This was the movie that first introduced me to Das Boot (uh, the second) but according to the interweb, “Beer boots, or Bierstiefel, have over a century of history and culture behind them.”
The story goes that a general once promised that if his troops were successful, he would drink from his own boot; and to avoid having to follow through, he had a glass boot made instead. Whether or not beer is your drink of choice, Broken Lizard’s Beerfest is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the art of intoxication.
You may be asking why this is going up for St. Patrick’s Day and not Oktoberfest. WELL, this movie will teach you that Oktoberfest is for tossers and sheep-shaggers. The real drinking takes place at Beerfest – the most hardcore gathering of alcoholic athletes known to man. Brothers Jan (Paul Soter) and Todd (Erik Stolhanske) Wolfhause learn about this extreme annual competition when they travel to Germany, to honour the death of their grandfather. Soon they are forced to prove their worth amongst some of the most hardcore beer drinkers in the world, who have mastered the chugging of the boot.
Unfortunately, their grandfather (Donald Sutherland) is known to their German relatives as a thieving stable boy, who ran off with his mother – a ‘common Bavarian whore’ (Cloris Lechman). He also stands accused of stealing the greatest beer recipe Germany has ever known from the Wolfhausen family. Jan and Todd, certain that he never stole or brewed any beer, jump at the chance to defend his honour in Beerfest competition. Sadly, their American beer drinking skills are no match for their German ‘cousins’ – defeated, they are forced to return home.
It isn’t long before they decide to enact their revenge, by coming back and kicking ass at the next year’s event. Despite their humiliation, Jan and Todd are certain that with the right team & training, they can defeat their German competitors. As they begin to collect their team, we soon meet Landfill, Barry and Fink. Landfill (Kevin Heffernan) and Barry (Jay Chandrasekhar) will look familiar from another Broken Lizard favourite, Super Troopers.
The team assembled, Jan and Todd know that despite their elite drinking skills, they will face serious competition at Beerfest. Set up in a training facility, they set out for 11 months of preparation – including figuring out how to master ‘das boot’. If you’ve never had beer out of a glass boot (or just want a laugh) then check out this scene – one of the funniest!
The ‘twist’ comes when the brothers discover the stolen beer recipe, hidden in their grandfather’s ‘Popo’ toy. Although this lends weight to their grandfather’s poor reputation, they decide to try brewing it and discover it’s the best beer they have ever had.
There are some (hilarious) difficulties to overcome, like Barry’s insanity, Landfill’s death, his replacement by his twin brother, Landfill… but by the time 11 months go by and next Beerfest rolls around, the team is ready to represent team USA at the legendary Beerfest. And here’s where the movie gets fun (and you get drunk!)
Drinking games like The Volume Chug, Trick Quarters, the Long Pour and Mexican (hahaha) events are all GREAT examples of stunts you CAN try at home (despite the movie’s initial warning screen). But in the end, it all boils down to the final round, USA vs. Germany, sudden death and DAS BOOT.
I won’t give away the ending (because it’s so hard to tell the ending of this movie, right?) but suffice it to say that whether your drink of choice is bourbon, whiskey or beer, Beerfest is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers!