Wyoming Beer Drinkers Chug Their Way to World Championship
It's been called the "Greatest Beer Event You've Never Heard Of" and "Wyoming's Greatest Sport". Once again this year, a group of booze guzzling ski bums from the Cowboy State outchugged teams from all over North America to claim the 2016 Gelande Quaffing World Championship.
The annual event, now in its 9th year, was held earlier this month at Teton Village near Jackson, where the "sport" was invented in 1986.
This year's winning team, representing The Hostel in Jackson Hole, overcame last year's champion Quaffastafari and a host of "quaffers" from California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Canada.
The sport has come a long way after its modest beginnings three decades ago. Legend has it, Gelande Quaffing was born during a blizzard when a group of ski bums were stranded inside a local tavern and started sliding beer mugs down the bar to their friends.
Over the years, the game has evolved. Teams still slide, catch and chug beer mugs. In the later rounds, the degree of difficulty increases. Quaffers are required to catch mugs between their legs, behind the back, and while spinning in mid-air. Bonus points are awarded for creative "freestyle" tricks.
In the words of John Verdon, a member of the 2008 World Champions, "It’s a simple game, gelande quaffing. You throw the beer. You catch the beer. You drink the beer.”
Next year, organizers are planning a huge celebration to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Gelande Quaffing World Championships.