been 562s.
• We have noticed that 2043 glasses have a fancy design of crown, whereas all others (except ``no numbers'') have a much plainer crown, the same as that on a 562.
• Lastly, we have a 1207 in the kitchen, the only one we have ever seen. This is also the only glass spotted where the crown and number are on the same side as the ``half pint to line'' line. The number and crown (562-style) are also much smaller on this glass.

We have done much research by drinking much beer and talking to many beer drinkers and landlords in pubs and beer festivals in an attempt to find out what they mean. I also emailed Arcoroc (whom we beleive make most of the glasses, although for some reason they go by the name of Villagekitchen on the internet) to ask them. Included below is the answer which they sent me. It seems that not even they know...

Aaron Bate (Consumer E-mail Service Representative at villagekitchen.com) writes to Andy H:

I'm not sure either but they tend to relate to the product's number. For example, one of our smaller our working glasses have numbers on them so customers can be sure they are getting the exact same item rather than one that looks similiar, but is slightly different. The bigger ones have a different number on them also. It could also relate to which factory it came out of. If you want a better answer I would recommend contacting Arc Int'l directly. I'm afraid but I don't have an contact number for the general public on hand.

Steve Kelly writes:

I was in Canada [in August 2002] and they also routinely serve up pints. The glasses were made by Arcoroc France and looked just like a UK glass, but with no number or crown.

I tend to think the number represents the place where the crown was applied. A bit like hallmarks on precious metals.

Andy H writes:

I don't know if you read The Times. If you don't, I will explain. They have a question and answer column, where anyone can write in with a question about anything. Last week [August 2002] I asked what the numbers on pint glasses meant. This is the answer. (I am still a bit puzzled though. It seems that the 1245, 414, etc, etc people are rather lazy, whilst 562 and 2043 work their socks off!)

Clive Howard-Luck (Hastings, East Sussex) responds to Andy H's question ``What do the numbers on pint glasses mean?''

The number found on a glass measure identifies the inspector of weights and measures (trading standards officer) who tested the measure for accuracy and passed it as fit for trade use. The number is to be found below the mark of a crown and together they form the verification stamp prescribed under weights and measures law.

The Department of Trade and Industry issues each local authority administering weights and measures legislation with a series of stamp numbers and that authority allocates one of these numbers to an individual trading standards officer, thus maintaining the chain of accountability.

Mark Enderby writes:

The number refers to the Weights & Measures Authority in the area where the glass was stamped/manufactured.

 6 Birmingham 76 Manchester 116 Buckinghamshire 234 Lancashire 236 Gwent 303 West Yorkshire 366 Hereford & Worcestershire 371 Sandwell 414 Derbyshire 478 St Helens 562 Bury 883 West Sussex 1110 Kingston-on-Thames 1207 Sheffield 1535 Waltham Forest 1545 Warwickshire

I believe 2037 and 2043 are in a series allocated to ``trusted'' glass suppliers who are given their own numbers. The allocation can be found on an official web site. [Thanks to Steve Kelly for the address.]

Paul Townson pretty much clears things up with:
I have been carrying out research into the Numbers on the side of pint glasses and I think I can put this question to rest now. I purchased an old pint glass on the market in Skipton (Yorkshire) a few years back. It was one of the handled ones with straight sides dating from George VI. I can't remeber the number on the side but I do have it at home where it is only bought out on special occassions. I bought it (along with another one, that later became victim to a clumsy girlfriend, needless to say now an ex-girlfriend!) for I think two pounds. Anyway to cut a long story short, it has followed me around the UK and now resides with me in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am also a researcher for Google Answers (search it for THX1138 - that's me!) and so thought this puzzle of the numbers can't be beyond me and, hey presto, here is your answer:

STAMP IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (PRESCRIBED STAMP) REGULATIONS 1968
LIST OF IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS

## Sightings

### No number

The George (Morrells), West Way, Botley (23.ii.98)
1 (out of 1) standard pint glass

### 6

The Fair Rosamund (Marstons), Botley (10.ii.98)
1 (out of 2) ordinary pint glasses
The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
1 (out of 2) normal pinters

### 16

1 (out of 1) straight sides, Carling logo (spotted by Andy H's housemate Pete)

### 23

RiRa's Irish Pub, Raleigh, NC, USA
1 (out of 1) Arcoroc glass, branded Harp Lager with the number 23 stamped in the middle of the round and bubbly Arcoroc France logo on the very bottom. (Spotted by Chris Hohman.)

### 74

Plastic pinters (spotted by Steve Kelly)
6 (out of 6) plastic, with little ridge two thirds of the way up (spotted by Andy H)

### 76

The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott on Otmoor (31.i.98)
1 (out of 2) half-pint panelled handled steiner

### 116

The Machine Man Inn (Free House), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
1 (out of 6) straight half-pinter
The Churchill Arms (ABC), Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire (9.v.1998)
1 (out of 1) vertical straight half-pinters
Cricketers Arms (Morland), Iffley Road (16.v.1998)
1 (out of 2) straight-sided half-pinter

### 234

The Swan Inn (Morrells), Islip
1 (out of 2) smooth half-pinters with handles

### 236

The Swan Inn (Morrells), Islip
1 (out of 2) smooth half-pinters with handles

### 366

The Bottle and Glass, Gibraltar, Bucks (24.iii.1999)
1 (out of 1) nonic

### 371

The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
2 (out of 3) plastic pinters
Victoria Arms (Wadworth), Old Marston (17.v.1998)
1 (out of 1) plastic "pint glass"

### 414

The Eagle Tavern (Free House), Magdalen Road (17.i.98)
1 (out of 4) straight half pint
1 (out of 2) standard half pint
The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
1 (out of 1) standard pint glass
The Queens Arms (Courage), Littlemore (20.ii.98)
1 (out of 2) straight-sided half pint, 1 (out of 1) standard pinter
The Pub (9.v.1998)
3 (out of 3) pint glasses
1 (out of 1) straight half pint
Victoria Arms (Wadworth), Old Marston (17.v.1998)
3 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
2 (out of 2) standard half pinters

### 478

The Abingdon Arms (Halls), Beckley (31.i.98)
2 (out of 2) straight half-pinters
The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
1 (out of 3) pint steiner
The Duke of Monmouth (Marstons), Abingdon Road (13.iii.1998)
1 (out of 2) extra tall standard pinters
The Prince of Wales (Wadworth), Iffley (23.iii.1998)
Jamals (27.v.1998)
1 (out of 1) wider at the top but not diagonal glasses Lal Toofan colour picture logo thing

### 483

1 (out of 1) four pint jug, flat sides, not perfectly circular (spotted by Andy H)

### 883

The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
1 (out of 3) plastic pinters

### 1110

The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
1 (out of 1) stemmed half-pint
A pie shop, Reading (21.xi.2002, 23.xi.2002)
2 (out of 2) about 5 inches high, the first inch being a base, uniform width (spotted by Andy H)

### 1207

1 (out of 1) standard half-pinter
The Wharf House (Free House), Speedwell St (27.i.98)
2 (out of 2) standard half-pinters
The Red Lion (Morrells), Islip (31.i.98)
1 (out of 2) straight half-pinters
The Red Lion (Whitbread), Stratford-on-Avon (14.ii.98)
2 (out of 2) 125ml wine glasses
The Plough (Courage), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
1 (out of 2) normal pinters
The Vine (Morland), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
3 (out of 3) straight half-pinters
The Machine Man Inn (Free House), Long Wittenham (14.iii.1998)
3 (out of 6) straight half-pinters
The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (26.iii.1998)
5 (out of 5) handled Hogshead pinters
The Prince of Wales (Morland), Shippon, nr. Abingdon (4.iv.1998)
1 (out of 1) straight-sided half-pinter
Eagle & Child (15.iv.1998)
1 out of 4 pint glasses
Eagle & Child (15.iv.1998)
1 out of 5 half-pint glasses
Jolly Farmers (?.iv.1998)
1 out of 3 pint glasses
White Horse (7.v.1998)
1 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
1 (out of 1) standard half pint
The Friar (Arkells), New Marston (15.v.1998)
1 (out of 1) standard pint glass
Cricketers Arms (Morland), Iffley Road (16.v.1998)
2 (out of 2) standard pint glasses
Royal Oak (27.v.1998)
2 (out of 2) half pints
The Blenheim, St Ebbes (27.vi.98)
1 (out of 1) standard pint

### 1342

Standard shape, plastic (spotted by Andy H)

### 1535

George and Angel, Crowland (4.ii.1999)
Straight pint glass (spotted by Paul Cherry)

### 1545

The Eagle Tavern (Free House), Magdalen Road (17.i.98)
2 (out of 4) straight half-pints
1 (out of 2) standard half-pint
The Red Lion (Greenalls), Islip (31.i.98)
1 (out of 2) straight half-pint
The Kings Arms (Youngs), Holywell Street (7.ii.98)
2 (out of 3) standard pint glasses
The Perch (Allied Domecq), Binsey (15.ii.98)
1 (out of 3) pint steiner
The George (Morrells), West Way, Botley (23.ii.98)
1 (out of 1) tall top-heavy half pinter
The Plough Inn (Courage), Clifton Hampden (14.iii.1998)
3 (out of 3) straight half-pinters
The Prince of Wales (Wadworth), Iffley (23.iii.1998)
2 (out of 3) standard pinters
Walter Mitty's (Morland), Osney Town (23.iv.1998)
1 (out of 1) standard pinters
2 (out of 2) standard half-pinters
O.X.One (15.iv.1998)
3 out of 3 straight half-pint glasses
Yates's Wine Lodge, George Street (27.vi.98)
2 (out of 2) standard pints
1 (out of 1) standard half-pints

### 2037

The Turf Tavern (Hogshead), Bath Place (vi.2000)

### 2043

(x.2000)
(Spotted by Colin Batchelor ``Bedroom''. He forgets where. It will come to him.)