LISBON FALLS, Maine — The rules were laid out. Only empty cans counted. Cans could not be pre-opened. And if you vomited, you were automatically disqualified. Then it was time to start. The crowd counted down from ten, and they were off and guzzling.
Six contestants slurped and belched their way through as many 12-ounce cans of Moxie — Maine’s official soft drink — as they could stomach in two minutes during the annual Chugging Challenge at the Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls Saturday afternoon.
The most popular method of snarfing the somewhat medicinal-tasting carbonated beverage was “shotgunning.” It’s a method usually reserved for cans of beer at parties in gravel pits. Before opening the can, usually after shaking it a bit to get the contents under pressure, the shotgunner pokes a hole in the can with a sharp object like a nail or a knife. Then, while swiftly bringing the can to the lips while the liquid gushes out, the top is popped, venting the can and facilitating efficient swilling.
Beau Bradstreet of Bridgewater repeated his 2011 performance of eight full cans in two minutes. That’s close to a gallon. When declared the winner, Bradstreet raised his hands above his head to applause from the crowd. He celebrated his victory by downing one more can.