“Magna Pinta”

As we celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta this month, why not raise a glass of your favorite tipple in honor of the Great Charter, for one of the fundamental rights enshrined therein was the creation of a standard measure for wine, ale, and other essential products. Specifically, clause 35 of the charter states: “There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn … throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.” According to this fascinating report by Jon Stone, the now standard pint of beer can thus trace its historical origins to the Magna Carta.

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