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21 Beers In 42 Minutes: Inside Princeton’s Secret Drinking Society

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Andre The Giant, the greatest beer drinker the world has ever known, once took down 119 beers in a single sitting, according to legend. It’s the only time he ever passed out from drinking, also according to unsubstantiated legend. The huge caveat in the wording of this accomplishment is the phrase “a single sitting,” which could obviously mean any length of time. Did the 7’4″ monster take down 21 cold ones in the first 42 minutes of his “sitting?” It’s possible–have you seen what a 12 oz. beer looked like in his hand? Still, though, it’s doubtful.

According to the Daily Princetonian, members of a mysterious Princeton University drinking society, dubbed the “21 Club,” are forced to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of drinking 21 beers in 42 minutes upon initiation. And we’re talking about nerdy Princeton students here, not a 400 lb. wrestler.

The secret society is comprised of the heaviest drinkers on campus–21 juniors and 21 seniors.

From Business Insider:

In a 2009 profile of the group titled “An Elusive Institution,” The Princetonian reported that “incoming members participate in a drinking contest in which they consume 21 beers, one every other minute for 42 minutes.”

The 21 Club holds a drinking competition once a year. Apparently, it gets pretty wild. In the middle of the competition sits a dumpster, and it sounds like they just try and fill it to the brim with vomit. Drinking and puking, drinking and puking. Vomit. Everywhere.

An anonymous member of the club described his first account of the competition to the Daily Princetonian:

“It’s a scary thing … We’re all sitting there with a big dumpster in the middle, and the older brothers are behind you feeding you beers, and you have to [drink one] every [other] minute, no stopping, and people are yelling at you,” Matthew explained.

Even before the contest begins, the juniors must each drink seven social beers in addition to the 21 they will later consume.

“Keeping it down is not the point,” Matthew said, adding that there was a certain sense of apprehension among the new members.

“There were only five people per club, and we finished a keg, like, a half-hour in,” Matthew said. “They had to go and get another one. That was my first realization: I was, like, ‘Oh, sh*t.'”

He later added that most members puke about 20 to 30 times during the competition. That seems like a ridiculous amount of vomiting, like way, way too much vomiting. I’m thinking they wheel that puke-filled dumpster to the street the next morning, with puke sloshing around and spilling out with every little bump they hit, then they pour it all out by the curb, Cousin Eddie-style, and let the streets of Princeton, NJ run with partially-digested keg beer.

Wait, isn’t this hazing? Oh, that’s right–this isn’t a “fraternity.”

[via Business Insider, Daily Princetonian]

Image via Flickr

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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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