Hosting A Homebrew Olympics

The Olympics are here! Even better, the Summer Olympics! That means warm weather, cold beers, and for most if not all of the country, an ability to go outside without a big puffy jacket. This alignment of time and tradition make it the perfect opportunity to host your own Olympics. Homebrew Olympics that is.

Grab some friends this August, and battle it out in a series of events that will challenge your brains, your ability to hold your beer, and go for the gold. Here is a guide to setting up your own Homebrew Olympics contest and a few event ideas as well.

Hombrew Olympics Overview

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Next week the Olympics will be in full swing, so if you want to join in the fun but aren't quite of an athlete enough to have made it to Rio this year that's okay. You can have a contest of your own. Here's what you'll need:

  1. Lots of Beer, Preferably Homebrew: The events at any beer Olympics party will require beer to be consumed at some point and sometimes in large quantities. If all the attendees chip in some craft beer or homebrew, that will help the host quite a bit in setup expenses. Session ales are a great call in this case. Remember that if the beer stops flowing the events can't continue, so plan on having more than you think you need to avoid running out.
  2. A Plan of Events: Know what events you'll have and make sure you have everything you need to run them. Need cups? A Pinatta? Blindfolds? Make sure it's on hand. Also think about a multi-day event to spread out heavy drinking, having some events one weekend and the remainder of events and "closing ceremony" the next weekend. This can also help with potential beer shortages.
  3. Prizes? Do you want to give out prizes for winning? They don't have to be anything of real value. Maybe a recipe kit if the attendees all brew beer, or an empty beer bottle spray painted gold Silver and Bronze for event winners, and a bomber or 750ml bottle spray painted for the overall winners? The more you put into your homebrew Olympics the better memory it will be, and it may even become a friends and family tradition.
  4. Pre-Determiend Points System: There needs to be a way to decide an overall winner as well as individual event winners. If you can't think of one, 5 points for Gold, 3 points for Silver, and 1 point for Bronze will do.
  5. Teams: Based on the events you play, you'll want to have some teams set up. If you have a lot of guests attending, larger teams can spread the drinking out enough so that everyone gets a good buzz, but doesn't get extremely sick (not fun anymore).

homebrew for the homebrew olympics

Now that you have the basic needs down, feel free to build upon them based on your tastes and unique ideas. Now let's go over a few games and how to score them to crown a winner.

Hombrew Olympics Events

Any drinking game can be turned into an Olympic event once you apply some points to it, so don't feel limited by what's in this list.

Opening Ceremony

For the opening ceremony, you'll need a pitcher for each team. For each team member you pour one beer into the pitcher. When the game starts, you chug from the pitcher until you can drink no more or are slowing down, at which point you pass to your teammate to take over. The pitcher is passed around until the beer is consumed. First team to finish their pitcher wins.

Egg Toss

Simple enough, you need some eggs, and sure hands. Having this event earlier rather than later, may be helpful since more fine motor skills are needed, and if it's over in one round, it's not very fun is it?

This requires two players per team. if you have 4 players on teams, you can give two players a rest, or send two pairs in to go for the gold. Every team lines up a certain distance from their teammate and tosses the egg. If the egg breaks, you're out. If it doesn't, you take a step or two back, and drink some beer. Each team tosses their eggs again. This is repeated until there is a winner.

In the event of a tie for 2nd or 3rd place: A chugging contest must commence. After all someone has to win each medal. There's no sharing in homebrew Olympics. Each player in the tie starts chugging a beer at the same time. The first team with both teammates to finish wins the tie.

Beer Pong / Beirut

One of the most classic and well known games of all time. You'll need a table, and some Solo cups and a ping pong ball. You can play this with teams of two, or head-to-head. Set up a tournament bracket. Create pyramid of cups (filled with some beer) on each end of a table (4 closest to you, then 3 in the next row, 2, then 1). Each team takes a turn trying to land a ping pong ball in an opponents cup. If it does, the opponent must drink that cup. The first team to run out of cups loses.

There are several rules variations to this, so if you've payed it before, go with what you know. If not, here are a few optional rules. Pick and choose as you see fit. You can use ping pong paddles, or toss the ball by hand. You can require the ball to bounce once before landing in a cup for it to count. You can include a rule that allows the defending team to hit the ball out of the way if it bounces off the rim of a cup. You can give each team a certain number of "re-shuffles" which require the other team to set their remaining cups back into a pyramid. All of this is up to you.

BJCP Trivia

beer trivia

You'll need a printed out copy or two of the BJCP style guides. You can cut out all of the in depth stuff and just leave the basic style info. One or two players (from different teams) must volunteer to read a style to the players. One volunteer will read the style and the other will look for who raises their hand / signals first. Each team will elect a speaker who will raise their hand, when their team knows the style.

If your team answers incorrectly, you're team must drink. If you're team answers correctly, you get 5 points, and each other team must drink. This can go for as many rounds as you see fit. Five to seven rounds will keep things fresh before getting stale. Ties of course, are solved via chugging contest.

Note: This is a great time to have some snacks out since everyone is sitting, or at least congregated in a more organized way.

Four* 1/2 Beer Relay

It's time to get honest with your team. How drunk are you? And how much more can you handle? Because answering those two questions correctly can make or break your homebrew Olympics team this round.

Each team lines up players  roughly 50 feet apart from each other. At each teammate's standing spot a number of half beers equal to their spot in the relay. For example the first person running will have one half beer. The second person will have 2 etc. At the start, the first player running on each team chugs their half beer, then runs to the next teammate. At this point, BOTH the first runner and the second runner chug a half beer. Once both teammates have finished their half beer and run to the third person. Again all teammates at that leg of the relay drink, and run to the next leg. At the last leg, all teammates chug a half beer and run back to the start. The first team back wins. This is why the player with the most drinking endurance should go first, as they have to drink each round and run.

*It doesn't need to be four players. It will be as many legs as you have teammates.

Closing Ceremony

Everyone has a nice big bottle of water, the points are tallied, and trophies awarded (if you have them) for events and overall scores. Remember to make sure no one will be trying to drive themselves home and has sleeping arrangements at your place or a designated driver. Have a safe and fun homebrew Olympics everyone!

What are some of your favorite games to play that could be one of the events?

by David Doucette
David is a full blown fermentation enthusiast who has dedicated much of his free time to learning and sharing the art of homebrewing. He's spent several years documenting and writing homebrewing information on his blog Hive Mind Mead. He's written over 60 articles between Homebrew Talk and Homebrew Supply.


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beer trivia

written by David Doucette

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