The fact that I’m writing blogs on weekends (on days when I’m NOT getting paid to do another job) is remarkable… I must REALLY care about this exceptional and groundbreaking blog series – the Ten Years of BeerFest.
If you missed reading about BeerFest IV (2012) yesterday, here’s that link, but if you did already, kudos to you for seeking out WCS content and let’s get right into 2013!
As I had mentioned, there was a lot of “Uh-oh, Taylor graduated… Is BeerFest dead?” speculation after 2012…
The thing is, I knew it could never run without me. I’m not being an asshole, it’s just the truth. There is an insane amount of time, money, energy, networking, unnecessary things (like this blog), that I do that no one else would consider doing. Maybe some people would do something similar, but I wasn’t going to hands the reigns off to someone who couldn’t do it as good – if not better – than me. Around 2013, I’d say things like “it would water down the brand.”
Listen, when you want something done right, you do it yourself.
But that was easier said than done… You see, in April 2013 I was DEAD BROKE, in the middle of taking my Series 6 & 63 exams (licenses to sell investment products) and about to start a commission only job, but that would only start in like June. So no paychecks until June, and I had started getting hit with Student Loans in December.
I was cashing out savings bonds I was given when was a baby. I was depositing rolled up coins I had collected from when I was a kid… I was THAT broke.
But BeerFest was a tradition, and some things are bigger than money*.
For the sake of me remembering anything, let’s toss the pamphlet out there and see what kinda stories that drums up, shall we?
Okay, so it looks like the Confederacy did come back, despite what I said yesterday… Oops! Maybe they came back but that one kid didn’t? Who knows (I’m so dumb sometimes).
I do remember we eliminated the 40 Hands event, as the year before, even though the Confederacy went on to win… Forcing any ONE human have to drink a 40, minutes before having to then drink a 36 ounce boot was… well, reckless. Luckily Pooh Bear did it the year before with no problem, but I thought if we kept that game going it would get messy. So we changed it to a shotgun race… and that ended up messy but in a totally different way.
The idea behind the shotgun race was simple. Have two guys (one from each team) shotgun against each other, whoever finishes first wins. Best of five. You get to choose who you want to play 1 through 4, never repeating a player. If it got to Game 5, you got to pick the other team’s player. The trouble with this game was that people leave varying amounts of beer in their cans and people spill while shotgunning… Those are just facts of
college life. I decided the best way to handle this was that only I could referee this event. I figured I’d be the fairest person to judge (I had disqualified my own team the year before), and people couldn’t argue with me THAT much, after all it was my party… If you don’t like my ruling, go play at someone else’s BeerFest!
But that was one big change from 2012 to 2013, we TRIED to fix 40 Hands, but you’ll see how that played out later.
You can also see from the pamphlet we had multiple play-in rounds since we had OVER 32 teams and we needed to whittle it down to 32 before the start. I gotta say, one story-line I remember from those play-in games comes from South Korea.
This team was made up of, truthfully some of my favorite people, and they chose to be South Korea in honor of their buddy, Kyung Money, who was actually from South Korea, but missing at BeerFest that year because he had to do his two years of required military service (wild). Not only that, one of the kids on this team, walked into the house with a Budweiser 30 pack – but the special edition American flag cans BEFORE THEY WERE RELEASED. His dad (or family?) worked at Budweiser and he brought with him a red polo with the Budweiser bowtie as well. He brought it as a thank you to me for hosting the party, and it stuck with me to this day right now. That was a great fucking feeling, because up until then, I kinda thought I was just self-serving throwing a party that I loved but that was the first time I really felt a “thank you” for throwing it – and it was his first year! Rocco, I may not have seen you since 2013, but you are the man. Hope you’re crushing it.
For me personally, 2013 was the first year I joined Team USA. I was living back home in NJ and got to “train” with Mikey Tay Tay a lot as we had nothing but BeerFest to focus on while in the “real world.” I’m not joking, Team USA trained so hard for Daas Boot that we TOTAL as a team could (potentially) have finished all four of our boots in under a minute. I remember we had a whiteboard at his old house in NJ, and we’d write our boot times – he, myself and Matty O. Our times were like 10.8, 11.8 and 16.3 seconds. When P’Okeefe showed up to train a week before BeerFest, we were nervous if he could do it fast enough… His first shot at it, he put down a boot in 28 seconds, and we knew we were fine. We trained to not just win, but destroy anyway – maybe anyone in the history of BeerFest. Hindsight is 20/20, but we MAYBE should’ve prepped a BIT more for, I don’t know, any other round?? (SPOILER ALERT: We didn’t make it past the 2nd round)
OMG TEAM NAUGHTY AMERICA. Holy shit is this story amazing. Ketch wanted to represent Naughty America as his “country” for BeerFest. I, as commissioner, allowed it because it was hilarious. He emailed the ACTUAL Naughty America website to ask them for permission to use their name on custom shirts he was going to make – and instead of giving him permission, THEY SENT HIM SHIRTS!! Like NaughtyAmerica.com, THE PORN SITE, sent him shirts! Hilarious! Their story at BeerFest was FAR from their only story, but I had to address that, because it was amazing.
Another ENORMOUS thing worth noting is that BeerFest finally got to meet Big Fudge. Who was Big Fudge? Well, at the time, he was a freshman swimmer (**cough** Loser! Just kitten…) who came and won the hearts of everyone he ever met… Especially us. His tenure started at BeerFest in 2013 and has never ended. We’ll see him on the 13th and, God-willing, he’ll finally move back into the WCS HQ!!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, wow, that one really got away from me. Maybe drinking a boot** while writing this post was a bad idea… Buuuuuuuut if you are reading this thinking that tangent was bad, then fuck you, you aren’t my target audience. The people who “get” me can keep reading.)
Let’s get to the performances themselves, because there are a few storylines I want to highlight.
First, let’s highlight what America did – it was quick. We won only 1 round, but one thing we always knew we always would win was quarters… We were obnoxiously good at it, so we always chalked the first round up as a win. So NATURALLY I put ourselves against whatever other team in the American bracket we didn’t want to see later in the tourney… Alex, Tyler and Brice – it’s a REAL shame I did this to you guys, but it had to happen.
Next, let’s go Naughty America. Ketch, Ron Swanson, Z & Lambe were on this team and it was E-LEC-TRIC. I remember that day hearing that they were still in it, like late in the tournament and I was like, “Oh shit! They could win it all!” Aaaaaaaand then came Turbo Quarters…
Turbo Quarters is literally the simplest game I can think of – bounce a quarter into a cup, when you make it, drink the cup. Pass the quarter to your teammate. Basically a two step process, right?
Well… Lambe at this point in the day was a puddle of a human. Actually, that’s an insult to both puddles and humans. He was on another planet. I had heard he was playing “chugsies” every time he say a certain member of Sanduskyland (the one who went on to become a doctor [pronounced “DOCK-TA”]) and no matter how much they had in their drinks, when they saw each other they’d finish their cups. Wellllllllll… maybe that did it!
Anyway, back to the story. The team had explained to Lambe SEVERAL times how to play. Lambe: “Ok ok ok, I got it.”
The game started, and the first two guys did their job – time for Lambe to bounce the quarter. But instead of bouncing the quarter, he just immediately drank his cup.
“No, no, no!! Lambe, you gotta bounce a quarter in first!” They slid him a new full cup and the quarter. Lambe, drunk as a skunk, looks down, hearing everyone yelling at him, GOES AND STARTS CHUGGING THE DRINK – WITHOUT BOUNCING THE QUARTER IN AGAIN!!
It was hilarious, it was a disaster, I couldn’t look away. Amazing. His day, and Naughty America’s, had ended… But not for lack of putting it all out there. He tried his damnedest, there was simply nothing left in the tank. Goodbye Naughty America!
The second story of three stories I want to highlight is South Korea versus Scotland in the Shotgun Relay. As I prefaced earlier, this was a lot of “egg on my face” in the sense that I had to referee a game that the losing team, no matter what, was going to be mad at me for. Again, hindsight being 20/20 – OOPS!! But at the time, it seemed like a cool game that at least would be less overall drinking than 40 Hands.
Surprisingly, it was pretty tame, with both teams stayed level headed with my decisions – who won based on spilling, who finished first, etc… It came down to a deciding Game 5 and Scotland took it. By making Game 5 a game where the opposing team could pick your shotgunner, it exposed South Korea. Scotland had a senior on their team who was playing for his FIFTH BeerFest (do the math quick and you’ll realize HE was the high school recruit from BeerFest 1) and he was the one to win this Game 5. Pretty awesome moment and that kid is now a Navy Seal. Beast.
#SupportTheTroops #Merica #BeerFestLovesAmerica #VetsOverIllegals
That last story takes us to Daas Boot (okay I fast forwarded but only because I forgot how Civil War played out).
Scotland won the Loser’s Bracket, and Kenya won the Winner’s Bracket.
Kenya was the same team as last year: two sisters, who were peanuts, and two pretty much normal sized guys… And guys, these girls were total babes but more importantly BEASTS at drinking games (obviously, I mean 3rd place last year and here they were again at Daas Boot).
To say their competition in Scotland was, well, BIGGER would be the understatement of the century. Scotland, in comparison, were huge guys. We were witnessing BeerFest’s version of David versus Goliath.
To start off the race, I remember the first of the sisters led off and she absolutely CRUSHED it. Probably like 30 or 40 seconds, she held it down and I was honestly baffled. HOW?! Looking at these girls and looking at the daas boots they were holding, I remember thinking “Where in their stomachs could they even fit that boot of beer??”
The 2nd guy on Kenya did his boot just fine, all good. On to the 2nd sister, she went at it hard but had to stop. She couldn’t finish – the look on her face told me. I knew that face. It was a “I can’t fucking finish this and if I do, I’m vom.com.” My brain immediately was like, “Oh shit, I can’t have this pretty girl puke in front of everyone… That’s the sort of thing nightmares are made of” (not for everyone but for the girl, I figured it’d be superrrrrr embarrassing). So after maybe a minute of her sister hilariously screaming at her “Come on ____, I could do it! You could do it!” (which, to be fair, was sound logic given that they were twins), I jumped in. I wasn’t going to have this chick – who admittedly I absolutely loved – be humiliated in front of everyone. I grabbed her boot, had her sneak off, downed the rest of it, and seemingly no one noticed that SHE didn’t and the race went on.
Now, while all this madness was going on, Scotland was taking their sweet time. They knew Kenya was struggling and they figured to take it nice and easy. Slow and steady would win the race.
Their biggest player was just completely full of beer. He had probably been their anchor in every event all day and he just hit his limit… And unfortunately for the people in the front row watching Daas Boot, he exploded.
— BeerFest (@Lourde_Taylor) July 9, 2013
Now, here’s the thing. I was caught in a shitty spot. One team had puked at Daas Boot and this had never happened before. In 5 years, this was the first time I had to implement a penalty. I decided 2 minutes would be added per puke (on the spot, I’m unsure if this rule was in place beforehand).
The problem was… Kenya didn’t even finish their boot – I finished that 3rd boot for them.
So there I was, front and center for the grossest thing in BeerFest history, wanting sooooooo badly to give Kenya the keg, but given that Kenya hadn’t even finished their boot, PLUS the fact that Scotland finished before Kenya did pretty handily, Scotland won the title.
This was the first year puking rules came into effect and (unfortunately) paved the way for future years, as apparently the first four years of being completely clean – in that sense – was an outlier.
When all was said and done, I remember hanging with Kenya after that BeerFest and wishing they had won. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy Scotland won, but the Cinderella story of these two girls who did so well at BeerFest TWO years in a row now (again, 3rd in 2012 & 2nd in 2013) would’ve been the sort of thing I’d never stop talking about.
It proved our tournament could really be won by anyone. You didn’t have to be Team Turkey with everyone over 6’5″, you could be a couple normal guys and two complete smokes… Well, they almost won it.
I know there are ABSOLUTELY other stories from 2013, but for the sake of me ever finishing this blog, I’m going to end with those. Between Naughty America’s origin story (AND ensuing hilarious, crash & burn) and Kenya’s unbelievable run to Daas Boot… and I guess even the “Boot at Daas Boot“, BeerFest V was a thing I’ll never forget.
At that point in my life, I had moved back to Syracuse and gotten a decent enough job, which meant BeerFest’s future was secure. I knew I’d be hosting it, in the same great attic, for the foreseeable future.
BeerFest VI was happening, and Monday we’ll take a look at the beautiful stories from 2014.
* = I understand, these types of things are easy to say when I know I have 3 brothers who would bail me out in a heartbeat, but it was still true to some regard. I hated asking for money because I was poorer than shit, it was embarrassing.
** = Most of these posts are written a day or so in advance. This one was written Saturday night, I did NOT drink a boot at 7am Sunday morning, don’t worry.