A beer boot is a traditional German drinking glass, machine made or hand-blown into the shape of a knee-high boot. Popularized in America by the 2006 movie "Beer Fest," which featured a drinking game centered around "Das Boot," beer boots are typically either 1 or 2 liters in volume and feature a logo, crest or other insignia. According to the Bier Boot Haus, there are competing theories about the specific historical origin of the beer boot, all of which link the tradition to the German military in the early 20th century.
The version of beer boot drinking featured in "Beer Fest" is a speed-drinking game in which two teams of equal numbers each drink a series of filled boots in succession. In the team boot game, each player may only start drinking when the teammate to his right empties his boot, turns it upside down to prove that there is no liquid left in it, and then sets it on the table. The first team to successfully empty all of their boots in this manner is declared the winner.
Team boot is a difficult and potentially dangerous drinking game, due to the amount of beer consumed at one time. Because of this, it is best played with 1/2-liter boots. These boots are smaller than the traditional German sizes, but facilitate a more realistic and safe competition.
The boot circle is an every-man-for-himself competition which requires only a single beer boot. In the boot circle game, the person who empties the beer boot is the winner. The first player begins drinking from the boot, and may pass it to his left or right at any time. When the next player receives the boot, he begins drinking and repeats the process. Best played with a 1- or 2-liter boot (depending on the number of people in the circle), the goal of this game is to either finish the boot yourself or leave the next player with a challenging or impossible amount of beer to drink. The next-to-last drinker is the loser and is required to pay for the next round of drinks.
Another generally accepted rule of the boot circle game is that the winner of one round can make up a rule for the next round (e.g., "all drinkers must stand on one foot").
Beer Boot Rules
There are a few rules that are widely accepted by beer boot drinkers, according to TrueBeer's Beer Blog: The boot may not touch the table until it is empty; you must flick the boot (traditionally for good luck) before passing it to the next player; and you must not, at any time, spill, splash or drip beer from the boot. Failure to comply with these rules may automatically result in your being required to purchase the next round of drinks.
Toe and Heel
Drinking from a beer boot can be problematic due to the boot's toe-and-heel design, which often results in an uneven flow of liquid (and, therefore, a bubble or burp). To combat this, the beer boot should be held at an angle, with the toe pointing left or right rather than up towards the ceiling.