Social Question

YoKoolAid's avatar

Was it not unusual for bars to hold drinking contests in the 60's & 70's?

Asked by YoKoolAid (2424 points ) April 15th, 2012

My local radio station was taking calls from listeners reminiscing about the good old days when certain local bars would hold “Sink or Swim” nights that were basically drinking contests. Has anyone heard of bars doing this back then? or perhaps any older jellies have any personal experience they’d like to share?

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8 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Nope, never heard of such a thing. (US resident here in case that makes any difference.) While I didn’t reach the legal drinking age until the early ‘80s, the older siblings were. I’ve never heard them mention this practice.

Brian1946's avatar

Yessirree. I remember Marshall Dillon winning a drinkin’ contest at Kitty’s saloon in 1870. I think that’s how he got to be Marshall, but I could be wrong, because mah memory ain’t what it used to be: I won all the contests from 1860–1869, and from 1871–1879. ;-p

marinelife's avatar

There were drinking contests at bars all the time.

ro_in_motion's avatar

I have never heard of a drinking contest in the 70’s. There were fraternities and the like who did but I can’t think of a bar-sponsored contest. Since one of the possible effects of acute alcohol intake is, um, death, I think we can assume they were at a minimum. (Not so long ago, a woman died from acute water intake in a contest sponsored by a radio station.)

Earthgirl's avatar

I know they played drinking games and still do. God, one simple google attempt gives a plethora of games. I hated this when I was in college and still do. It’s sick to make a game out of becoming inebriated. My college was known as a “party” school so it was common. The sororities and fraternities were often guilty of promoting this, but were by no means the only guilty parties. Every generation has a new take on it, be it jello shots or whatever. I don’t understand the need or desire to get so drunk you can’t walk, talk or think,,,,the falling down drunk, puking kind of drunk…but hey, to each his own, right?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Oh in the 1960’s…. “Judy” drinking a guy twice her size under the table. Shots of Scotch and he did end up under the table. She still had a couple more drinks. I would mention the bar but I think they’re still in business.

ro_in_motion's avatar

@Earthgirl There are plenty of drinking games but I’ve never seen them done in bars that were sponsored by the bar.

Unless, of course, you want to count ‘Happy Hour’ as a game. ;)

Earthgirl's avatar

ro_in_motion I don’t think this would be tolerated now, but I remember the bartenders in my college bar getting on the mike and berating people because they were not drinking enough! The attitude was drink up or get out! I can understand they were a business and not a social club, but c’mon! Doing shots was one good way to get overly drunk and they had drink specials starting at 4 on Fridays. The weekend started early. The bar may not have actively sponsored drinking contests, but it certainly encouraged people to drink way more than was good for them. There were also contests that while they didn’t involve having to drink were enjoyable for watching other people’s drunken antics. I wasn’t a participant so I only vaguely remember from secondhand stories.

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