"In 1986, the skis were skinny and the snow was fat, and during a 14 foot storm, the infamous underground crew of the Jackson Hole Air Force was going stir crazy in the Bear Claw Café, waiting for the mountain to open. In those days the bar tender would send a freshly filled beer mug sliding down the bar to the patron who ordered it. One fateful night a beer mug slid off the end of the bar, took air, was caught seconds before a glass shattering catastrophe, and promptly pounded. Gelande Quaffing was born. Aprés ski competitions followed, testing the unique skills of all who entered, and provided exciting entertainment for all spectators. But somewhere along the way gelande quaffing was lost and the aprés ski spirit forgotten."
Quaffing was reborn in 2008.
The setting is Bodega- a gas station/ bar in Teton Village, rested at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A large crowd gathers around the Quaffing arena to witness the world championships where 10 teams will compete bracket-style to crown this year's winner. Among the teams is defending champions Quaffsafari, a powerhouse out of Boulder, Colorado.
At 4:20 PM, the first beer is thrown across the table. Four judges carefully watch the Quaffers, awarding points for each catch- in round one, a handle catch will get you two points, while a mug catch will award you one in this 1 minute heat. One of the judges described the perfect Quaff as "A nice snap, caught by the handle, snapped right back up towards your mouth and letting it rip."
A member of team Powder Skirts with a perfect handle catch as Hostel A slides a beer.
Round two approaches and the catches begin to increase in difficulty, this time Quaffers must do a 360 before making their catch. The crowd begins to favor local team Hostel A, who takes on defending Champions Quaffsafari. By a tight margin, Hostel A defeated Quaffsafari, and the trophy would officially stay in Teton Village.
In round three Quaffers must either do a 360 or catch the mug under their leg. The Mangy Moose was victorious over Jackson Hole Sports, and Hostel A defeated Hostel B.
The final round really takes Quaffing to an entirely new level: Rounds go from 1 minute to 2 minutes and Quaffers are awarded points on a 0-5 scale based on freestyle moves. Freestyle moves range from girls on the table, double mug throws, pitcher throws, table extensions, and anything else the now-drunk competitors can think up.
The Mangy Moose threw their beers through the legs of four ladies, which arguably earned them extra freestyle points.
At the end of the round judges declared a "Quaff-Off", which sends the teams into a 1-minute sudden death round. Hostel A came out on top at the end of it all:
Hostel A celebrates their victory.
"It's all about the speed of the throw," stated one spectator. However if we learned anything for sure, it's that this sport indisputably takes skill, and is unlike any drinking game we've ever seen.