A Toast to Andre the Giant

May 4, 2015

Our latest book, Beer-Topia is in stores now. It’s a heady brew of beer miscellany, and here’s an exclusive taste.

Andre the Giant“As far as great drunkards go, there is Andre the Giant, and then there is everyone else,” wrote Richard English in Modern Drunkard about the professional wrestler and actor. He was a beer enthusiast whose bottomless thirst only had a little to do with his 7’4″, 500-pound frame—consuming as much beer as possible was partially a party trick, and partially a way to numb the physical pain from his wrestling career.

  • His favorite beer was the unpretentious Molson Canadian. (There’s a widely circulated picture of Andre palming a can of it.) He drank an average of about two cases every day—that’s 48 beers. Half of those he’d drink before wrestling matches.
  • On a night out drinking in Manhattan in 1977, Andre drank 75 beers. His friends couldn’t convince him to take a taxi to his hotel, which he hated because he didn’t like squeezing himself into them…so they stole a horse carriage. Andre safely returned to his hotel…bar, where he drank a gallon or so of brandy.
  • He once drained 119 bottles of beer in a six hour drinking session, then passed out in a hotel hallway. His friends couldn’t move him, so they placed a piano cover over him while he slept it off.
  • Wrestling cohort Harley Race claims to have once gone out with Andre for a night of drinking in New Orleans, where he says Andre put away 127 beers.
  • Wrestlers Mike Graham, Dusty Rhodes, and Michael Hayes swear that they once witnessed Andre drink 156 bottles of beer in a row.
  • Andre’s beer tab at his hotel when The Princess Bride finished filming: $40,000.
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