I was going down a rabbit hole on Youtube, as I’ve been known to do. Videos of one beer mile led to another. First, it was Barstool employees. Next, it was Katie Nolan.
I had long known about the beer mile, even before seeing these videos. A friend from home had track friends at college that did them regularly (or more than once, which I consider regularly).
Then after watching amateurs struggle for long enough I went looking for the pros. And they exist.
There are: World Championships, a World Classic and a very legit-looking web site spelling out the rules. For the beer mile.
The video I found myself fixated on was Corey Bellemore setting a new World Record of 4:33, a time that virtually no one can run without beer.
Which, in case you didn’t know is what the beer mile consists of. One beer for each lap in a mile, four in total. The next lap can’t be started until the beer is finished, so no chance for nursing (which I am a goddamn expert at).
All of this led me to thinking, is this a professional sport? I’m not here to debate the legitimacy of the sport, since it’s basically track plus four beers. But are there people getting paid to do the beer mile? As their job?
Yes, there are. A minimal amount of Googling showed that a Canadian named Lewis Kent scored a shoe contract with Brooks for his beer-miling prowess.
Kent parlayed that exposure as one of the first professional beer miler into an appearance on Ellen, where you guessed it he did the beer mile.
Kent beat an Olympian at the 2014 World Championships and briefly held the world record before being bested by fellow Canadian Bellmore.
Bellmore is also a professional, as is Corey Gallagher (who is cited as getting the first beer miling sponsorship with Under Armour).
It’s certainly not a career you should aspire to, as these are the only known cases (no pun intended) of those living off of drinking four beers and running a mile in rapid succession.
That said, it’s continuing to take off and maybe the Finns or Swedes or some other random country will have to take the reigns from Canada as the dominant beer miling country.
Really hard to not make a Canada joke there. Hockey, curling, beer miling. Stay you Canada.