Beer Die - Bowdoin College, 1989
|Players||Two Teams of Two Players Each|
|Setup time||2 minutes|
|Playing time||15 minutes - 2+hours|
|Skill(s) required||accuracy, hand–eye coordination, reaction time|
|Material(s) required||Plywood, Solo Cup, Dice|
Beer die is a table-based gentleman's drinking game where opposing players sit at opposite ends and throw a die over a certain height with the goal of either landing the die in their opponent's cup or having the die hit the table and bounce over the scoring area to the floor. The defending team attempts to catch the die one-handed after it hits the table, but before it touches a non-table surface. The game typically consists of two two-player teams with each of the four players having a designated cup on the table.
There are three distinct attributes which define a beer die hurler: offensive, defense, and stamina. A good offensive player throws many legal throws and often will put pressure on the defense by throwing near the opponents cups and edge of the table. A good defensive player consistently catches routine throws, and often will snare "hot tosses." A player with good stamina is able to drink often over a period of many games without his or her game diminishing. When constructing a beer die team it is advantageous to bring different facets to the table.
Beer Die involves quick thinking, fast reaction time, precision throwing and awareness. However, most of all, Beer die requires a love for drinking with friends and a stomach that can handle it.
- To start, the eldest player shoots first. If a winner stays on, they have honors.
- Scoring is first to a pre-agreed upon number (usually either 5 or 7).
- All shots must be thrown above a predetermined height. Typically at least 6 inches above the tallest players head.
- All shots must land on the table.
- Only one hand may be used to catch, using two hands or 'trapping' is illegal and will result in a penalty.
- The defending team may never reach over the plane of the table while defending a shot. Doing so results in 1 point to the shooting team.
- If a throw hits the table but fails to go off the table, this is a stall and the offensive team takes a drink. If the die hits the opposing teams cup and does not go off the table it's a drink for the defensive team.
- The numbers '5' and '7' may not be spoken during the game. These numbers are now referred to as 'biz' and 'buzz' respectively. Any utterance of the actual numbers must result in a drink by the offending teams.
- Above all, the die gods ultimately decide the outcome of a game. Their decisions should be praised.
- A shot that is thrown high enough and hits the table, bouncing off the defensive edge without being caught is one point for the offensive team.
- A made shot, depending on the location of the game, can count as 0, 1, or 2 points. When made, both players on the hit side must finish and then refill their beers. This is called a "splooge" or "plunk" or "sink." In most locations a sink allows the throwing player to sign the table, forever engraining their name in the beer die lore.
- If a team "splooges" one of their own cups the game is over and the opposing team wins.
Each team will drink together and finish their beers together based on the predetermined number of drinks per cup (typically between 3-5). Drinking will then occur:
- Every time a player says the number 5 or 7.
- Each time a player shoots and misses the table completely.
- You throw the die and hit the ceiling.
- The opposing team throws the die and hits your cup (known as a "Plink" or "Body").
- The opposing team sinks your cup.
- You drop the die between tosses ("Sloppy Die").
The origins of Beer Die, often being the subject of debate, have and continue to be shrouded in uncertainty. The most recent research compiled by the Official Beer Die Fan Page has traced back the origins of the game to the University of Maine-Orono with the first accounts of the game played at the ATO house library in the fall of 1972. This crowdsourced project was conducted in February 2014 and is the only unbiased research conducted on this topic to date.