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What is a beer mile race?

What is a beer mile race

A beer mile is a drinking race which combines speed drinking and running for 1 mile or 1,609 meters. Generally, beer miles are run on a standard 1/4th mile or 400 meters running track. When the race begins at the starting line, the racers need to consume 12-US-ounce or 355 ml beer and run a full lap. The following lap continues in the same way. The race continues for the next 2 laps and it ends after the 4th running lap with four sets of beer. However, the rules of the Beer Mile may vary from region to region.

What is a good beer mile time?

Ideally, male beer milers take around 4 to 6 seconds at the first stop whereas women take around 11 seconds. By the time they begin the 4th lap, their legs become shaky but still, the average time for men is about 14 seconds and for females, it is 31 seconds. But at the Beer Mile World Championships, the numbers are quite different. The best male beer miler drank his final beer in 7 seconds while the best female beer miler drank hers in 21 seconds.

Is the beer mile dangerous?

Disclosure: HM4B.com is not encouraging irresponsible, dangerous, or reckless behavior. Don’t try a beer mile if it’s not legal where you are, if you’re underage, have serious health conditions, or are simply not fit enough to try it. This article is merely for informational purposes only and should not be acted upon in any circumstance fully knowing that a beer mile is dangerous and could result in serious injury. If you hurt yourself, others, property, someone’s feelings, etc., you do so knowingly that HM4B.com is not resoponsible or liable for your own personal choices and decisions. Basically, think before you act and don’t blame other people for your decisions.

A beer mile race may be dangerous in many ways. Here are a few things that could happen to your body when you run a beer-mile:


At each lap, you need to drink 12 ounces of beer that occupies about 4 cups of stomach volume. Over the beer mile course, you consume around 6 to 7 cups which also include carbonation. Since the beer is warm, it reduces the level of carbonation which allows the beer to pass through your stomach lining and enter the bloodstream, thus making you feel the euphoria.


The small intestines absorb most of the beer. Since you are chugging beers at an exponential rate while running the beer mile, you may experience side effects such as vomiting, cramping, or gastrointestinal distress.


The liver helps break down the alcohol in the beer you drink. However, in the case of a beer mile, drinking 4 beers in a few minutes does not provide enough time for the liver to do its job. Normally, the liver takes about 60 minutes to break down 1 beer (12 oz). When drinking your beers in a beer mile, you are chugging 48 oz of beer within 10 minutes which is dangerous.

Blood Vessels

For an average adult, beer consumption increases the blood alcohol level almost by 0.2 percent. Hence, 4 beers increase the blood alcohol level to the legal driving limits and that’s 0.8 percent. Since the liver does not get enough time to process the beer, blood alcohol levels may increase faster than usual.


Undeniably, alcohol affects your speech, coordination, and judgment. According to studies, if you consume beer regularly, it may lead to brain swelling.

Leg Muscles

Keeping beer aside, your leg muscles will burn in the first lap as your running breaks down the carbohydrates for more fuel. Running at a pace above your lactate threshold pace produces lactic acid build-up causing your legs to feel heavier and heavier after each lap. If you clear this by-product, you may experience muscle contraction impairment. According to studies, acute consumption of alcohol may hinder your muscle coordination and also, recovery.

If you want a deeper dive into running and alcohol…

Check out Can I drink Alcohol while training for a half marathon.


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Do you have to run the beer mile?

No, you do not have to run a beer mile. However, you will probably not make first place and could easily end up in last place. Depending on the rules of the beer mile race, they could enact a cutoff time of 13 minutes and give you a DNF (did not finish) or a DNFF (sorry, but I’m not explaining a DNFF – you can figure it out) for walking the race too slow. No one can force you to run the beer mile, however, knowingly walking a beer mile might give you unwanted end results.

Can you walk the beer mile?

The simple answer is yes! The beer mile race begins with a shotgun start with each runner consuming 1 12 oz container of beer. After the beer is consumed in the transition zone they can head off to the first lap (400 meters) of the mile. Upon each lap, they must drink another container of beer in the transition zone. While they are in the transition zone, they can walk or move about, but the entire beer should be consumed in this transition zone before the runner sets off to the next lap (400 meters).

The beer mile shouldn’t be confused with a beer run or a beer wahoo!

Typically, a beer run could simply mean that you’re getting low on beer and need someone sober to make a run to the store (in a car) to grab more beer. A beer run or a beer wahoo is a term also used by underage children when they grab beers bottles and cans and run out of a store with it, without buying or paying for it. Although a beer wahoo is usually associated with underage drinkers, adults that are of age to drink can do the same stupid acts. A beer wahoo is illegal and can be charged with a crime.

According to Midland Reporter-Telegram, “when an individual is caught stealing beer, they are charged with a Class C misdemeanor crime for theft under 50 dollars. By law, they can be required to pay up to a $500 fine”

How do you prepare for a beer mile?

Here are some tips you can use to prepare yourself for a successful beer mile:

Lip-seal around the can while you guzzle

Sealing your lips is vital for quick liquid extraction. The lip-seal works like a vacuum that pulls the warm liquid to your throat. If you are an avid beer miler, you will need this precious time in your last lap when your belly feels distended and sloppy from all the beer you have chugged.

Drink warm beer

Warm beer, at other times, would taste horrible. But, to be dead honest, it is going to taste horrible now too. but you got to drink it warm since it contains less carbonation compared to a cold beer. The more the carbonation in your beer, the harder it is to chug your beer quickly.

Avoid Double IPAs and high gravity brews

This point goes without saying. The official rules for a beer mile state that the alcohol content in your beer must be 5 percent or more in terms of volume. You can go with any fermented beer as long as you can chug, run, and not vomit. This should go without saying that you probably would want to drink the least percentage alcohol content by volume. IPAs normally have higher alcohol content.

Drink with your head tilted 45 degrees backward

Running a speedy beer mile includes careful calculations too. The most ideal angle of tilt for efficient gulping or chugging of beer is 45 degrees.

Keep stomach full while training

Just like for any other race, running for the beer mile also requires certain race-specific training. Run fast with large fluid amounts in your stomach. However, this is not good advice for the well-being of your health. This is considered only while training for a beer mile.

Practice holding your breath

When you finish a race, you normally will be winded and out of breath. Now, imagine your running the same race but having to consume 12 oz of beer while winded. You do not want to waste your precious time and let others win the race, right? You have to practice running your beer miles and holding your breath for more than 10 to 15 seconds in the transition zone.

Pace yourself

Remember while running a beer mile, you must pace yourself. It is easy to give up or get carried away on the first lap. You may think drinking your beer fast will save time. But if you are not careful about how you drink your beer, you could experience major race-duration discomforts such as cramps, dizziness, or vomiting. Try to keep a steady pace while running to avoid unwanted shakeups.

Assign a designated driver

Once you finish the 4th lap, you may feel intense nausea, tipsiness, or lightheadedness. If you are not jogging or walking home, it is extremely important to have a friend to drive you and your sloshed runners back home.


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How Many Stages of a Beer Mile Are There?

Officially, a beer mile race is completed in four stages or laps with 1 beer for each lap. After every lap, the beer mile runner will require to stop at the transitional zone and chug 12 ounces of beer and begin the next lap. This process continues for four laps. So, 12*4 ounces of beer, i.e. 48 ounces in four laps.

Who holds the beer mile world record for males?

Corey Bellemore holds the beer mile world record @ 4:33 in the 2018 Beer Mile World Classic.

Who holds the beer mile world record for females?

American Erin O’Mara secured the first position in the Beer Mile World Championship in 2015 and set a world record with 6:08.

What are the beer mile rules?

  • Each runner drinks 4 beer cans (12 oz – 355 ml) and runs 4 laps.
  • The first beer is consumed in the transition zone before the first lap begins.
  • The standard size of the beer cans must be no less than 12 ounces or 355 ml.
  • The race begins when you drink the 1st beer in the last meter of the transition zone.
  • Both men and women are required to drink 4 beers in 4 laps.
  • Avoid using specialized bottles or cans to your advantage. For instance, wide-mouth beer bottles or cans are prohibited since they slow down the pouring rate.
  • Do not shotgun or puncture the beer cans. Just open it by the tab on top. Do the same with beer bottles. Do not use straws since it only lowers the pouring speed.
  • Lemonades, ciders, seltzers, wine coolers are NOT ALLOWED
  • The alcohol content in the beer must be at least 5 percent by volume. The beer has to be fermented and brewed from malted grains.
  • You must not open your beer bottle or can until your competitors enter the transition area on every lap.
  • If any runner vomits before finishing the race will have to finish 1 penalty lap immediately after the 4th lap ends. Worth mentioning, it is recommended that when you are attempting any official records, you must tip the empty beer bottle or can over your hear once you finish chugging, just to confirm that you have emptied the can or bottle.
  • According to the official beer mile website, Australians have the only exception for a beer less than 5%. The exception from beermile.com reads, “If a “stubbie” has a minimum volume of 375ml (12.6 oz), then alcohol contents of 4.8% and above are accepted as official.”

Beer Miles Races 2020

Are you interested in beer? If so you have to read this comic book based on the history of beer. It truly steps you through the timelines of beer and how it came about. Check it out here (Amazon Link).

To sum up, if you’re an adult, you should try the beer mile at least once. It is a challenging event and people often underestimate the sport until they actually try it. Most runners who have made their debut went for a second round.

A beer mile can be made more enjoyable if you include your friends. Remember to bring a designated driver with you. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE after completing a beer mile. If you happen to be underage, you can still enjoy the race by substituting beer with chocolate milk or root beer.

Make sure that you open a warm beer when you complete one lap and reach the transitional area. The beer needs to have an optimum temperature. If you drink warm frothy beer, there is a chance that your beer could come roaring back out of your body in an undesired way.

Do not choose IPAs. Choose a beer that goes down smooth. However, you must keep this in mind at all times during the beer mile –  take deep breaths before chugging your beer. You do not want to waste your precious time and lose because you’re out of breath. Run the 4 beer laps in a relaxed way. This reduces the vomiting feeling and increases the drinking speed. It also saves your legs for the last 400 meters.


Practice leads to perfection! Just because you might be able to chug beers fast doesn’t imply that you can run the beer mile fast.

Remember, no one should force you to participate in a beer mile. It is completely your choice! If you are not confident with the beer consumption or the race or the combination of both, it is suggested that you refrain from taking part in such a sport.

But if you are an enthusiastic beer mile runner, there are many championship events that take place throughout the year that come with exorbitant prize money.

Other types of beer mile variations

  • Queen’s Chunder Mile (20 oz imperial pint from glass – vomiting allowed)
  • Clydesdale Division (standard beer mile, 35 years +, 200 pounds +)
  • 4 x 40 Beer Relay ( 4 team members – 1 40 oz of beer (1 quart each) )

You deserve a pint of beer

The perfect glass to drink out of after any race – The Runner’s Checklist Beer Pint Glass (Amazon Link)