There is a new game in town
I originally thought for my first sports and beer post, I would write something about what new craft beers are showing up in sports arenas or perhaps a bicycle and beer tour. Well, when something smacks you in the face, you have to run with it.
Not Just For Kids
Last year, during a visit to Cleveland, my stepsister told us about a backyard game in which you throw a corn filled bag into a wooden board that has a hole built-in. They call it cornhole. Sounded like beanbag toss to me. I played this in elementary school. Do adults really play this? Where I am from, the backyard game of choice is usually horseshoes. I didn’t think much of it until it started popping up in just about every beer event I came across online.
Frankly, with a beer in hand, this could be fun. I know what you are thinking. Is cornhole really a sport? Ask one of the many die-hard cornhole competitors. These players take this game seriously.
Where Did Cornhole come from and why am I not playing it?
While poking around online, I came across several stories to where and how Cornhole got started.
- Germany: It is said that around 1325, a German farmer, while observing a couple of young lads tossing rocks into a hole, was concerned about the children’s safety so he designed a bag filled with grain. Some claim this was corn but this is confusing since corn/maize wasn’t introduced to Europe until after Christopher Columbus came to America. The reason this may have been said is that in the Old World, the name corn was given to the most prevalent grain which could possibly have been wheat.
- Ohio: If you ask Ohioans, especially ones from Cincinnati, they will tell you Cornhole is their game. It is believed that German Immigrants brought their farm game to western Cincinnati. In this case, corn/maize probably would have been the grain of choice.
- Kentucky:: In Kentucky, they believe that Cornhole was discovered in Germany and rediscovered in the foothills of Kentucky 100 years ago.
I can see wars fought over the rights of who invented cornhole. We all have our priorties right?
There is no denying the popularity of this sport in Ohio and Kentucky and the surrounding states but it looks like it is heading everywhere including my home state, Delaware.
Cornhole and Beer
Just like horseshoes or any other sociable backyard game, it goes well with beer so better believe it, bars and beer festivals are hosting cornhole tournaments all over.
Philadelphia Restaurateur Stephen Starr opened a Craft Beer Hall and Garden in Charlotte, NC. VBGB, the largest patio in Charlotte features large communal picnic tables for socializing and every Wednesday plays host to a team cornhole challenge. If you want Local Carolina beers, VBGB has about 30 drafts of mostly craft brews.
Just last week, the annual schlafly’s Hop In The City Beer festival hosted a single elimination team tournament. No fee or prizes, just beer and fun.
The Delaware Sports League is even hosting their second cornhole league with Bud Lite specials and prizes so this may be a good opportunity for me to form a Craft Beer and Cornhole league. What do you think?
In Valparaiso, Indiana, at The Strongbow Inn, an Annual Beer Tasting and Cornhole tournament raises funds for the local Family House. So I guess we will seeing much more Conhole in the near future. Fine by me.
So for you newbies, here is a simple version of how Cornhole is played
First, pour yourself a beer.
This is just the most basic way of how the game is played. If you really want to play more seriously, see the official rules according to ACO, The American Cornhole Organization.
So share your experiences with cornhole. Have you ever played? Do you think I should start a league?
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