How to Chug Beer: Tips from the World’s Fastest Beer Miler

Lewis Kent won the 2015 Beer Mile World Championships in part due to his lightning-fast chugging.
Lewis Kent won the 2015 Beer Mile World Championships in part due to his lightning-fast chugging.

Brooks runner Lewis Kent broke the world record at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships with a time of 4:47.17. As the only dedicated beer-mile athlete on the Brooks team, Kent specifically trains for an event that consists of chugging four beers between running four laps around a quarter-mile track. Kent cracked his former record of 4:51.9 by throwing back 12-ounce bottles as if they were shots, guzzling each of the four beers in less than nine seconds and knocking down his first beer in an amazing 5.35 seconds. You may not be able to run like Kent — the college athlete can run a 1,500m in under four minutes — but you can drink like him. Here are Kent’s tips for downing beer in record-setting time.

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Don’t Swallow
Kent opens his mouth and lets the beer fall down his throat freely, versus gulping or sipping. “Approach the chug as if you’re pouring water down a drain says Lewis. “Continuously swallowing takes way too and tires your throat out.”

Pick a Decent Light (Not Lite) Beer
No one wants 48 ounces of heavy beer in their belly (or heaved out onto the side of the track). For this reason, Lewis chugs Amsterdam Blonde, an easy-drinking craft beer out of Toronto. Though he drinks fast enough that he never tastes the beer, having a non-offensive brew will help distract you from the pain as you work up to his no-gulp technique.

Hold Your Breath
This will keep the highway to your belly wide open. “Take a deep breath right before you place the cup or bottle to your lips, and, whatever you do, make sure not to breathe in while chugging,” says Kent. “You need to free up your mouth space for chugging, and chugging only. When it’s done, you can breathe.”

Take Large Gulps If You Must
According to Kent, it’s only natural to work your way up to letting that beer flow continuously (it’ll sting). “You only want to swallow once you’ve reached the maximum amount you can hold at the back of your mouth,” he says.

Drink With Your Left Hand
For Kent, this is more for etiquette than strategy. “Holding the bottle in your left hand means you have your right hand free to high-five your buddies after you down that beer like a champ,” he says.

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