Yard of ale

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This article is about the measurement of beer known as the yard. For other definitions, see Yard (disambiguation).
A yard of ale

A yard of ale or yard glass is a very tall beer glass used for drinking around 2 12 imperial pints (1.4 L) of beer, depending upon the diameter. The glass is approximately 1 yard (0.91 m) long, shaped with a bulb at the bottom, and a widening shaft which constitutes most of the height.[1]

The glass most likely originated in 17th-century England where the glass was known also as a "Long Glass", a "Cambridge Yard (Glass)" and an "Ell Glass". It is associated by legend with stagecoach drivers, though was mainly used for drinking feats and special toasts.[2][3]

Drinking a yard glass full of beer as quickly as possible is a traditional pub game; the bulb at the bottom of the glass makes it likely that the contestant will be splashed with a sudden rush of beer towards the end of the feat.[citation needed] The fastest drinking of a yard of ale (1.42 litres or 2.50 imperial pints) in the Guinness Book of Records is 5 seconds.[4]

Description

The glass is approximately 1 yard (0.91 m), shaped with a bulb at the bottom, and a widening shaft which constitutes most of the height. In countries where the metric system is used, the glass may be 1 metre (1.1 yd). Because the glass is so long and in any case does not usually have a stable flat base, it is hung on the wall when not in use.

History

The glass most likely originated in 17th-century England where the glass was known also as a "Long Glass", a "Cambridge Yard (Glass)" and an "Ell Glass".[5] Such a glass was a testament to the glassblower's skill as much as the drinker's. John Evelyn records in his Diary the formal yet festive drinking of a yard of ale toast to James II at Bromley in Kent, 1685.

Yard glasses can be found hanging on the walls of some English pubs and there are a number of pubs named The Yard of Ale throughout the country.

Usage

Drinking a yard glass full of beer is a traditional pub game in the UK. Some ancient colleges at Oxford University have sconcing forfeits.[6] Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke was previously the world record holder for the fastest drinking of a yard of beer,[7] when he downed a sconce pot in eleven seconds as part of a traditional Oxford college penalty.[8]

In New Zealand, where it is referred to as a "yardie", drinking a yard glass full of beer is traditionally performed at a 21st birthday by the celebrated person.[9]

See also


References

  1. ^ Rabin, Dan; Carl Forge (1998). The Dictionary of Beer and Brewing. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  2. ^ "Yard-of-ale glass (drinking glass) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  3. ^ "The Yard of Ale : Our History". theyardofale.com. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  4. ^ The Guinness book of records 1999. Guinness. 1998. p. 60. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Suffolk Glass". suffolkglass.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  6. ^ Allan Seager (2004). A frieze of girls: memoirs as fiction. University of Michigan Press. p. 201. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Carbone, Suzanne (2003-12-03). "Spiffing leader? Just apply spit and polish". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  8. ^ Bob Hawke (1994). The Hawke Memoirs. Heinemann. p. 28. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/38850/turning-21-doing-a-yardie