Glass of beer with overflowing foam
Food - Drink
Why Are American Beers Served In Smaller Portions?
Keen-eyed observers who have visited both Europe and America may notice that American beer bottles, cans, and glass sizes are smaller than their European counterparts.
This difference is owed to many influences over the decades, from changing industrial shipping standards to the temperance movement to latter-century regulations.
In 1910, before Prohibition banned alcohol, 12-ounce longneck beer bottles were the preferred size for exporting beer, starting an industry-wide trend of smaller bottles.
After Prohibition ended, which revived the beer industry that was previously in limbo, 12-ounce bottles and cans were adopted across the industry as the standard drink size.
The U.S. government continued to pass its own mandates about alcohol, and in the 1970s, they declared that the standard American beer size would now be 16 ounces (AKA a pint).
These regulations had little effect, and since the 1980s, 12 ounces has been the standard. Compare this to beer serving sizes in the U.K. (15 oz) and Germany (11.2 to 16.9 oz).