Washington, DC - Morgan Ray loves his beer, it's figuring out how much to drink that he has trouble with. "Twelve ounces, 16 ounces, a pint," mused the 39-year-old delivery driver from Queens, NY, "what does that stuff all mean anyway?" Today, the Beer Institute - the brewing trade association - thinks it has an answer.
Based on extensive research and careful scientific study, members of the Beer Institute have landed upon a new unit for measuring and selling beer - the Bladder. Based on the average capacity of the human bladder (500cc or 17oz), the Bladder will make buying a drinking beer a more intuitive process.
Jeff Becker, the president of the Beer Institute presented the Bladder at an event at the National Press Club on Sunday night. The assembled media seemed enthralled by the new measure. "Beer is one of the most ancient foods in the world," explained Becker, "as well as one of the most simple. It makes no sense therefore to use arcane terms like ‘ounces' or ‘liters' to measure or sell beer. But ‘bladder', now that means something to every red-blooded beer drinker in America."
Beer Institute members hope that by selling beer by the Bladder, drinkers will be able to pace themselves and anticipate trips to the restroom while they are drinking. "It just makes good sense," continued Becker, "aside from inebriation, the need to urinate is one of the most common side effects of drinking beer; so instead of hiding or ignoring that fact, why not celebrate and promote it with pride?"
Becker also pointed out that like the ‘measured mile' found on many roadways across the country, the Bladder will provide a tool for average Americans to test the capacity of their own bladders. This self-discovery aspect of the news seemed to strike a chord among the media covering the event.
Candy Sagon, who covers food news for the Washington Post (and who received an award from the Association for Food Journalists for her work) had this to say: "I think it is great. I mean, who really know how big their bladder is? Not me, that's for sure, but now I guess I can try to figure it out - which is important, right?"
As the evening's event wore on, many reporters were heard trading notes on the effectiveness of the new measure. Several were able to report that after drinking 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 7, 8 or 9 Bladders they evacuated their own bladders a corresponding number of times.
"It's wicked cool," agreed one editor who was too inebriated to clearly state his name, "I drinked 9 [bladders] and must have gone to the bathroom at least that many times."
The decision to use 500cc does leave the door open to some interesting new marketing opportunities for members of the Beer Institute. "In time, we can imagine selling the ‘Ladies Bladder', which would be slightly smaller than the Bladder we have introduced today," explained Becker. "If that happens as planned, we would be able to relaunch the Bladder as the ‘Man's Bladder' giving us some exciting new tools for demographically targeted products and marketing campaigns. I think your going to see some great things coming out of the Bladder very soon."