A Yard of Ale

OBJECTIVE OF A YARD OF ALE: Get Drunk (first)!!

MATERIALS: Tall beer glass (holds 2.5 imperial pints or 1.4 L)



A Yard of Ale, or as it is sometimes referred to as Yard Glass, is a drinking game which uses an extraordinarily tall beer glasses.The glass used in the game is 1 yard long and has a bulb at the bottom which reaches upward and blooms outward.

In countries which use the metric system, the glass may be a meter or 1.1 yards. An actual yard is equivalent to only 90 cm. Since the glass is so large it does not have a flat base and therefore cannot be set down. It is, instead, hung on a wall with its strap. Below is a photo of man drinking a yard of ale in North Yorkshire England.


It is most likely the glass originated during 17th-century England in which is was known as a “Cambridge yard” as well as an “ell glass.” The piece was correlated through legends to stagecoach drivers, however, it was commonly used for special toasts.

The glass is emblematic of not only a talent for drinking but, also a talent for glassblowing.

Yard glasses can often be found hanging on the walls of English pubs in addition to the numerous pubs which bear the name The Yard of Ale. 


Drinking a yard is an endurance and speed drinking game– one must be able to endure drinking the entire yard as well as being the first to finish. This is a traditional drinking game played in English pubs. In New Zealand, a Yard of Ale is referred to as a Yardie, and is a 21st birthday tradition.

Besides the sheer amount of beer one must drink, the process of drinking from the glass itself is also a challenge. Due to the shape of the glass, and the fact air cannot reach the bottom of the bowl until the glass has been lifted fairly high up, one must be careful to not spill the drink all over oneself.

Some Yard of Ale enthusiasts claim the proper way to drink is by tilting the glass slowly, others prefer to twirl the glass as they drink in order to release the air pressure building beneath the ale.


Nakoa Davis

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