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A late-night drinking game invented by the Jackson Hole Air Force has become a national sensation
“It’s a simple game, gelande quaffing. You throw the beer. You catch the beer. You drink the beer.”
—John Verdon, 2008 Gelande
Quaffing World Champion
If there were a development academy for gelande quaffing, The Hostel would be it.
“When Pepi Steigler used to jump, they’d say gelandesprung,” Howie Henderson, who passed away in 2011, recounts in a video shot during the filming of the Jackson Hole Air Force documentary Swift. Silent. Deep. “So we said ‘gelande quaffing.’ Quaffing is when you slam your beer.”
Quaffstafari puts on a show for the ages. There’s juggling; an inverted funnel; adaptations of Polish horseshoes and the nail game; tiki torches and squirt bottles shooting flames; a bong filled with beer that is smoked, quaffed, and exhaled (aka the Smokestack); a fish bowl with live goldfish; and a cooler filled with PBR cans that are shot-gunned. With their routine finished, however, the team spends about 15 seconds on the table shooting squirt guns.
This is an après ski game, and unlike college drinking games, beer is not a punishment in gelande quaffing. It’s the reward—for a clean catch, a fluid spin, for making it to the next round. It’s the bounty of a healthy yet hedonistic lifestyle choice taken to its fullest.
Read the full feature, The Cult of Quaff, written by Derek Taylor, in the
September issue (44.1)

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