Drink-A-Palooza: The Ultimate Drinking Party Game: Interview with Creator, David Wagner

If you love playing drinking party games with your friends, you’re in for a treat with Drink-A-Palooza. Developed by David Wagner back in 2001, this game took 10 years (!) and a lot of patience to get off the ground.

Unlike regular drinks games, Drink-A-Palooza combines a board game, team competition and drinking party games into one monster of an experience, that’s perfect for all parties – from house parties, to 21st’s, to bachelor/ette fun.

Joining us today is David Wagner, who’ll be sharing his story of how his game came to be, what it’s about and where next.

Thanks David for joining us. So tell us a bit about Drink-a-Palooza. Where did you get the idea for this game?

Drink-A-Palooza was born in our family’s basement when a brother of mine came home one night and said he had a blast playing a drinking game that one of his friends made up using a super soaker filled with alcohol.

When I heard him say that, my response was “I can make a drinking game!" and next thing I knew, I had grabbed the lid to a cardboard box and started drawing out what would become the Drink-A-Palooza drinking board game.

Since I had recently graduated college, I was well versed in all of the drinking games such as Beirut (beer pong with paddles), Asshole and Kings Cup. I started combining all of the popular drinking games into one monopoly styled board game.

The game was originally called “The College Experience" since I was using everything I had learned in college to design and market the game. It wasn’t until 2010 when the game took final shape and launched into main stream and the name “Drink-A-Palooza" was decided on.

Your game incorporates quite a few drinking games, like Flip Cup, Quarters and Beer Pong. How did you go about choosing these games specifically?

The specific games were chosen after 10+ renditions of the game and a great deal of test marketing. Back when the original game was made, some of the current games found in Drink-A-Palooza had not been developed or were at least not commonly played.

The first rendition was made with other games such as “Mexican" which was eventually changed to “B.S. Bluff" for political reasons and had numbers all over the board. When you would land on these numbers, and if your dice roll was higher, you would pass out sips.

Looking back, it had many of the basics you see in Drink-A-Palooza today but the game play was very different.

Can you tell us how you play it? It involves a board game and there’s a competition aspect, right? What are the rules and how do you win?

The game is best played with 3 or more people. You roll the dice to move spaces and as you make your way around the board, you will either be playing a group game such as High/Low, Kings Cup, Waterfall OR you will be playing a one-on-one competition to win mini bottles.

The point of the game is to fill up your empty 6-pack holder game piece with mini bottles that you win through 3 competitions.

The bottle challenges are Beer Pong, Quarters and Flip Cup. When you land on one of these spots, you spin the bottle located in the middle of the game. Whomever the bottle is pointing to will be the person you play or challenge. In Quarters and Beer Pong, the first person to make the ping pong ball or quarter into the middle “Drink Cup" wins the bottle.

As punishment (depending on how you look at it) the loser must drink the center Drink Cup. When playing Flip Cup challenge, whomever is the first to flip the cup over wins the mini bottle. All the other games found on the board are played with the entire group.

Drink-A-Palooza was designed to keep everyone involved and with all the variety required to have a good time. Let’s face it, a game that combines all of the best drinking games into one will keep the party going. There isn’t any waiting around to be part of the fun like games such as beer pong.

Plus you don’t need a Beer Pong table to play, it fits on anyone’s kitchen table and you can have up to 12 people playing.

How many people maximum need to be playing this game, for it to work?

The game was designed to be scalable depending on how many people are playing. The minimum is 2 players but it is recommended to play with 3 or more.

One of the best elements of the game is when you have more than 6 people playing, you can team up and partner with someone else. When you partner with someone, you share the 6-pack holder game piece AND you get to share drinking responsibility.

You also trade off turns when playing Quarters and Beer pong competitions BUT you add an additional Flip Cup when playing Flip Cup for a mini bottle. This adds the relay race aspect of Flip Cup and intensifies the competition.

What kind of age range you looking at?

Drink-A-Palooza is not intended for alcohol but we know most people will be playing the game and using beer as their beverage of choice. I have seen plenty of games with a mix of people, some were drinking beer, others water and soda was used also.

The age demographic for the game depends on the customer. I have seen the game played with people aged all the way up to their mid-fifties.

What kind of playing area do you need? Do you need a lot of space to play?

The game was designed to fit in anyone’s living room, kitchen or even dorm rooms. Knowing that Beer Pong and Flip Cup usually require an extended table that is more than 8 feet long, Drink-A-Palooza was made to fit on any table and allows plenty of people to circle around the game board.

The game only requires as much room as the amount of people playing. You do need some space to pitch the beer pong balls into the center Drink Cup but the distance is decided by the players and their skill level to make the shot.

What kind of parties would your game suit?

We have a long list of parties that suit the game. Below is a list of places, events and times the game is played or gifted to someone:

  • College Parties and back to college gift ideas
  • Fraternity Parties
  • Spring Break Parties
  • Saint Patrick’s Day Party
  • New Year’s Eve Parties
  • 21st Birthday Parties
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
  • Summer Vacation
  • Pregame parties
  • Party Buses
  • Fourth of July
  • Mardi Gras Parties
  • House Parties
  • Game Nights
  • Gadget Gifts for him

How’s the game been doing for you so far? Do you have more ideas up your sleeve?

So far, the game is going great. It is currently sold in every mall in the US and Canada at Spencer Gifts. We attend all of the beer festivals and events all throughout Southern California and have a great following.

We often have repeat customers who absolutely love the game and tell us about the good times they’ve had with all their friends when playing.

The Drink-A-Palooza brand will be expanding into a couple other avenues and you should see some new products coming out this year.

Lastly, David, how do you like to chill out, when you’re not designing such stunning games?

Luckily. I live in Pacific Beach in San Diego and it offers up a lot of variety. There are so many options from bar hopping to surfing to laying out at the beach that there is always something fun to do. It is a truly unique place and a perfect home to the Drink-A-Palooza drinking game.


Many thanks, David, for a great interview. Jump on this page to get the game.

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