What is “Power Hour” at a Bar?

People Drinking Power HourThe Urban Dictionary describes the Power Hour as basically the act of taking a shot of beer every minute for an hour. They further explain that some bars or parties might put on a different song every minute to tell people when it’s time to take another shot. Not that anyone will be noticing the music around minute 35.

Sometimes the Power Hour can be an organized event at a bar or party, while other times it can just be a group of friends getting together and doing it as a drinking game. It is often used as part of a celebration, such as a birthday party or celebrating a promotion at work. It’s especially popular as an initiation into drinking for someone who just turned the legal drinking age of 21.

Where did the Power Hour originate?

Nobody seems to know exactly when and where the Power Hour started, but it really started to gain popularity around 2009 and 2010. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave an account of a musician named Ali Spagnola, who started her own Power Hour as a way to lure people to her concerts. She started in small bars in Oakland and her performances gained popularity until she was playing large, popular venues like the House of Blues. She even put out an album called “Power Hour.”

Spagnola was sent a cease-and-desist order in 2010 by Steve Roose, an acquaintance who was marketing a “Power Hour” DVD game with “Power Hour” as a registered a trademark. A legal battle ensued and eventually the courts found in favor of Spagnola, essentially saying that “Power Hour” was a generic term that could not be copyrighted.

Since this legal battle, the Power Hour has really taken off and now it’s a regular event at bars around the country. People are also doing the Power Hour at frat parties and other get-togethers, and they are even inventing their own variations of it.

What are the health risks of the Power Hour?

Drinking 60 shots of beer in an hour is a little excessive, don’t you think? It’s the equivalent of drinking about seven and a half full beers. For someone who is not on the Olympic drinking team or living in Canada, that’s a lot of alcohol in one hour. Drinking that much that quickly will cause you to get drunk very fast, and some variations have you drinking even more alcohol or drinking it more quickly than the traditional Power Hour.

There are concerns about any type of heavy drinking. Perhaps the most serious concern involves drunk driving, as you never really think you’re drunk and you might just be crazy enough to get behind the wheel after a Power Hour drinkfest.

Drinking also lowers inhibitions and suppresses the gag reflex, which explains why drinking is so popular at frat parties, but those effects can lead to bad decisions and choking, respectively. So can frat parties, for that matter.

The real danger of drinking too much too quickly is alcohol poisoning. Collegedrinkingprevention.gov details some of the dangers of alcohol poisoning, including vomiting, seizures, hypothermia, breathing problems, and stupor. If left untreated, alcohol poisoning can lead to severe dehydration, choking, severe brain damage, and even death.

What are some variations of the Power Hour?

The website Power Hour HQ lists quite a collection of different variations of the Power Hour. For the classic Power Hour 60 drinks in 60 minutes game, it can vary by how the minutes are marked. You can mark one minute using a timer, using one-minute song clips, or even using one-minute video clips.

For you lightweights, there is 21 for 21, which is, not surprisingly, 21 shots in 21 minutes. This version is particularly popular on someone’s 21st birthday.

Centurion is an advanced version of Power hour for people who think 60 drinks just isn’t enough to get a good buzz on. This game requires you to drink 100 drinks in 100 minutes. If you play this, you might want to think about being catheterized first. If that’s still not enough for you, you can upgrade to Gladiator, which is 200 shots in 200 minutes. Or, if you are the reincarnation of W.C. Fields, you can try the Spartan, which is 300 shots in 300 minutes.

Some other variations of the Power Hour include the Super Power Half-Hour, which involves drinking a shot of beer every 30 seconds for 30 minutes. That’s sixty shots in half an hour, in case you’re keeping score of the insanity at home.

Another hardcore variant of the Power Hour is the Blitzkrieg, which is again 60 drinks, but it starts with 59 seconds between drinks instead of 60. As it goes on, one second gets removed for each interval until you only have one second between your last two shots. This is a sure way to get blitzed.

The Power Hour is a popular drinking game that challenges people to drink a lot of alcohol in a short period of time. It’s fun, funny, and potentially dangerous. What else can you ask for in a bar game?