On August 25, 2006, Beerfest was released in theaters. In honor of the film's 10th anniversary, here’s everything you need to know about the movie that taught us that drinking beer isn’t just something you do with friends—it’s something you dominate.
1. THE FILMMAKERS MET AS FRATERNITY BROTHERS.
The brilliant minds behind Beerfest, the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, were all fraternity brothers of Beta Theta Pi at Colgate University (though the group’s original name was “Charred Goosebeak,” a troupe which still exists at Colgate to this day). In addition to Beerfest, Broken Lizard is responsible for: Puddle Cruiser, Super Troopers, Club Dread, and The Slammin’ Salmon. The film adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard is an unofficial Broken Lizard movie; it features all five members and was directed by member Jay Chandrasekhar (who also directed Beerfest). They're currently wrapping production on Super Troopers 2.
2. YES, THAT'S REAL BEER THE ACTORS ARE DRINKING.
The actors actually did drink beer on-set, but it was non-alcoholic O’Doul’s. When scenes called for darker beers, the filmmakers simply added Diet Coke.
3. THE BEER PONG WAS REAL, TOO.
Every beer pong shot in the movie—except the final acrobatic shot by Chandrasekhar—was a successful beer pong shot made by the cast.
4. NEW MEXICO STOOD IN FOR BOTH COLORADO AND GERMANY.
Although set in Colorado and Germany, Beerfest was filmed in Albuquerque.
5. THERE ARE REFERENCES TO BLOODSPORT.
Chandrasekhar intentionally made Jan and Todd’s shadowy journey down to Beerfest look similar to scenes from one of the comedy troupe’s favorite movies—the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic, Bloodsport.
6. FINK'S HAIRSTYLE WAS A NOD TO SEAN PENN.
On top of the perm he had to keep for up to three months after the film wrapped just in case any scene needed a re-shoot, actor Steve Lemme—who plays Fink—had the same three inches of his head shaved each day to make it look like he had a receding hairline. His character’s hair was humorously modeled after Sean Penn’s character from Carlito’s Way.
7. A COUPLE OF FORMER MR. UNIVERSES MADE CAMEOS.
The actors who played Hammacher and Schlemmer were both veterans of the Mr. Universe contest. Ralf Möller previously appeared in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, while Beerfest marked Gunter Schlierkamp’s film debut.
8. "DAS BOOT" DOES NOT MEAN "THE BOOT."
“Das Boot” actually means “the boat” in German, not “the boot.” Actor Jürgen Prochnow, who plays the evil Baron Wolfgang von Wolfhausen in Beerfest, appeared in Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 submarine thriller film Das Boot as the Captain. Oddly enough, the joke involving the submarine in Beerfest was in the script before Prochnow was cast.
9. THE STUDIO INSISTED THAT A DISCLAIMER BE ADDED.
The disclaimer that kicks off the movie—which warns viewers that if you attempt to drink as much beer as is consumed in the movie, "you will die"—was added after production wrapped when the studio demanded it.
10. ONE OF THE EVIL GERMAN BROTHERS WON AN OSCAR A FEW YEARS LATER.
Will Forte was in his fourth year at SNL when he played Otto, one of the evil German brothers in Beerfest. Another brother, Rolf, was played by actor and writer Nat Faxon, who won an Academy Award in 2012 for co-writing the screenplay to Alexander Payne's The Descendants.