PULASKI, WI -- It began on Ivy League campuses more than two decades ago, and has since spread far beyond the hallowed halls of higher education. Beer pong, sometimes called Beirut, is now a favorite in bars and taverns across the country. College grads eager to show off their hard-earned skills and recapture the halcyon days of frats and keggers continue to commandeer pool tables -- by covering them with plywood sheets to create a pong playfield -- at their local taverns.
While its Ivy League roots may have been long forgotten, beer pong is now a bar and tavern staple with informal and organized league play in many cities. Is it any wonder that the now popular bar game has made its way into coin-op? "We do know it is quite popular on college campuses and even after college," said Bay Tek Games' Jenna Woepse. "Many bars are doing it now. Local establishments have nights dedicated to beer pong. It draws customers to locations, just like pub quiz or karaoke."
Bay Tek's new Beer Pong Master also turns that love of the game into a revenue stream. Bay Tek's adaptation preserves the essential elements of the classic game, right down to the iconic red plastic cups. It also enhances the drinking game with a 22" LCD, timed play and accurate scorekeeping.
Measuring 30" W. x 71" D. x 70" H., Beer Pong Master allows for gameplay where none previously existed for lack of space. The game's footprint is similar to that of other bar pieces, such as Big Buck Hunter, Woepse observed. For locations that regularly host beer pong events, it could eliminate hours of pool downtime usually incurred by setting up the plywood playfield over the table.
"Our game is also less messy and it's something they can play all the time," Woepse said. "It extends a special event in a bar to an every-night possibility -- much like what countertops did to pub quiz."
According to Woepse, Beer Pong Master was created in response to operators who have been asking for new games for their bar and tavern locations. It is a savvy move on the part of Bay Tek, which three years ago targeted the bar market with Beer Ball, a game based on the popular alley bowler design. However, the new concept benefits from an existing and large player base across the country.
To foster organized play, Bay Tek is creating some promotional tools for operators. They include free downloadable posters and brackets (see photo below) in three different sizes for display at locations. Additional resources will be available, depending on what kind of feedback the manufacturer hears from operators and locations.