- Mike Riedel
There's something magical about shot glasses. When filled with alcohol, they have some kind of mystical power that unite many people into one for a brief moment. It's a fleeting encounter that generally lasts a few seconds, and not all of those who wield the tiny 2-ounce glass emerge from the other side better for it. So why do we do it? I suppose it has a lot to do with sense of community, or maybe it's the more celebratory aspects of the ritual that draws us in. All I know is that it's a worldwide phenomenon with only the slightest of cultural differences.
Up here in the mountains, we've developed a challenging apparatus to help bring our alcohol shooting enjoyment to the next level. I'm referring to the shot-ski. The idea is as simple as the shot glass itself: Take a ski—preferably one that has seen its last days on the slopes—mount shot glasses to the plank shoulder-widths apart and fill said glasses with the mob's choice of alcohol. Now, the trick here is that everybody holding the ski has to be in perfect synch. Both hand, eye and gullet must be one with the shot-ski to keep yourself from wearing whatever trendy cinnamon/eucalyptus/cucumber whiskey is in front of you.
Now, you can imagine that if a four-person shot-ski is challenging, an eight- or 10-person rig would be even more so, right? What about a shot-ski that was 937 feet long that contained 666 shot glasses? I have your attention now, don't I?
You see, back in January 2014, the town of Breckenridge, Colo., created a shot-ski massive enough to break the world record. The aforementioned rig was comprised of 219 skis hinged together into one long plank. That record stood for nearly two years, until a bunch of upstarts at Park City's Wasatch Brewery decided they could do better—much better. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Utah's first brewery/brewpub, the staff invited 1,191 of their closest friends, and on Oct. 22, 2016, they broke the record by a whopping 525 bodies on the city's Main Street. The thing about records is that, by design, they're made to be broken. Breckenridge did what we all knew they'd do—they took it back months later with a 1,234-person shot-ski.
Hey, screw those guys! Park City and Wasatch will prevail once again. The newest version of the shot-ski will be hoisted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. This year's goal is to recruit a total of 1,250 people to throw back some of the brewery's fine craft beers. And to keep the celebration going, Wasatch will host a beer garden in the brewpub parking lot from noon till 6 p.m., complete with games, live music, a food truck and, of course, a selection of award-winning brews.
The word is spreading fast about this new attempt, and organizers anticipate it'll sell out quickly. Wasatch is encouraging everyone to come in costume, as founder Greg Schirf will be handing out gift cards and swag to entrants dressed in the best regalia. The goal, like last year, is to have fun while raising money for the Sunrise Rotary Club of Park City, a worthwhile cause.
I participated in the event last year, and had an absolute blast. I'd recommend that you all give it a "shot." As always, cheers!