11 July 2024

Don’t lose your head, warn Trading Standards

Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards service is launching a new ‘Fair Measure Commitment’ to ensure customers don’t lose their head when it comes to enjoying a pint.

The campaign encourages local licensees to commit to delivering fair measure and to top up to the full measured pint if requested. 

Special beer mats will be issued to guide consumers enabling them to check if a pint is short. 

Consumers will be able to hold the beermat against the glass to get a rough idea of the quantity of liquid they have been served.

It comes following publication of a report by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute which indicated that, when sampled, 70% of the beer and wine sold across the country was being short measured.

Aberdeenshire Council was the only local authority in Scotland to support the national project and it was encouraged to report that initial local findings showed that Aberdeenshire licensed premises bucked the national trend.

Trading Standards and licensing officers are currently conducting visits across the region and, in addition to inspecting premises, may also conduct spot checks to test the quantities being delivered to consumers.


The campaign encourages local licensees to commit to delivering fair measure and to top up to the full measured pint if requested.


The Weights and Measures Act 1985 controls the prescribed quantities which draught beers should be sold in but there has always been a grey area over whether the head should be included as part of the pint. Industry body the British Beer & Pub Association says a pint should contain a minimum of 95% liquid and 5% head.

Your rights so you don’t ‘lose your head’:

•    You're entitled to a pint filled to the brim or the line if your glass has one
•    You should get at least 95% liquid
•    If you don't want up to 5% to be head, you can ask for a top up
•    If you're not satisfied, simply head back to the bar and ask for your glass to be filled up

Aberdeenshire Council’s Protective Services Manager Gordon Buchanan explains: “Our new initiative aims to increase consumer confidence among both locals and visitors to the area. Strictly speaking, a pint should mean a pint of liquid and drinkers are well within their rights to request a top up if they want. We would encourage customers to contact our Trading Standards service if they are sold a short pint and don’t feel confident to ask for a top up or if they get an unhelpful reaction when they do.”

You can contact the team by emailing