Australian Beer Sizes | Dave's Pub Walks

This week we look at Australia’s Beer Sizes


There is nothing more embarrassing than being in another state and ordering the wrong beer size. If you walk into a pub in Melbourne and order a middy, it’s a sure-fire way to mark yourself as an outsider. It is very disappointing when ordering a pint in Adelaide and getting a 425ml glass back.

Australia has one of the most confusing beer glass sizes of anywhere in the world. Why? Because our beer glasses change state by state. Unlike some more developed beer drinking nations the Australian Government never had the foresight to standardise our beer glasses. In the U.K for example, pubs were until recently only able to serve beers in pints, ⅓ pints and ½ pints. Craft Breweries like Brewdog led the charge in getting the ⅔ pint (425ml) serve approved. They thought the serving was a better size for their higher alcohol styles. Traditionalist were not to impressed to see the Aussie Schooner make it’s way to the motherland.

Australia’s conversion to the metric system also saw our beer sizes change and also led to the confusing system or lack there off we have now. So here is our simple guide to ordering beers in our capital cities to make sure the local bar flies don’t laugh at you.

The beer sizes above are just the most popular sizes in each city. But we couldn’t talk about our beer sizes without a few honourable mentions:

Honourable Mentions

Schmiddy 350ml – Sydney

The Schmiddy is the bastard child of the Schooner and middy. It’s bad reputation is due to the fact it is normally found in swanky city bars who use this size to replace schooners while still charging schooner prices.

Butcher 200ml – Adelaide

Once the size of choice for the old blokes down the end of the bar who were probably sitting there all day. The Butcher was meant for long term sessions were one needed to pace themselves. It is now finding a new life in Adelaide’s craft beer bars and a great tasting size or for higher alcohol beers.

Pony 140ml – Multiple Cities

Another relic of the drinking culture of yesteryear the pony was a dainty little glass for a proper lady to drink her beer in a more ladylike size. Much to our approval these days a lady can drink whatever size glass she wants.


Now that you have have all that under your belt you should be set to order a beer without hassle this land over. So just remember to stay away from those damned Schmiddies.


Author Liam Pereira

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