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Bartender's Handbook

Drinking games - Beer Chess.

Beer Chess is chess played with beer as the pieces. Beer chess is the unification of the intellect with the inebriated. Beer chess is stimulating brain cells as you kill them. Beer chess was created during a weekend retreat at the McEnaney Estate in Jackman, Maine, thus making Jackman, Maine the Beer Chess capital of the universe.


Beer chess is played with beer, a lot of beer. One side uses Light Beer (white), the other side uses regular (black) of the same brands. (see list below) Our research and development team has concluded that one can expect a standard Beer Chess game to last up to five hours, assuming neither player passes out. Intermissions, however, may be declared on a bilateral basis.


As you may have realized, this game requires a big board. While beer chess boards are now commonplace in Jackman, in other places their availability is still limited.
Again, our R+D team has arrived at a clever solution: Bathroom tiles-large white bathroom tiles. Placed on a darker table at regular intervals, one can quickly construct a professional looking Beer Chess set. For and even cheaper board, cardboard coasters, available at most bars, serve as impromptu, portable boards.


White: Black:
8 pawns: Bud Lights (8oz can) Budweiser (8oz cans)
2 Rooks: Miller Light (12oz can) Miller Genuine Draft (12 oz Can)
2 Knights: Busch Light (12 oz Can) Busch (12 oz Cans)
2 Bishops: Coors Light (12 oz Can) Coors (12 oz Cans)
Queen: Michelob Light (Bottle) Michelob (Bottle)
King: Bud Light (Bottle) Budweiser (Bottle)


  1. When one moves a piece, one must sip from the piece moved.
  2. When one's piece is captured, one must drink the entire piece.
  3. Castling requires two sips: one from the King, one from the Rook
  4. En passent requires only one sip (as in a standard pawn move)
  5. When one's pawn reaches the eighth rank, and is exchanged for a queen (or other piece), one's opponent must drink the remainder of the pawn.
  6. Once a piece is sipped, that piece must be moved. (taking back moves is not allowed)
  7. One may take as long as one wants to drink a captured piece, but the piece must be quickly consumed when a second piece is captured.
  8. After each exchange of pieces, the players must toast each other's health with the exchanged pieces.
  9. When one is put in check, one must sip from the King.
  10. Passing out constitutes a resignation.
  11. A player may not go the the bathroom before his move.
  12. When one is checkmated, one must drink:
    1. The remainder of one's King
    2. The remainder of opponent's King
    3. The remainder of one's pieces.
    (That's a lotta beer)


This was printed in the Boston Half Baked.

Game source: Collection at

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