In Britain, a schooner is a large sherry glass. Sherry is traditionally served in one of two measures: a clipper, the smaller measure, or a schooner, the larger measure, both named after the sort of ships that brought sherry over from Spain. The schooner name was more particular to Bristol, to where most sherry was imported, stored and bottled. It is usually served on its own.
Newcastle Brown Ale is traditionally served in a 1⁄2 imperial pint (284 ml) glass called a schooner, or 'Geordie schooner'.
In all Australian states other than South Australia, a "schooner" is a 425 ml (15 imp fl oz), or three-quarters of an imperial pint pre-metrication.
It is the most common size in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory, although it is known in other states. Some hospitality venues in Western Australia are going through a process of "schoonerification", whereby the previous culture of drinking by pints has been changed with vessels of schooner size to allay increasing costs to venues and with encouragement from the state government to curb binge drinking.
In South Australian pubs and clubs, the term "schooner" refers to a glass with a capacity of 285 ml (10 imp fl oz) (known as a "pot" elsewhere in Australia, and a "middy" in New South Wales and Western Australia. These were half an imperial pint, pre-metrication).
There is no legal definition of a schooner in Australia, the volume of beer served depends on the venue. A calibrated 425 ml glass may be used and filled to the brim, resulting in a "schooner" of 375 ml of beer and 50 ml of froth.
Canada and United States
In Canada, a "schooner" refers to a large capacity beer glass. Unlike the Australian schooner, which is smaller than a pint, a Canadian schooner is always larger. Although not standardized, the most common size of schooner served in Canadian bars is 946 ml (32 US fl oz); the volume of two US pints. It is usually a tankard (mug) shaped glass, rather than a pint-shaped glass. It shouldn't be confused with Schooner Lager, which is a regional brand of beer found only in the eastern maritime provinces of Canada.
In the United States, "schooner" refers to the shape of the glass (rounded with a short stem), rather than the capacity. It can range from 18 to 32 US fl oz (532 to 946 ml).