The king of beer

Charles Gregor

Photo By Pete Powell

Earlier this year, the Streets of London pub on J street hosted a month-long drinking contest. The challenge presented to Sacramento beer drinkers was this: Suck down a yard of ale as quickly as you can.

What’s a yard of ale? It’s basically a horn-shaped gag glass developed in England in the 17th century. Although the thing only holds a little over a pint of beer, it has what’s called a “trick bulb” at its base. That spherical bulb quickly fills with air when the drinker reaches the bottom of the glass, forcing the remaining beer out with an unexpected rush. Keeping the beer off the floor is the name of the game.

Enter Charles Gregor (aka Chuck G). As a Midtown resident and self-proclaimed beer-drinking bad ass, Chuck saw it as his personal responsibility to step up and represent for the stars and bars. He grabbed a full yard, and 11 seconds later, he had won a trip for two to London, courtesy of the pub. Several days later, Chuck went on to beat his own winning time by sucking down another yard in a frothy 8.9 seconds. That might not seem an impressive feat, but according to the English chaps at the pub, it’s only a couple seconds off the world record.

Here’s what Chuck recently had to say about beer, life and impending fame.

Are you drunk?

Absolutely. This is my 22nd birthday. Right now, I think I’ve had 22 beers. Don’t trip.

So tell me about the contest.

It was the last day of the contest. I went in there and got it in 11 seconds, with the bar packed full of people, everyone from work. Hella people were there. I drank all this beer, and everyone was cheering. It was like I’d hit a home run.

And then you beat your own record?

I took my dad down there to show him the place afterward. He said, “All right, let’s see what you can do.” Then he bought me a yard and shit like this. Put me all on the spot. People at the bar were talking in English accents saying, “Eleven seconds? He must be a freak of nature.” Shit like that. Then I started egging them on, saying, “I bet I can beat that record.” They said, “Oh, yeah? Let’s see it.” I went outside and slammed the whole yard in 8.9 seconds.

Do you get challenged to drinking contests all the time?

You walk into a bar and tell people that you won a trip to London slamming a yard, and everyone says, “Oh, yeah, I’ve done that before. I bet I can beat your time.” They’re belligerent. You just tell them loser pays. The last night of the contest, I raced this motherfucker. He was talking all this shit. He’s this punk rocker guy. A big punk rocker guy. And I was stressing. I was worried. You know what I mean? I’m thinking, “Is this guy going to steal my trip to London from me, right here, right now?” He was saying that he had a yard at his house, and he can drink them in six seconds, five seconds, whatever. He gets up there and the first thing he does is spill the beer all over himself. Then he starts drinking another yard, and by the time I stop laughing at his ass and I look up at him, he’s at like 28, 29 seconds with half of it to go. I just smoked this guy. Like, nine seconds.

Do your challengers always lose?

I’ve never been fucking beat. And I’ve been looking. I’ve gone up against beer bongs, out of the cup, the yard. … I’ve never lost. I absolutely think that no one in Sacramento can beat me drinking beers. No one can beat me whatsoever. There’s people that talk, but once they step up to the mike, I put them to shame.

So what’s the secret to slamming beer? Do you lean back and open your throat? Do you exhale before you drink? What’s the deal?

There’s no secret, but there are techniques. Things you need to exercise, things you gotta do before you handle that volume of fluid. There’s a lot of mental preparation. There’s got to be loud music and a lot of hype. Adrenaline. A thousand people have asked me about opening the throat. I don’t know what the fuck that means. But you can’t go in there after a full meal, with a bunch of things in your stomach. Lunch and all kinds of steaks and shit like that.

So you need to fast? Not unlike Ghandi?

No. You see, the trick is… well, I don’t know if I should reveal this.

C’mon, do it for the kids.

OK. I’ll help create some competition. ‘Cause right now, I don’t have any. Listen, if your stomach’s empty, it closes up after a while, right? So before I know I’m going to do this, three or four hours beforehand, I’ll have a big meal. And I’ll drink a few beers. You gotta drink a few beers to loosen up. My system needs to know what’s going on. Then I’ll drink some water, ‘cause I want to be sober when I’m going in. I only want to have a beer or two worth of a buzz. Then everything’s loose. I’m not tense; I’m not thinking about it.

What do you think of men who drink Zima?

[laughs] Listen, if it’s gonna get ’em drunk, then more power to ’em.