Forget pole vault, javelin throw and shot put. This weekend, Fort Lauderdale’s all-out beer challenge will pit contestants against one another in games of “keg haul,” “giant beer pong” and “beer chug.”
Those are the sports on deck for strong-willed hopheads drinking for the gold during the Fort Lauderdale Craft Beer Sporting Games and Food Fest, an Olympics-style beer bash on Saturday, Nov. 4, in the city’s arty MASS District.
Some 24 local businesses and beer-industry teams will compete in the 21-and-older, winner-take-all contest, which will feature eight games. The competition will kick off with a relay race that includes a keg haul, beer balance, sack race, minicycle race and a warrior-jump obstacle. Other games? Try giant Jenga Giant, tug of war and something called “rock and roll joust,” an “American Gladiators”-style feat in which contestants smack one another off pedestals with padded sticks that resemble oversize Q-tips.
But having a tough beer gut and a stiff constitution for chugging ales is only half the battle, says Elizabeth Slowey, Craft Beer Sporting Games’ organizer. Physical fitness is crucial, which means burpees will be necessary before burping up all that beer.
“People think it’s just going to be all fun and games. Nope,” says Slowey, whose marketing and recruiting firm LiveWorkPlaySoFlo helped organize the bash. “We’ve been warning [competitors] that you just can’t be goofy and have fun. We need a gold medalist.”
Which is why only businesses and beer-industry pros will compete and not the public, adds Frank Barecich, the festival’s other organizer. Throwing back cold ones will be representatives from Bousa Brewing, Flagler Village Brewing, Holy Mackerel and Gulf Stream Brewing, along with Fort Lauderdale firefighters (IAFF Local 765) Delivery Dudes and the Gold Coast Derby Grrls.
Team names are appropriately alcohol-themed: Crooked and Demented Crew, Li’l Lebowski’s, the Cerveza Slayers. But this is an Olympics-style event, which raises the question: How will competitors be fined for doping violations?
“Uh, nobody will be asking that. So none of them,” Barecich says with a laugh. “We’re going to have a giant red Solo cup the size of a trashcan, and a Ping-Pong ball the size of a beach ball. That’s all people need to know.”
The competition, originally planned for September in a downtown park, was delayed two months due to Hurricane Irma, Barecich says. But MASS District affords more space, allowing organizers to add an International Village, an open-air market that will feature craft vendors. The drink-off’s participating breweries will also pour brews from a dozen beer tents. Agave Taco Bar (also competing), PDQ and Mellow Mushroom will provide food.
The Fort Lauderdale Craft Beer Sporting Games and Food Fest will take place 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in Fort Lauderdale’s MASS District, 820 NE Fourth Ave. Admission is free, but VIP costs $72 via Eventbrite.com. Go to the Facebook event page.
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