On Saturday, my husband and I hosted our first ever Beer Olympics, and now that the hangovers have subsided, I am confident it will go down as one of our best parties ever. How could it not? Combining our friends’ love of sports, drinking, and their willingness to believe they can still drink like they did in college was a recipe for sloppy success, although we definitely learned a few things along the way.
With two weekends left in the Summer Games, there’s still plenty of time for you to throw a Beer or Backyard Olympics of your own. As always, drink responsibly, and use these hints to help you along the way.
Want your Beer Olympics to go smoothly? Get as much planning done as you can in the days leading up to to it. Trust me, you will thank yourself later.
ðŸ…Pick your events
We chose six events for our games:
- Ice Cube Tray Relay
- Beer Plank
- Flip Cup Relay
- Beer Pong
- Beer Mile Relay
I’ll go over each event in detail later on, but now that you know what you’re doing, you can…
- Beer (or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice)
- Ping pong balls
- Clear solo cups (to judge whether or not someone is really done with their drink)
- Ice cube trays (3-pack for $2.31 on Walmart.com)
- Poster board
- Cornhole boards/bags
- Table for games
- Olympic-themed decorations (optional)
- Medals (optional)
Amazon Prime is your friend here, especially when it comes to decorations. We got a set of international flags, some cheap medals, and even a battery-operated torch for about $25 altogether. The torch is $9, and although we thought it was a splurge at the time, it ended up being totally worth it:
There was also an impromptu torch relay around the house after the events were over. Sadly, videos do not exist (although, given the state we were in, that’s probably a good thing).
Aside from the torch, the centerpiece of our party was the Olympic flag made entirely of jello shots (we substituted purple/grape for black):
Because we had enough to do already, we delegated this to our friends, asking five volunteers to bring a ring (20 shots) apiece. Sure, the assembly is a little wonky, but there’s no denying the finished product was delicious.
ðŸ… Split your friends into teams
Ideally, you want teams of four, but we had eighteen competitors, so we made six teams of three. Let each team pick a country to represent, and, if you assign teams in the days before the event, encourage them to dress up or make t-shirts. Our group is nowhere near that organized, so we just handed out different colored bandanas to each team. If you have friends who don’t drink or can’t participate for one reason or another, ask them to be referees, timers, and scorekeepers.
ðŸ… Make a scoreboard
Here was ours. Our referee decided to use a point system so that she simply had to write the place each team got in each round. The lowest score won:
(And yes, we know that’s not how you spell Djibouti.)
Note: All of these can be completed with non-alcoholic beverages; however, I do not suggest milk.
1. Ice Cube Tray Relay
Rules: Each person is given an ice cube tray to fill with beer. Using only one straw, participants must drink the beer from the tray until it’s empty (every square!). The fastest team to finish their trays gets first place. Two teams square off each round, but the fastest team overall wins.
Rules: I assume everyone knows how to play cornhole. If you don’t, I encourage you to go to some tailgates this fall. For our purposes, we changed it up slightly so that each team member got two tosses at a single board. Typical scoring applies, with three points for every bag in the hole and one point for every bag remaining on the board after each team member completed their tosses. The team with the most points gets first place. In the event of a tie, teams face off again with a single toss each to determine the winner.
Result: It started pouring rain at the end of this event, so we had to end it with four-way tie for third (which actually was written as fourth on the scoreboard, but oh well). Looking back, I wish we had thought of a more creative tie-breaker that could be done inside.
3. Beer Plank
Rules: Two members of each team must drink a beer through a straw while maintaining plank position (hands or elbows). The team with the fastest combined time wins.
A great time to refuel for the next rounds, take a break, or, enjoy your Olympic Rings of jello shots:
4. Flip Cup Relay
Rules: Again, you probably know how to play flip cup, but if you don’t, each team member fills their cup a fourth full with beer, drinks it, puts it down on the table and flips it over. First team to finish and flip all their cups wins. Two teams face off per round, with the fastest overall time taking first place.
Result: Flip cup is always a good time, and always goes quickly. If possible, don’t use a table with a beveled edge like ours…that made things tricky.
5. Beer Pong “Archery”
Rules: Another popular drinking game which we modified for our purposes. We only set up one pyramid of cups and gave each team member two throws. The team to hit the most cups wins. (No re-racks.)
Result: Beer pong (or Beirut as we called it at Davidson) is quite possibly my favorite drinking game of all time, and it translated well to to the Beer Olympics.
6. Beer Mile Relay
Rules: Each member of your team must drink a beer then run around the block (in our case, about a third of a mile). First team to have all team members finish wins.
Result: Yeah, this is where the wheels fell off. We based this event off a traditional beer mile, in which one person drinks a beer and runs 400 meters four times in a row until the mile is complete. We thought this would be a great final event to test everyone’s endurance, and well, I guess it did, because it left a lot of our friends puking in the yard. Looking back, it may be best to do this event first, or if you listen to some people in our group, not at all. (Personally, I enjoyed it.)
These six events are by no means the only options out there. I did a lot of research and other event ideas include:
- Dizzy Bat: Drink a beer, spin around a bat the number of seconds it took you to drink it, then have a friend throw the empty can so you can hit it with the bat. I’ve heard from friends who have done this that dizzy bat can be dangerous, and since I didn’t want to make everyone sign a waiver or deal with injury drama, we chose not include it.
- Slip ‘N’ Flip Cup: If you’re really ambitious, set up a slip ‘n’ slide in front of your flip cup table so that you have to slide down, get back up, then play flip cup. Sounds fun, but we don’t have that kind of space, nor did I want the inevitable slip ‘n’ slide bruises.
- Anchorman, quarters, or other any other drinking games.
Spotify has a surprising amount of Olympic playlists with anthems from every country, as well as the NBC Olympic anthem that’s been in your head since Friday (that’s officially called “Bugler’s Dream,” by the way). If your crew is still standing, present medals to the first, second, and third place teams and celebrate your achievements. In our case, that meant planning the winter version of the Beer Olympics, which will include sledding, shot skis, ice luge…
I’m getting ahead of myself. Go enjoy the games.