For those unfamiliar with the concept, the object of a “pub crawl” (also known as a “bar tour”) is to walk from bar to bar on a pre-established route—drinking as one goes—within a certain time frame, usually a single night. Proving that the truth is stranger than fiction, here are 10 of the most peculiar.
1. The Zombie Pub Crawl
Luckily, being intoxicated actively enhances one’s zombie impression. Every October, upwards of 5000 participants don grotesque makeup and shredded clothing and embark upon what has since become one of Minneapolis’ most recognizable rites of autumn. The city first hosted the undead event in 2005 which proved to be so successful that it’s since been copied by such cities as Chicago, New Orleans, and Copenhagen as an annual festivity.
2. Superhero Pub Crawls
Grab your tights! Caped-crusader-themed bar tours are cropping up all over the map these days, from San Diego to Philadelphia and beyond. Here’s a brief highlight reel from one held in Portland, Oregon back in 2011 (which for some reason included more than a few people dressed like Bender Rodriguez).
3. The Glasgow “Sub-Crawl”
While most pub crawls take place on foot, those who choose to tackle this notorious British tradition are merely expected to ride the subway from station to station, stopping for a pint at each of their subterranean bars en route. The total comes to a whopping fifteen pints per person, so inexperienced drinkers might want to sit this one out.
4. The Running of the Santas
Billed as “the world’s naughtiest pub crawl,” setting out on Philadelphia’s annual Running of the Santas involves dressing like Kris Kringle (although elves, reindeer, and the occasional dreidel are also common sights), covering all the bars within a 2-block radius, and hoping you make it through the holiday season without any coal in your stocking.
5. The Monopoly Pub Crawl
This variation on the bar tour formula matches various landmarks in the classic board game to a selection of London’s most famous pubs. You can read a first-hand account of the journey here.
6. The Seven-Legged Bar Crawl
Think drinking a copious amount of alcohol is too easy? Try doing it while physically tied at the legs to five of your friends. Born in the British city of Nottingham back in 1921, the concept involves a well-dressed team of seven chums, six of whom are bound together in the style of a typical three-legged race while the seventh acts as a “runner” who purchases the drinks and remains sober.
7. Pub Golf
In this barhopping sport that coincidentally involves no actual clubs, balls, or holes, “athletes” simply grab a drink from each of a large group of bars while wearing garish golf outfits. Intrigued? You can find one version of the rules here, or consult this nifty instructional video above.
8. The Snuggie Pub Crawl
Dubbed “snugglers,” these pub crawlers conquer their drinking routes clad in the infamous sleeved blankets as Tim Murphy of New York magazine explains.
9. Ye Parched Pirate Pub Crawl
International Talk Like A Pirate Day inspired this Alaskan bar tour wherein beer-toting buccaneer aficionados of the Anchorage metro area dress and speak like the seafaring scallywags.
10. Banana Bar Crawls
Just as the name suggests, fruit devotees are required to wear a banana suit or similar garment. Toronto, Dallas, and Charlotte have all transformed the concept into an annual celebration in recent years (and, in all three cases, “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” is a predictably-popular karaoke favorite).