Drink : Australian Beer Sizes

Post Number: 193

Lion Nathan Australian Beer


We have come across a bit of confusion when ordering beers in pubs.  Our Victorianness first became apparent in South Australia when we were ordering beers during our Mount Gambier pub crawl.


“I’ll have a pint of West End thanks!”


The bar wench will start to pour the beer into a 450ml glass.


“Sorry – I asked for a pint.”

“This is a pint.”

“No, it’s a schooner…”

“No, it’s a pint…”


We felt like we were getting jibbed getting 450ml of beer instead of 570ml like we would in Victoria.  The confusion continued as we travelled through South Australia to Western Australia and found out that pots were called middies.  It was like we were speaking a different language!


We took it upon ourselves to find out all the different names for beer sizes so that when we cross the border into the Northern Territory and beyond, we wouldn’t make it obvious that we weren’t local.


Sizes by Volume

The most popular beer sizes in Australia include…

  • A jug, which is generally 1140ml or 40 fluid ounces and is designed for sharing with your mates.
  • A pint is generally a 570ml (20 oz) glass but in South Australia, it is called an Imperial Pint because they call the 450ml glass a Pint (weirdos).
  • A schooner is a 450ml (15 oz) glass, except in South Australia where it is called a Pint.  Schooners are usually served in New South Wales but also exist in Victorian or Western Australian pubs too.
  • A pot is served in a 285ml (10 oz) glass, but it has a variety of other names such as Half Pint, Middy, Handle or Ten.  This is a popular option if you are after a quick drink.


The smaller varieties like the 200ml (7 oz) and 140ml (5 oz) servings are less common.  We’ve seen them on the road when we buy a tasting paddle at a brewery and that’s about it.  The number of standard drinks for each beer size depends on the strength of the beer.


Beer sizes



Sizes by State

Here is a quick rundown by state of what beer sizes are called.



  • Horse or Pony 140ml
  • Small glass 170ml
  • Glass 200ml
  • Pot 285ml
  • Schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml


South Australia

  • Pony 140ml
  • Butcher 200ml
  • Schooner 285ml
  • Pint  425ml
  • Imperial Pint 570ml


Cartoon of a large ocker kangaroo with a pouch full of beer, burping.Western Australia

  • Shetland 115ml
  • Pony 140ml
  • Bobbie or Six (fl oz) 170ml
  • Glass 200ml
  • Middy or Half Pint 285ml
  • Schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml


Northern Territory

  • Seven 200ml
  • Handle 285ml
  • Schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml



  • Pony 140ml
  • Seven (fl oz) 200ml
  • Pot 285ml
  • Schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml


New South Wales / Canberra

  • Pony 140ml
  • Seven (fl oz) 200ml
  • Middy or Half Pint 285ml
  • Schmiddy 350ml
  • Schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml



  • Small beer 115ml
  • Six (fl oz) 170ml
  • Seven (fl oz) 200ml
  • Seven (fl oz) or a Pot 285ml
  • Fifteen (fl oz) or a schooner 425ml
  • Pint 570ml


Beer Glasses by Type

Let’s not forget that there is a special glass for the type of beer that you’re drinking.  Don’t ask questions, just smile and nod your head.


How to choose the right beer glass for your variety of beer



So there you have it – no excuses now!  If we’ve forgotten any sizes or if you’ve heard any other names for beer sizes around Australia, we’d love to hear it.  Chuck us a message via facebook or twitter!



6 thoughts on Drink : Australian Beer Sizes

  1. Phillis on said:

    First of all I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are generally wasted simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Thank you!

    • juz on said:

      Hi Phillis,
      Sometimes it is a struggle to get the words to come together just right. In those cases, you have to walk away, and by the time you return you might have a different point of view.
      Most of the time it does come easily as the articles almost write themselves. If all else fails, look to Hemingway – “write drunk, edit sober”…
      I hope that’s helped.
      Our Naked Australia

  2. The pint in SA is 450mL because it is the based on the USA pint(473mL). The English pint is (573mL) therefore in SA its called an imperial pint. Not weird at all really.CHEERS

    • Paul on said:

      Na man South Australia is weird with there beers. Also in Canberra I am yet to find a pub that serves anything other than a schooner! No pints here

    • Rum and school on said:

      Sorry but yes it is weird when it doesn’t match anywhere else in the country and instead is ‘similar’ but not the same as a size across the world

  3. Tim Curley on said:

    Middy’s schooner’s and Pint’s. Go NSW!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *