How to host the ultimate backyard beer Olympics

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    Summer is here, and there is nothing to help you stay cool quite like enjoying a few pints with your mates. To make the weekend day drinking even more fun, you can host a backyard beer Olympics. Beer Olympics are also the perfect event to host this Australia Day.

    This will give you and your guests something fun to do while you drink and encourage a bit of friendly competition. Try a few of these drinking games to ensure your beer Olympics is one for the books.


    Start by picking teams & countries

    Before the event, break into groups of 2-4 people and have your mates choose countries to play as during the games. Have everyone select a country besides Australia.

    This could be a country of their heritage, somewhere they have recently visited, or simply a country they like.

    Then, everyone can dress in their chosen country’s colours to distinguish them during the games. For the best results, you’ll want to have at least four even teams of two or more. Try to get a good mix of guys and girls on each team as well.

    Common beer Olympics country choices include:

    • Mexico
    • America
    • Italy
    • Vatican City
    • Jamaica
    • Hawaii
    • New Zealand
    • United Kingdom


    Stock up on the essentials

    Of course, you’re going to need plenty of beer to fuel your backyard beer Olympics, so head on down to the local bottle shop to pick up some favourites. Try to choose beers that are easy to drink quickly, like lagers. Save the IPAs and stouts for more relaxed drinking sessions.

    We recommend having your mates bring along their own preferred beers to help you save on costs. In addition to the beer, you’ll also need a large outdoor table you don’t mind getting messy, plenty of plastic cups, shot glasses, pong balls, and coins.

    Don’t forget prizes for the winning team! Cheap trophies from your local cheap goods store work perfectly. A healthy supply of paper towels will serve you well, as there will likely be many spills. Finally, have a large bin ready for all the empty cans, bottles, and cups.

    Equipment you will need:

    • Full deck of cards (54 cards)
    • Plastic disposable cups
    • Ping pong balls
    • Shot glasses


    Designated drivers rejoice

    If you have a few designated drivers attending your beer Olympics, this does not mean they have to miss out on all the fun. Delegate all non-drinkers as referees for the day. They have the overall say on the winners of each competition and can create rules (within reason) and dish out penalties to players that disobey the rules.

    Ideas of rules include:

    • No cheating in any game (a no brainer)
    • Spilling a beer
    • Breaking anything (glass, chair, table, hearts)
    • Losing or damaging a ping pong ball
    • Changing the music mid-song


    Beer Olympics game ideas

    In order to get a winner at the end of the beer Olympics, it’s important that each game is scored based on the winning team, second and third. For a breakdown, Beer Is OK recommends using the following point distribution:

    First: 5 points
    Second: 3 points
    Third: 1 point

    In the event of a tie, the tied teams must take part in a tiebreaker. This can be a classic game of scissors, paper, rock. Or, have your referee make up a different game to decide on the winner (such as a quick trivia question or challenge).

    There are plenty of classic beer Olympics games out there, so be sure to include your personal favourites. Here are a few drinking game ideas to get you started:


    Beer pong

    In this classic game, players toss pong balls across the table into the opposing team’s cups. When a ball goes in, the opposing player must drink the cup and remove it from the game. The team to clear the other’s cups first wins. Sort teams into a ladder where each team continues to compete until you have the top 3 teams. Then, points can be distributed.


    Flip cup

    This game functions as a relay race. The first player chugs their beer (half a plastic cup) and then must flick their cup at the edge of the table to flip it upside down before the next player can start chugging. The first team to flip their last cup wins. If you only have a single table, have two teams battle it out at a time with onlookers timing how long each team takes to finish. Look at the finishing time at the end of all teams competing to work out first, second and third place.


    Slap cup

    Slap cup involves a big group of 6+ players attempting to bounce a ping pong ball into a cup. With two players attempting to complete the task at a time, once one catches up to the other, they can slap the player’s cup away and make them drink. Team members must be standing opposite each other. This game requires someone to watch over the table and take notes of who is drinking and how many. In the end, tally up the total drinking numbers for each team. The team with the lowest drinking number wins.

    Learn how to play slap cup »


    All for one

    This game requires some very large cups or buckets (or even some large salad bowls if that’s all you have). Each player on the team pours a full beverage into their respective cup. Then, each team delegates a team member to begin the game. After yelling go, each player must start to chug the large cup of beer as fast as possible. At any time, they may pass the beer to another team member who will continue to skull. Teams can pass the beer between members as many times as they’d like. The fastest team to finish their beer wins.


    Boat race

    This game is like flip cup, however, it’s a non-stop chug-a-thon without the need for the cup flipping. Have all players on each team grab a full beer and open it ready to skull. Starting with one player from each team, skull the beer as fast as you can. Once finished, hold the beer above your head, upside-down, as the next player then begins to chug. The fastest team wins.


    Case race

    This can be an ongoing game throughout your beer Olympics. Have teams keep track of their own drinks by having a specific case for each team. The first team to finish a case wins. This is usually a saving grace for players that have been performing badly during previous games (as they usually need to drink more).


    Keep track of the wins throughout the day and award the winning team at the end of the party. They’ll get bragging rights until the next beer Olympics, plus whatever prize you have chosen.

    Common beer Olympics questions

    Looking for answers to some common questions? We’ve compiled a list of our most commonly asked questions about creating a beer Olympics party below.

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