3 Athletes Who Were Famous for Drinking A Hundred Beers in A Single Sitting
Cold ones, and the cracking open thereof, are a central form of relaxation that goes back deep into human history. From the early moments that man evolved the capability for crushing, general dread, we were hard at work making some sort of magic beverage that would shut that off for a minute. Of course, alcohol is not exactly a victimless liquid. Some people are more than capable of responsibly enjoying a reasonable serving of suds, while others can develop a horrible, debilitating dependence on the stuff and its higher-proof cocktail cousins.
Weirdest of all, though, are the few and far between that seem to be able to drink more than any sort of reasonable stomach or liver should allow, while also achieving not only fame, but against all odds, fame in a physically demanding field like athletics. Who knows if it’s the same top-notch biological makeup that lets them perform at a much higher level than your average person that also somehow processes alcohol at a rate deserving of concerned applause, but there’s definitely a trio of athletic specimens who Budweiser should spend some time studying. In particular…
Andre the Giant: 156 Beers
When people call you The Giant, nobody’s going to be surprised when you can put more than a couple away without too much muss or fuss. But even among the annals of massive men, Andre the Giant’s beer consumption was massive enough that it would have Homer Simpson gently asking if he wanted a cup of water or two. Even keeping in mind that we are talking about someone who weighs in at 7-foot-4 and 520 pounds of pure French mass, when you try to wrap your head around the idea of drinking 100 beers, and then continuing on to drink half of that again, it starts to raise genuine scientific questions. We’re barely even in the realm of blood alcohol content anymore, and running up against concerns based on pure volume. I mean, that’s pushing 15 goddamn gallons of beer. If I tried to drink 15 gallons of water in one sitting, I’d pop like a microwaved Peep.
Yet, somehow, Andre found a place to put it all, according to Mike Graham on an episode of Legends of Wrestling, with two other panelists seeing the disbelief coming and verifying the story themselves. Giving it further credence is the fact that 156 doesn’t seem to be too incredible of an outlier for Mr. The Giant. The other story that often floats around is of the time he put down 119 bottles and/or cans of beer in just six hours, before passing out in a hotel lobby, where no one was able to move him. Eventually, his fellow partiers shrugged and tossed a piano cover over him while the big man slept it off.
Wade Boggs: 107 Beers
Wade Boggs is an absolute baseball legend. We’re talking about a man who is a 12-time All Star, a World Series winner and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Weirdly, though, maybe one of the most persistent achievements Boggs is known for, especially when swapping stories around a sports bar table, had absolutely zero to do with baseball. Instead, it was the legendary amount of hopped refreshment that Boggs could crush over the course of an airplane ride. The number floats a bit, with the most common tales of a Boggs plane binge clocking in between 50 and 70 beers. You know you’re talking about a truly insane level of drinking when 20 beers is your margin of fucking error.
It’s such a beloved barfly tale that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s famously soused characters decided to attempt to break the record in the plot of an episode, and to their surprise, Wade Boggs was down to make a cameo. Charlie Day has recounted the story and has mentioned that while passing the time with Boggs on set (who was, of course, crushing beers whether the camera was on or off), Boggs gently let him know that the real record was 107 beers. God bless the poor soul stuck next to him in the aisle seat, because the man must have been treating that airplane bathroom like a driveway that needed powerwashing.
Sure, people have pushed back on Boggs’ own 107-beer number, and if there’s one record you might not remember clearly, this is definitely it, but also: He’s Wade fucking Boggs, man. Who are you?
Bill Werbeniuk: 76 Beers
Whether it’s wrestling or baseball, with the exclusion of perhaps Stone Cold Steve Austin, these are sports in which alcohol is not part and parcel with their day-to-day play. The game of snooker, on the other hand — or as most Americans know it, “Oh, that’s not pool…” — is a different case. Unsurprisingly, sports plucked directly from pubs like snooker and darts tend to carry the heavy drinking aspect right into the arena. Snooker and darts players, especially in the olden days, had livers as unshakable as their hands, and players have been, on rare occasion, known to fall off-stage drunk in the middle of a match. (The Mitchell and Webb Look’s recurring snooker commentators lean into this.)
But if we’re looking at beer quantity, the man who rises head and suds above everyone else is Canadian snooker player Bill Werbeniuk. Deservedly known as “Big Bill,” Werbeniuk weighed in at 280 pounds, thanks in good part to the dozens of beers he put down before, during and after his snooker games. Maybe the most impressive thing here is not the numbers, where Boggs and Andre the Giant have him beat, but the fact that the 76 cans of beer in question were put down during a single, officially sanctioned match.
Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, Werbeniuk had his own share of health issues, and passed away in 2003 after some notably rough years. But hey, when he was up, he was up. And he might still be the only professional athlete ever to successfully write off beer as a business expense.