At the Democratic Republic of Beer (501 NE First Ave., Miami) — an autonomous zone that, like Somaliland and Iraqi Kurdistan, has yet to be recognized by the United Nations — the rules list for the Beer Pong Championship Series runs several pages, but you’re not likely to be fed to the dogs for breaking any item on the list. Well, maybe if you lean too far over the table when taking your shot.
In general, the Democratic Republic of anything is bad news. The Democratic Republic of Congo is still recovering from more than three decades of Mobutu Sese Seko’s corrupt regime. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, better known as North Korea, is one of the most oppressive and authoritarian governments. When the leader of a country can feed his naked uncle alive to 120 dogs and the world shrugs, that’s not a place you go for after-work drinks and wing specials. Silver lining: At least some of the poor souls in North Korea had something to eat that night. (An uncle, not wings.)
The Democratic Republic of Beer is a different situation, though. No children are forced to do acrobatics and musical numbers for Dennis Rodman, because the bar doesn’t let anyone in under 21 years old. And yes, as in North Korea, someone will probably follow you into the bathroom, but sometimes that’s fun, especially when everyone has had a few beers and everything is consensual. You’ve had a long week.
But where the Democratic Republic of Beer really differs from those other Democratic Republics is that its beer pong champions get something better than a reprieve from their state-sponsored execution: cash money.
Teams of two may enter for $25 per round, and the prize money depends upon the number of entrants. But the entry fee includes the price of all the beer you’ll drink. Each round features 24 glorious ounces of brew for each team. An ace like you, though, will probably have to get one of the bar’s extensive beers from around the world, given the price of victory in beer pong is thirst.
Sat., Jan. 18, 6 p.m., 2014