The Arctic Shotgun Challenge is Chicago’s Newest Snow-Day Beer Craze

In Beer Newsby Karl

It all started innocently enough. On a slow, snowy Chicago afternoon where the city saw about eight inches of snowfall in a single day, the gents at Great Central Brewing Company issued a challenge.

An Arctic Shotgun challenge:

From there, it was on. Begyle accepted said challenge in fine form, shotgunning cans of what appear to be Begyle Blonde while under assault from an array of snowballs:

They then passed it forward to their friends and neighbors at Dovetail. Dovetail, not having any canned beers to utilize, responded with their own Arctic beer-drinking response in true Dovetail fashion: “Gelande quaffing.”

For those not familiar with Gelande Quaffing, the Guardian describes the “sport” thusly:

Teams battle head to head, sliding a beer down the bar to another team member who must catch it mid-air (quaffers must stand at least 24in from the end of the bar) and down it. Successfully doing so earns a single point. Catch the stein by the handle and you get two points. The team with the most points at the end of 60 seconds advances, and the other team spends the rest of the early evening drinking non-competitively.

Hopefully this becomes a regular event with teams and brackets and weekly standings at the Dovetail taproom. The Arctic Shotgun Challenge continues:

Finally we arrive at the response from the Off Color Brewing crew, which reaches its ultimate crescendo when co-founder/co-owner Dave Bleitner tears the can open with his teeth.


Because we have a feeling someone’s going to want to save that for later, we’ve kindly made a GIF of the chomp:

Never let it be said that Chicago’s brewing community doesn’t know how to have a good time. The world awaits the responses of On Tour, Spiteful, Temperance, Half Acre, Whiner Beer and Metropolitan Brewing’s Lost Boys. We’ll update as events warrant, but the bar has been set quite high.


The lake-effect snows in Michiana have brought forth some additional Arctic Shotgunnners. The fine folks of Watermark Brewing in Stevensville, Michigan appear to be rocking their Sunday best for a shotgun of…something we can’t quite make out.

We can’t find the original Burn ‘Em Brewing post they reference above – perhaps it’s lost to the memory hole of Instagram Stories — but we await further updates from Odd Side, HOMES and Transient Artisan Ales.

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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers.If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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