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Yard of Ale Drinking Record
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Australia's most famous drinking record was set by the legendary Australian Prime Minister Robert (Bob) Hawke in 1955.

He drank 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds at University College, Oxford.

Hawke recalls the incident as follows in The Hawke Memoirs (1994):

"In more down-to-earth fashion I inadvertently achieved notoriety as a result of one the quaint and ancient customs of my college. A system operated at dinner in the Great Hall under which if an offence was committed - in my case coming to dinner without a gown (some bastard had borrowed mine) - on was 'sconced'. This meant having to drink two and a half pints of ale out of an antique pewter pot in less than twenty-five seconds. Failure to do so involved paying for the first drink, plus another two and a half pints.

Bob Hawke drinking his famous Yard of Ale
Bob Hawke drinking his famous Yard of Ale

My chance of avoiding payment lay in downing the ale within the limit and hoping that the Sconcemaster - the President of the Junior Common Room - could not beat my time. I was too broke for the fine and necessity became the mother of ingestion. I downed the contents of the pot in eleven seconds, left the Sconcemaster floundering, and entered the Guiness Book of Records with the fastest time ever recorded. This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved."

Bob Hawke Drinking record
A chalkboard expounding the feat of our former prime minister Bob Hawke


The glass is approximately 1 yard (90 cm), shaped with a bulb at the bottom and a widening shaft, which constitutes most of the height. In countries where the metric system is used, the glass may be 1 metre (1.1 yd). Because the glass is so long and in any case does not usually have a stable flat base, it is hung on the wall when not in use.

More information about this wondrous feat can be found here:

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