FOR many young Australians, downing a “beer bong” is a rite of passage. In an entirely different league is the 100 Club at Oktoberfest, where participants are made to chug their beer combined with other ingredients like ravioli, cat food – even vomit and urine.
This annual event is held in a park in Munich on the first Friday before Oktoberfest and has become a European travel tradition for gutsy Australians and New Zealanders. Interest in the event is increasing with 2010 attracting record crowds, some 70 entrants and even coverage from two German TV channels.
Rules of the Oktoberfest 100 Club
The rules, besides being truly disgusting, appear simple: 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes. Entrants turn up on the day with a bucket, stool, beer and shot glass. Past winners act as judges, deciding who downs a foul concoction and who is out. The “winner” — if you could call it that — is last man, or sometimes woman, standing.
The camp ground where this takes place is just outside Munich’s city centre, and attracts vans and motor homes from across Europe for Oktoberfest. The majority of entrants are in the final stages of Van Tour, an annual antipodean journey which has been running for at least 20 years. Because of its unofficial heritage, it’s not known exactly when Van Tour started and the same can be said for The 100 Club. What is certain is that somewhere along the way this contest evolved.
Before kicking off, participants are given a taste of what’s to come — some of the better ingredients they are doused with include flour, baked beans, phlegm, beer, tomato sauce and chilli powder. Some of the other contents on display really make the stomach churn: tins of dog and cat food mixed with jars of curry, raw eggs, mouldy cheese, fish and tinned ravioli. But even these are better than the alternative: vomit, urine and if the rumours are correct, semen. Vomiting is, of course, inevitable and when this happens the culprit is out of the game… but only after drinking a departing beer-bong. This year, number eight was out first. Vomiting on the contestant to his left he declared “because I love you” before leaving his post. Later, one young man screamed as his underwear was forcefully ripped from him because he hadn’t been informed of the ‘no underwear rule’.
As the 100 mark approached and the funnels clogged up with grotesque, unspeakable additions, there were still a few participants remaining. Somehow, they had managed to control their nausea, unlike the rest of the crowd. So what is the prize for this strange and glorified mess? The winners get to have their revenge on the judges, forcing them to chug feral beer-based concoctions including vomit, urine, and apparently, faeces.
100 Club @ Oktoberfest: Good, bad or just plain ugly?
Throughout, I wrestled with my conscience, trying to decide my position. The idea of an event this disgusting amazed me. I could not believe people willingly took part for glory alone. On the one hand, I felt proud to see Australians and Kiwis coming together, but on the other hand, this wasn’t anything to be proud of. Some Australian onlookers walked away embarrassed and completely appalled, but I was not one of them. I could not look away.
Up until now The 100 Club has managed to keep a fairly low profile, but the growing popularity and media interest is concerning. Now, German households will have this impression of our drinking culture beamed into their living rooms. That is certainly nothing to be proud of.
Oktoberfest 100 Club: Harmless fun or national shame? Tell us what you think, below.
13 December 2010 00:45 NM
I cringe and then smirk, cringe and then smirk – repeat! Australians it seems have made quite the name for themselves and to be honest, I don’t blame non-Australians for passing judgement, I too am absolutely embarrassed by them for the most part (I refer to southern cross tattoo, don’t know the second verse of the Australian anthem, celebrate ‘Australia Day’ by draping an Australian flag around their neck and smashing themselves into oblivion – meanwhile totally unaware of ‘Invasion Day’ and what ‘Australia Day’ actually represents, fight or fuck type of Aussies, to clarify)… I digress! ‘Boozing’ is a part of the Aussie mentality and a past time we can’t seem to outgrow, or don’t want to outgrow more to the point but this kind of thing really should be tucked away and hidden from bewildered onlookers with no understanding. We should spare them from any further confusion/disgust! I’m not saying that 100 Club doesn’t sound like fun – the thought of 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes (minus the curry and cat food) nags at my very own Aussie standing, I want to know if I could do it! But not in another country, not in a disrespectful way… keep it in our backyard!
09 December 2010 20:00 wolfman
RC i dont blame you for being ashamed for being an aussie you cant help that! its quite funny how people react to this artical get over who cares. no one has fourced any one to get invloved its just the end of a 3 month bender #VAN TOUR# unfortuinately so many of you wil never get to experience what has been to me and so many others the greatest 3 months of our lives all your moaning about is something you dont understand! by the way CONTIKI is the biggest casue of all the problems ask any one. hand shandy.
08 December 2010 13:46 KK
Obviously by writing this story I hit a nerve with some! In response to ‘Eyewitness’ I’d like to clear a few things up. Firstly, yes I am Australian, fouth generation in fact! Secondly, I was in no way criticising the event and clearly stated that I could not look away! Thirdly, in regard to poo and semen, if you read the story thoroughly you would note it says ‘if rumours are true’. Fourthly, I wasn’t ‘ripping’ on anyone and did have friends involved, remember the guy who got the major wedge? And finally, repeating the word ‘funnel’ a tonne of times would’ve been a little repetitive, don’t you think?
08 December 2010 06:55 Sharon
My son did it, and as a mother, all I can say, “WHAT AN AWSOME MEMORY FOR WHEN YOU ARE OLDER” I know alot of people think it is disgusting, but hay didnt they say that about us and what we did when we were young, well only the brave not to conform.
07 December 2010 22:27 creep
100 club is fuking awesome what are you pussys all on about its mainly kiwis anyway we wouldnt want soft ozies in the circle just some of the hard fukers that dont mind sucking back on your boyzies pis and spew.i highly recomend van tour and hitting 100 club no beter way to finish your piss drinking holiday.ill be back there next year to do it all over again
07 December 2010 22:02 youngfella
well fact of the matter is iv done it my self an 4 the 3rd time there is no semen or poo those are the rules, no 1 asks 4 people to bring a camera along or to watch. its in a campground an if u dnt wana c it/hear about it block your ears an close your eyes because its a fun time and beats comenting on articals like u people. get a life and do something funny that we can all laugh at.
07 December 2010 20:35 Eyewitness
Firstly there was no poo or semen – get your facts straight before your try to rip on people you don’t even know. Secondly – its called a funnel – get it right, no one’s called it a beer bong since some lame american frat movie – are you even Australian? Thirdly – everyone who has remotely even heard of 100 Club knows what goes on, if you can’t stomach it – stay away Everyone who commented about National Shame etc, do you even know how to have fun – if you scrutinize us look at the mob from fanatics clearly displaying themselves in bright yellow wherever they go – having no respect for anyone but themselves. At least we don’t even bring ourselves into the equation. Alice Springs – have you actually ever been there Lastly you obviously haven’t heard of any Kiwi or Aussie sporting or Country tradition where you drink out of boots. Seriously, wake up to yourselves, there’s better things going on in the world to complain about.
05 December 2010 13:53 Mike
There’s drinking games and then there’s being a downright fool. Any traveller abroad carries a certain degree of responsbility as an ambassador to their home country. Aussies have become notorious in Munich irrespective of the 100 club because unfortunately, the reality is that mainstream travel culture from the land downunder consists of scores of half-wit drongos Contiki-touring around on their worst behaviour. If only there were a tick box for “BOGAN” on our passports.
05 December 2010 13:49 RC
National Shame. Makes me cringe at being an Aussie. Typical Walkabout crowd, the type of people that would drink a ‘snakie’ out of their shoe at the ‘walkie’. What do these types of things have to do with being Aussie? Nothing, so why do these bogans feel they have to do it abroad?
05 December 2010 13:13 kay
National Shame is right! Makes me embarassed to be an Aussie. This is definately not cool! Some people seem to be set on having Aussies & Kiwis banned completely from Munich at this time of year – maybe not such a bad idea if this is what the locals have to contend with! But not good for all the 1000’s of decent Aussie travellers in Europe…. Trevor – I couldn’t agree more!!
05 December 2010 05:15 Brendan
No wonder we have such a bad reputation. Pathetic.
01 December 2010 15:34 KK
You’d think once would be more than enough, surely! But some were back for their second year in a row!
01 December 2010 01:47 Nicola
Ok Cat food, raw eggs and ravioli…..FUNNY. Vomit, poo and Semen. WRONG.
30 November 2010 23:03 Ashlea
What would their mothers’ think? Thanks for sharing your thoughts Trevor. I can’t envisage this behaviour being acceptable anywhere in Australia. Even in Alice Springs.
30 November 2010 17:30 SkattyKaz
I’ve heard about this .. over several beers at a boozy London antipodean pub sometime. I wasn’t sure if it was real or just one of those urban/travellers myths. On the one hand I’m glad you have exposed it, and on the other hand I really am not that glad at all. Appalling behaviour! Would they even get away with this at home?
30 November 2010 13:09 Trevor
I’d be curious to know if any similar events take place back home in Australia or New Zealand or is it just a thing that is done when abroad? The mentality of some of my fellow antipodean travelers concerns me. I understand that, to some, the year or 2 you spend over here is meant to be a wild time that usually involves letting loose and trying new things but how about keeping your dignity in check and drawing the line somewhere? 100 shots of beer – fine. Drinking someone else’s piss – not really that cool. Or is it just an endless search of who can be the wildest?
30 November 2010 10:17 Christian
Hmmm… I’m gonna go with ‘national shame’. What is wrong with people? This sounds like my worst nightmare!