Don’t miss the 24th Annual Battle of the Bars!

Hilarity for Charity!


Worlds will collide in Key West at high noon on Sunday, Aug. 6th, and all are invited to watch the spectacular showdown.

Schooner Wharf Bar will host the 24th Annual Battle of the Bars, starting at noon at the foot of William Street.

            Despite the fierce competition for trophies and a year of bragging rights, the battle is all in the name of charity and has raised $319,752 to date for local non-profits.

“It’s been 24 years, but the enthusiasm, excitement and generosity from the teams is still amazing and ongoing,” said Schooner Wharf owner Evalena Worthington, who drew the very first battle lines behind her bar more than two decades ago.

Benefit The Boys & Girls Club of the Keys Area

Proceeds from this year’s Battle will benefit The Boys & Girls Club of the Keys Area, whose mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens in a safe place to learn and grow; and Bahama Village Music Program, which provides free musical education and instruction to children aged 6 to 16 in our community. The program creates a great sense of community spirit and pride, fosters important mentor relationships and enhances students’ self-esteem.

Teams of seven “soldiers” from local bars and also restaurants compete in a hilarious relay race that tests their skills on the front lines of Schooner Wharf Bar.

The race involves an obstacle course that challenges battle veterans and new recruits to mix and serve a perfect margarita, sort recyclables, tap a keg, pour seven draft beers, carry the tray across a balance beam, and then chug a beer with the team until each member can place the glass upside down atop their head.

Teams with the fastest times advance to the next round. The other teams are encouraged to bribe the judges to buy their way into the next round of competition.

Longtime competitors Bourbon St. Pub are in rigorous training. Capt. Joey Schroeder said, “We set up a makeshift course, including walking over a small plank holding a tray of drinks and chugging.

If someone chokes, he’s off the team.” One of their secrets: “We carb up with French fries — we eat a bunch of fries and then we can drink more. The salt from the fries helps us drink the beer fast.”

He added, “I just want to challenge anyone who thinks they can beat the professional ‘Bourbon Boozers’. It took us 20 years to get it right,” (they took 1st Place in 2014), “but now we’ve got the formula, so bring it on — we are the professional boozers and we’re going for another win!”

In addition to the coveted team trophy for the victors, prizes are also awarded for Most Outrageous Team Costume. Many teams come in themed and also creative costumes. Last year, 801 Bourbon took home the award with their Flintstones characters.

Deepest Pockets

The Deepest Pockets award goes to the team that contributes the most money for the charities. Salute! On the Beach took it home last year, as well as capturing 2nd fastest.

Tony Gilletly, Salute!’s team captain, said, “We are the ‘Beach Bums’! Beach Bums came in 2nd last year, but as much as we want to win overall fastest. We challenge everyone to try to beat us at winning the “Deepest Pockets” award. We love contributing and  also giving back to Key West. As a team we love to be part of having fun, getting together and drinking, but our main motivator is giving back.”

Captain Schroeder added, “We look forward to the Battle every year. All the bars love to get together to raise money for two great causes.”

Registration starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6th and the Battle Cry is sounded at noon. So don’t miss the heated – and hilarious – competition. Come and cheer on your favorite team from your favorite watering hole. It’s all for fun for two great causes!

Teams can still enter: call 305 292-3773. For general info., visit or call 305-292-3302.

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