There is absolutely no better way to step up your weekend than by throwing a barn-burning shitshow of a rager. Getting a couple hundred of your closest friends retarded in the comfortable confines of your own house sets a night up to be way more fun than staggering about DP. However, when booze accounts for 75 percent of your monthly expenditures, taking on the extra cost of getting a ton of people blaquephaded can mean the difference between eating and not. Luckily, I.V. has a veritable armory of kegs, 30-packs and cheap handles ready to blitzkrieg sobriety. With numerous choices, I’ve done the liquor store research to help you keep money in your wallet and still get half the town permed.
The single most recognizable symbol of party life is the keg. Like possums in your toilet, people will appear from hundreds of miles away at the single mention of having kegs at your house, which can definitely be used to your advantage if you’re trying to amass the next Waynestock in your backyard. The 15.5 gallon half-barrel kegs hold 150 beers after foam and spillage. At about $67 out the door, each one of those beers costs you a brain-meltingly cheap 43 cents a pop. Add in a bag of 180 red cups — an obvious necessity — for $16, and the per-beer price for one keg is upped to 55 cents. One oft-overlooked fact is that kegs carry legal issues that other liquor options don’t. The fine for an unregistered keg is $300 per barrel, while the charge for distributing alcohol to minors out of a keg is over $3,000.
The bottom line for kegs is that they both encourage more people to show up at your house just from their name value alone, and buying more than one depresses your party costs immensely. The usual equation is that one keg will last 50 people an hour in party-mode, but run six taps like Snow Club and you can do 10 in a night. FYI: the current single-tap record was set at TTK with three kegs drained in just under an hour. Feel free to challenge.
Oft relegated to pre-parties and beer pong nights, the 30-pack is rarely associated with ragers, but this can certainly be an advantage. While a keg needs to be registered, and thus has a traceable record, cans are untraceable, and this anonymity can save you from a gnarly legal battle. Most of the greek houses have learned this the hard way; those brosephs just fill all their sinks and bathtubs full of cans. Aside from the safety net, picking up a few dirty 30’s is actually cheaper than keg purchases. While Natty and Keystone 30-packs are now a wallet-strangling $18 after tax and CRV, Milwaukee’s Best can still be found for $16 out the door. It takes five racks of Beast to match a keg, which actually works out to be a few dollars cheaper than a single barrel and cups.
The final word on partying with 30-packs is that their anonymity and ability to be hidden can be a major advantage if you either don’t want a bunch of randoms wandering to your house, or if you have an organization that can’t get rolled for having kegs. Price-wise, five 30’s are cheaper than a keg, but if you’re trying to turn your house into a proper shitstorm, multiple kegs are your best option.
Above all, nothing rivals the cheap handle in terms of dirt-cheap blackouts. The cheapest handles will run you around $13 after tax, and will pour 35 to 40 shots depending on spillage. Add in off-brand soda as chaser, and handles cost 40 cents a drink, which dominates either beer option. The main complaint with handles is that people either refuse them or get straight lagonzo, but that’s probably a good thing, since throwing a party with nothing but 40 handles will scare off your pussy friends and leave you with people that really know how to get down.
While all of the above are party staples, mixing and matching them for specific situations will definitely save you cash while still fueling the festivities. But saving is for lonely people. Fuck it, go slam down 20 kegs on your credit card and have a thundergnar party this weekend. I.V. will love you for it.