Smuggling Beer into Stadiums

The Beerbelly attaches to your abdomen and looks like a beer gut, allowing you to smuggle beer past guards -- even guards that do cursory pat-down searches.

Posted on May 15, 2007 at 12:45 PM • 42 Comments


tjvmMay 15, 2007 1:30 PM

From the web site:

"Not just for Beer, fill it with Margaritas, hot chocolate, wine...endless possibilities."


On a separate, non-security-related note, it doesn't look like it holds very much beer. I would think that the sort of guy who's interested in beer-smuggling equipment would be the sort of guy who likes to drink a LOT of beer.

Jay74May 15, 2007 1:36 PM

I wonder if the beerbelly can fool airline screeners? A terrorist coule probably fill it with actual beer a few times, and if he manages to pass through security each time, he could try it with some harmful chemicals. If he get caught with the beer, he can just say he's trying to save a few bucks.

Not dramatic enough for the movie plot contest, but interesting nonetheless.

djMay 15, 2007 1:40 PM

I'd say the chances would be better with the "Wine Rack" product. In a pat-down situation, the ramifications of groping might provide a better chance of success (both for the ball-park and the plane).

Karl JorgensenMay 15, 2007 1:56 PM

I'm amazed that beers in stadiums are not allowed over in your "land of the free"? Or do they merely want you to purchase the (more expensive) beers inside? Anyway - I digress..

But aren't the people most likely to *want* to smuggle beer into stadiums are the ones who are equipped with a natural version of the beer belly already? I mean: if you have a taste for beer, the accompanying belly tends to develop naturally...

QuercusMay 15, 2007 2:40 PM

@Karl -- there are a couple reasons for preventing customers from bringing beer into stadiums, clubs, etc. First is to prevent broken glass (either from accidents or from unruly fans throwing bottles). Of course, as metal and plastic cans and bottles are almost always also banned, it's clear that forcing customers to purchase the more expensive beer inside is probably the larger motive.

SimonMay 15, 2007 2:48 PM

I wouldn't object to the insane prices they charge for beer in stadiums except it's invariably foul domestic product from the beer sponsor of the stadium. Even the premium beer is nasty - also you can only purchase one at a time and it's annoying to have to keep getting up and missing the game to queue up. Don't think I could bring myself to wear one of these contraptions though...

AnonymousMay 15, 2007 3:53 PM

I suspect that economics is the main reason for banning outside alcohol, but another reason is that it provides a (highly imperfect) means of curbing excess drinking. Beer vendors can be instructed to refuse to sell to obviously intoxicated people, and, at some venues/events, they stop selling alcohol at some point before the end of the event.

Of course, excessive drinking still occurs, but it's a legitimate concern for venue owners -- drunk people are a security problem and can ruin the day for other (more numerous) customers.

KaukomieliMay 15, 2007 4:01 PM

Even a plastic-bottle will hurt pretty badly if it is thrown from one of the seats higher up.
This is why beverages are not allowed in stadiums where I live and stuff sold inside is not in bottles but in light plastic-cups.

KaukomieliMay 15, 2007 4:02 PM

in addendum: why go through the hassle with stuff like that? Just shape this from plastic-explosives (or playdoo...) and go. Will pass screening and patting etc.

khemistMay 15, 2007 4:12 PM

My favorite quote from the two articles linked to Bruce's is "Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy anymore". Asked as if no one should expect privacy during this day and age. My answer to him is "HELL YES". How do you equate terrorist attacks to not expecting privacy? A terrorist attack can strike any time any where. Are you going to start searching people who go into churches? What is the size limit of the event before you start searching people. This is another example of paranoia - in my opinion.

My second favorite quote - "There is no constitutional right to watch a football game". No - but there is one regarding the right to assemble in groups.

TomMay 15, 2007 4:16 PM

College teaches you lots of useful things... smuggling vodka in an empty sunscreen container...

GameDay SearchesMay 15, 2007 4:22 PM

@khemist: "There is no constitutional right to watch a football game". No - but there is one regarding the right to assemble in groups.

Except for the fact that you have to pay to get into the game. Doesn't that make the arena and game private, not public? Hence you do not have the right to privacy there.

I would venture the same could be said for the places of worship as well (those that i know will allow non-members to pay, but for the most part those that participate are members).

I think the issue with bringing beer in was more geared to the public pressure of abusive fans from excessive drinking as well as drunk driving.

Bruce SchneierMay 15, 2007 4:29 PM

"On a separate, non-security-related note, it doesn't look like it holds very much beer."

From the website: "It holds 80oz, that’s more than a six pack of your favorite beverage."

How much more do you want?

Bruce SchneierMay 15, 2007 4:29 PM

"I wonder if the beerbelly can fool airline screeners?"

I have no doubt that it can, even if they pick you for secondary screening.

georgeMay 15, 2007 5:34 PM

You guys are totally alcoholics! Do you usually drink more than a six-pack at the game? If so, you don't need to go to a game you can stay home to get drunk!

I should think 80oz of beer is enough for one game. Otherwise, they need to invent the beer child (a lifesize real looking baby that you carry with you to hold over two gallons of beer).

tjvmMay 15, 2007 5:38 PM

I didn't notice the 80oz. claim. From the look of it, I was thinking it held the equivalent of a couple of cans.

Bruce SchneierMay 15, 2007 6:26 PM

"I didn't notice the 80oz. claim. From the look of it, I was thinking it held the equivalent of a couple of cans."

And my gues is that this is less used to smuggle beer into places where beer is prohibited, and more used to smuggle beer into places where beer is expensive.

So if 80 ounces isn't enough, you can always go to the concession stand.

ryanMay 16, 2007 12:01 AM

on a similar note. For ballparks and concerts that let you bring in sealed water bottles, you can buy empty water bottles and caps with the seals connected, fill the bottles with vodka and put on the cap.

Or have a lot of small water bottles and one be vodka, they probably won't check them all.

AnonymousMay 16, 2007 3:29 AM

80 US fluid ounces = 2.36588237 litres (Courtesy of google)

2.36588237 litres / 0.568 litres (aka a pint) = 4.16528586

So just over 4 pints. Depending on the length of the game this may not be sufficient....

AnonymousMay 16, 2007 3:31 AM

I should add UK pint = 568ml.

I believe the US have a different pint measurement. Incidentally, by what measures do you guys drink beer?

In the UK we go by the pint (568ml)
Europeans go by the half litre (500ml) - or at least when Brits visit Europe they drink half litres.

Ed T.May 16, 2007 6:55 AM

GameDay Searches said:
"Except for the fact that you have to pay to get into the game. Doesn't that make the arena and game private, not public? Hence you do not have the right to privacy there."

However - the stadium is more than likely a PUBLIC venue, paid for with TAX DOLLARS, and owned by the PEOPLE - which makes it a PUBLIC gathering place.


Colossal SquidMay 16, 2007 7:58 AM

"You people are disgusting!!!!
Who wants to drink WARM BEER?!?"

The British.

BritMay 16, 2007 8:11 AM

@Colossal Squid, are you under the impression the British will drink anything?

altjiraMay 16, 2007 8:27 AM

@Herman - it comes with a cooler pack - although does that mean you have to go through the game with a frozen belly? It's hard enough to make it through a game at Arrowhead in December. Maybe hot toddies would be more appropriate - and solve the capacity problem others have pondered.

@Richard - complements on the pun.

PaulMay 16, 2007 9:30 AM

My favorite part of the advertisement is when it says: "Seriously, this is a real product, you need one now."

Matt from CTMay 16, 2007 11:14 AM

Sorry, but I can't help but laughing at the US-Metric-US conversion ;)

Of course, I can't laugh to hard because you also need the US-Imperial Conversion to get it right between the two countries seperated by a common language.

1 Gallon = 128 Ounces,
1 Pint = 1/8 Gallon = 16 Ounces
80 Ounces = 5 U.S. Pints

HOWEVER, the Imperial Gallon is 1.2 U.S. Gallons.
Therefore their pints are 20% larger.
So it's 4 Imperial Pints.

BTW, our Gallon's definition codified in statute is older then the Imperial. Damn Brits tried to be semi-metric in 1824 and made their gallon = 10 pounds of water.

DisgustusMay 16, 2007 11:17 AM

Its a testimoney to the power of advertising that people cannot IMAGINE watching a game without a beer. They will actually BUY a fake belly with a hose to suck on, just because the people at Anheiser Busch have programmed their brains. Sheep.

TorenCMay 16, 2007 1:35 PM

Beer and sporting events have been associated long before Budweiser came on the scene.

cdmillerMay 16, 2007 2:13 PM

@khemist: "There is no constitutional right to watch a football game"

Yes there is, the 10th amendment. The feds cannot deny us the right to watch football.

JoshMay 16, 2007 3:50 PM

@Karl Jorgensen

"Land of the free" doesn't mean freedom to do anything you want.

AnonymousMay 17, 2007 11:06 AM

80 ounces by volume, times 1.6 (the density of nitroglycerine)=128 ounces/16=8 pounds of high explosives in a beer belly that'll pass through a pat-down. :)

JohnJune 2, 2007 12:43 PM

This is what children are for.

Last time I went to a baseball game, the (cursory) pat down was of me only, not the two kids I was with.

(Stadiums may be responding to complaints about drunken behavior, but one suspects they are economically happy to do so.)

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