6th Annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics

Monday, August 11, 2014

A few weeks ago, we hosted our annual Invitational Beer Olympics - our sixth!- and it was another fun, hilarious, and awesome year.  I will say it again and again:  we could not host this event year after year if it wasn't for the generous and dedicated participants that set up, donate, play, and clean up that weekend.   (thank you guys so much).

We kept our participant list to a max of 32 people to give us eight teams of four.  This is our ideal number so that we have even competition brackets and still a manageable group; more than eight teams gets too be too difficult to keep everyone focused.

We were lucky to have The Hunting Daddies co-sponsor our event and purchase the kegs for the day, so that allowed our participating fee to be lower in price this year.  The Hunting Daddies were also the inspiration for our donation this year which the event raised $572 for Hunt of a Lifetime; an organization that arranges and pays for dream hunting and fishing trips for children with life threatening illnesses.

If you're solely here to see a highlight reel of all of the days' awesomeness and why you should host one yourself (or wish you came to ours! hah), please check out this amazing recap video created for us by Anchored Films of this year's events.  (Thank you, Anchored Films!)

6th Annual Invitational Highlights from Anchored Films on Vimeo.

Now, if you are sufficiently pumped up about our event and would like to learn more - read on for a more in depth look about our event and games...

The day started as all Beer Olympics do; players and refs arrive to set up their pot luck contribution (roasters, salads, cookies, slow cookers line our garage walls) and then they get signed in with their participation fee, receive their tshirt, and sign our accident & release waiver.

After getting checked in, participants ease into the day by catching up with each other and playing a casual game of Sloshball in the yard (kickball/baseball but with beer). While the players are involved with Sloshball, the refs and I organize the teams for the days event - keeping only last year's champion team as the same.  Our reigning champs this year was Team Joker. 

This year, we decided to try something a little different; in the weeks leading up to the Beer Olympics, we chose 7 confirmed participants as Tributes that would not be placed on a team, but rather be up for selection through an auction prior to the start of the games.  Our Tributes were selected for their years of veteran beer olympic experience and special skills.  Each Tribute would be an asset to have on any team, but could bring a special talent to teams that might have been lacking a particular component like fast chugging, agility, or team motivation.  

On the day of Beer Olympics, teams of three were announced and then we had our Tribute auction.  Tributes were announced one by one along with their skills and an opportunity to show off their talents.  We obviously had selected entrance themes for each of them too - hahaha.  Teams had the opportunity to spend up to $15 dollars ($5 from each participant) to purchase tickets to place in Tribute bags for a chance to have them join their team.  

One by one, our tributes were auctioned off to teams until each team had a total of four players.  Team facepaint and hairspray were applied and it was time to get the games started!

Our first event is always a Beer Pong Tournament.  The first game is played like regular beer pong (house rules) and the winners move on to a winner's bracket while the losers from each first game move onto a loser's bracket for the next round.  

Every year, Beer Pong has taken a huge amount of time up for our event, so we decided that after the first round of Standard Beer Pong, we would play subsequent rounds using the Hungry Hungry HipPong version of the game from College Humor.  This decision turned out to be a big success and also kept the Beer Pong event to a more reasonable time frame.

Following Beer Pong, we play Dingbat relay which is always hilarious.  The game is played relay style with each player of a team chugging a beer than spinning around six times before (attempting) to run around a post to tag their teammate.  We were too busy filming Go Pro footage of the Dingbat relay to take any actual photos (see highlight film above)!

Following Dingbat relay, we play Do or Die Ice Cube Tray Canoe Race Tournament.  This is a funny event as some players don't mind it at all (and excel at the task!) while other players absolutely hate this event.  The first round of play is with an entire Ice Cube tray filled while subsequent matches are only filled with one row of the tray.  Only winners move on to the next round.

Next in the day's event line up was an opportunity to receive a few extra points for your team if you hadn't done so well yet in the games.  We offer a chance for each team member to participate in a keg stand (upside-down and right-side up) for +3 points to be added to your team score for each teammate who could successfully complete a keg stand (Boys for 7 seconds and Girls for 5 seconds).  --Our keg stands run out of a real live tap system (not a pumper) so the beer comes out fast which is why our keg stands are set at those times--  Drinkers are held up for their keg stands by other players while a ref counts aloud and another person operates the tap system.

Following the Keg Stand challenges, we go straight into Slippy Cup that is played in four heats.  A representative from each team plays in a heat:  drink, flip cup, slide down our slip n' slide, then drink, and flip another cup.  (The key for documenting who finishes in what order is to have the players sit down as soon as they successfully flip their second cup).

We finish out the first half of the day with the same event every year; Anchorman.  Each team receives a pitcher of 2quarts of beer and has to finish the whole pitcher.  Each team member takes a drink and passes the pitcher to the next player.  Once the pitcher is passed, it cannot be passed back; leaving whatever is remaining in the pitcher for the 'Anchorman' (last teammate) to finish themselves.  

After an intermission in which everyone fills their bellies with carbs and other delicious food contributed by the players and refs - we get back to the games and ease back into the evening portion of the day with a standard Flip Cup tournament including winners' and losers' brackets.

Our next event is a player favorite; Bong Races which are played as a Do or Die tournament.  Our QuadBongs were diy-ed by Brandon's dad using PVC pipes, plastic tubes, and wood (all purchased at a local home improvement store).  We've used our QuadBongs in all 6 Beer Olympics!  (Ref tip:  Have players step back and put their hands behind their back when they finish to help decide winners easier).

This year, for our 8th event, we played (our first time) Survivor Flip Cup which turned out to be a great addition.  Although we play multiple versions of Flip Cup throughout the day, it is always a good game as it seems to be an equalizer for all players; those that can drink a ton and those that can't.  Thanks to the Canfield Beer Olympics for the inspiration for the game!!  We had a representative from each team play at a table (8 players, each from one team, at a table that played flip cup all at once); last one at the table to drink & flip was 'kicked off the table and another round started - until there was only one player left at the table who received the most amount of points.  This was a game that made it possible for one team to win a huge amount of points if they were able to have a team member make it to the final round on each table!

Things at this point are fairly hazy for all the participants.  Dance parties explode out of nowhere...people are adding chili, nacho cheese, heaping piles of onions, and Doritos to top their hot dogs & sauerkraut, and it takes a lot of effort to get anyone's focus to the game at hand. 

We give the teams one last chance to get some extra points before the final event with Chug Off Challenge.  Teams are able to challenge another team to a chug off and the winner receives an extra 5 points to their overall score.  

Finally it's time for our last challenge of the day - an obstacle course that involves all four teammates. We have changed up the obstacle legs over the last years and this year was no difference.  It included a 'tire run,' rolling down hills, a golf/frisbee section, and even a potato sack hop.  This event somehow always ends up happening after dark and this year my camera battery had run out.  So unfortunately no pictures!  The teams are ranked in order of speed and then given points based on their obstacle performance. 

Scores are then tallied up and nominations for the awards ceremony finalized by the refs while the rest of the participants continue to eat, drink, and be very very merry (ie. dance parties, spraying each other with water bottles and laughing hysterically until they literally fall to the ground). 

Our awards ceremony is always hysterical and received with immense amounts of enthusiasm.  It's a known fact that everyone likes to be recognized and we hand out awards for all kinds of skills, talents, and mishaps that were observed during the day.  Our awards range from 'Crybaby' (biggest whiner to the refs) to 'Puke n' Rally' (first to throw up but keep playing), to 'Shark' (someone who doesn't look like a competitor but sneaks up on ya), to 'Zophagus' (fastest chugger).  Our highest awards include "MVD: Most Valuable Drinker", "Rookie of the Year," and this year we included "Tribute 2015 Nominations" for participants who displayed superior performance throughout the day.

After the awards are distributed, teams are then announced by ranking; beginning with our last place team up to our first runner up team until...finally we blast Queen's We Are the Champions on the stereo to announce our new Beer Olympic Champions for 2014:  Team Olaf  (congrats Team Olaf!) in which they receive the first sips from our Studer Torpedo and the chance to defend their title as champions at the 2015 Beer Olympics.  

Before photo:  Team Olaf

After photo:  Team Olaf and the Studer Torpedo
Here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky
of a day called Beer Olympics:
It is all about the friends, charity, and laughs.

if you don't have those things - you won't have a successful Beer Olympics.  And we have been lucky to have those things (and people that understand those things) for six years running.  Thank you all so much for making Beer Olympics one of our absolute favorite days of the year.


  1. After following your Beer Olympics for so long, I am trying to convince my husband that we should host our own next year. I am envious of that backyard though!

    It looks like so much fun (and hard work!)

  2. You've inspired me and my husband to host our own annual beer olympics. We love it and so do all our participants! We donate our proceeds to Autism Speaks as my 5 yr old son has Autism. One problem I have though is having a good donation amount after paying the cost of throwing the party. After beer, food, shirts, game supplies, table and chairs rentals, and all the little extras that add up, there isn't much left for us to donate. We try to reuse game supplies but most of them get trashed during the games. We usually have around 30 people attend and charge $30 each so it's not a lack of participation. Do you have any suggestions? I was considering asking companies to donate their services or just cash sponsors. Is this something you think would work? If so, what would be the best way to approach these companies? Thanks for your help!

    1. that's awesome that you guys host your own and donate the proceeds!! I definitely know the feeling that it is hard to get something that feels like a great donation after everything gets paid for. This past year, with the beer being donated by an organization and then the opportunity for participants to throw in extra money for the tribute auction - we raised the most money for a donation than we had in any other previous year. Confession: we also keep any Solo cups that aren't cracked from year to year - we just hose them out the day after and let them dry in the sun and then save them for the next year. At this point I have about 200+ Solo Cups in my attic that only come out for Beer Olympics - hahaha! I definitely think having organizations (or someone?) help contribute toward the cost of something (beer, shirts, etc) is a huge help. You could also 'auction' off things for the participants like extra points, or a head start in a game, etc. Keep up the great work!

  3. I would say have people bring chairs and tables instead of renting. Many people have tailgating chairs and people usually have an extra table. If it something you plan on continuing but one table a year and keep borrowing until you have a full arsenal! Do you have your participants bring food to potluck? I am one of those individuals that like to plan and do everything, however I have found with this is is vital to delegate!

    1. yes we have potluck food - all the players and observers bring a dish of their choice (main course, side, dessert, drinks, or even breakfast food for the day after!) We also have all the tables that we need for the event games (four) and we use our garage counter tops as the food tables for the day. We encourage people to bring tents and sleeping bags to stay over too for safety measures!

  4. Could you please tell me where you got the super torpedo?? I can't find one anywhere!