Too Drunk to Tell if the Bartender is Shorting Your Pint? Try This App

perfect pour
hoozone/Getty Images

“Hey, bartender!”

(Our speaker hiccups, belches, squints through one eye and slams a freshly drained pint glass down on the bar.)

“Lookie here, bartender. I’ve got an app on this here phone that’s guaran-TEED to piss you off.”

OK, so maybe that’s not exactly how that conversation should go. You should probably strive to adopt just the right tone when introducing your local bartender to this new app.

The new iPhone app, currently in beta testing, is called Pour Authority. It measures how much beer you’re really getting in that pint glass. Its goal is to fix the vexing problem of “beer shorting” and end the imperfect beer pour once and for all.

Making The World a Better Place — One Beer at a Time

“Is your pint really a pint?” reads the app’s description in Apple’s iTunes store, where it’s available as a free download. “Pour Authority is a fun and simple way to measure, map, share and catalog your beer pours.”

“With our Patent Pending technology, you’ll know right away if your 16 oz ‘pint’ is really only 12 ounces.”

Pour Authority doesn’t use fancy image recognition technology or complicated algorithms, app creator Craig Robertson told his hometown newspaper, The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. Instead, it uses old-fashioned geometry mixed with user-submitted information.

(By the way, we’re shocked — shocked we tell you — that a tech bro from Madison, Wisconsin, would engineer himself an app that’s centered around cereal malt beverages and whether he’s getting his fair share of them. That’s some quality American ingenuity right there. He’s disrupting the market, see? Who would have ever suspected that a university town like Madison would serve as an incubator for such an idea?)

Anyway, the app works like this:  

After you select a type of glass in the app — like a standard pint or a snifter or a stein — you’re supposed to line up your phone next to your beer. You compare the image on your phone to the glass of beer in front of you. You position a slider in the app to align with the beer’s surface. The app calculates how full your glass is.

https://vengefulmonkeygod.tumblr.com/post/159980021464

According to the app, 90% full or more is a “perfect pour.” More than 80% full is “OK.” Anything below that is “low tide.”

The app also features a map showing bar-to-bar data generated from all of its users.

Crowd-Sourced Quality Control and “Pour Shaming”

Wait a sec. “Bar-to-bar data?”

Oh, man.

Donnie, the guy who tends bar at your local Bennigan’s, is just gonna love this one. Yeah, Donnie’s gonna eat this up, just you wait.

Can’t wait to see Donnie’s reaction when you whip out an app to check if he’s pouring you a proper Bud Light.

“This app is crowd-sourced quality control,” app creator Craig Robertson chirped to The Capital Times.

Robertson, by the way, runs an “iPhone development consulting firm,” because of course he does.

Food & Wine magazine sees some promise in the app:

“In the same way that negative Yelp reviews can encourage a lousy business to clean up its act,” Food & Wine wrote, “if Pour Authority became popular enough to actually influence where people drink, crowdsourced ‘pour-shaming’ could theoretically make a bar more conscious of actually filling its glasses.”

Yes, that’s right. Pour-Shaming: The next big thing.

To his credit, Robertson doesn’t want people to start haranguing their bartenders.

He told The Capital Times that he doesn’t think bartenders are intentionally cheating innocent, unsuspecting beer drinkers. Some may simply be unaware that they’re shorting their customers, he said.

He thinks the good his app could do will outstrip any potential negatives.

“I don’t think it will be so catastrophic as people think,” he said.

Still, when you belly up to the bar at Bennigan’s and you whip out that app, it might be wise to keep your iPhone out of Donnie’s reach. Otherwise, it might be going for a swim.

Your turn: Would you download Pour Authority?

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He expects a full pint.