Andre the Giant, if anyone, could best be described as a ‘titan of the industry.’ The massive, 500-plus-pound professional wrestler was estimated to be as tall as 7’4″, though in reality he may have been closer to 6’11”. Be that as it may, Andre was very, very large, and very, very popular. Over the course of his career, he amassed a net worth of around $10 million, though it might have been significantly more if it wasn’t for the fact that he liked to drink a whole lot. In fact, his ability to down copious amounts of alcohol is almost as legendary as his prowess within the wrestling ring. But how much, say, beer could the man really drink? Let’s find out!
A giant appetite for booze
To say that Andre the Giant was fond of booze would be an understatement. His appetite for drink was as massive as his physical stature, as evidenced by the fact that the Modern Drunkard Magazine has named him “the greatest drunk of all time.” You know, out of everyone in history. According to that article, Andre wolfed down an absurd 7,000 calories in booze alone on a daily basis, and as he was traveling between cities in the customized trailer that could accommodate his sheer size, he was known to empty a case of beer in an hour and a half, chasing the brew down with the occasional bottle of wine or vodka. As legend has it, when Hulk Hogan was still a rookie, Andre used to crush every can of beer he drank in his hand and throw them at his head. It was Hogan’s duty to count the hits, and when he realized Andre’s stash was depleting, run to the nearest booze store during the next break and resupply the Giant with all he could carry.
If we want to go into specifics (which we absolutely do), Andre’s reported drinking records go as follows: He once drank 119 12-ounce bottles of beer in six hours, and according to the New York Post, Hogan claims he once managed to top even that by downing either 102 or 108 bottles of beer in just 45 minutes before a flight. He has been known to empty anything between six and 16 bottles of wine before a match, and still be able to perform. He has said that it takes around half a gallon of vodka “just to make me feel warm inside.” And, since we’re going for the single most impressive amount of beer Andre has ever downed, Thrillist tells us the Giant’s wrestler colleague Mike Graham has witnessed the big man drink as much as 156 16-ounce beers in a single sitting.
The reason Andre the Giant drank so much
While it’s probably fair to say that Andre the Giant liked a drink because he, well, liked a drink, there’s another layer to the man’s indulgence. A major reason for his booze-flinging antics was the pain his acromegaly — the condition that caused his massive size and assorted health troubles — caused him. For some people, a beer or two might be just the ticket for dulling down their existential pain. For Andre, the physical pain alone was enough to develop a drinking habit that enabled him to down those famous 156 beers in a single session. There’s something to remember the next time you rewatch that Wrestlemania III match where Hulk Hogan bodyslammed the poor Giant.
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