NEW YORK – A drinking special called the "World Beer Games" has some enthusiasts hopping mad - and others calling all the hooha a case of "fuss lite."
The special, airing June 8 on FX, pits young beer drinkers (including some scantily clad women) from 16 different countries against each other in drinking games and contests - including determining who can drink 16 ounces of brew in the shortest time (no dribbling).
It also features Hooters waitresses wearing their trademark skimpy uniforms.
At stake? The title of "World's Best Beer Nation."
"It's all about money, not beer," says Todd Alstrom, a co-founder of Beeradvocate.com, a Website catering to beer enthusiasts. "It's irresponsible and downright ignorant."
Alstrom and his brother, Jason, are calling for viewers to boycott the show.
"This kind of juvenile ‘frat party' marketing mentality will only hurt the beer industry," he says. "It's going to set back the efforts of all advocates of beer, who have been fighting to break the public's perception that beer is simply a frat party drink.
"[The special] pays no respect to beer, its value, its industry, its history or its drinkers.
"Beer is more than 4,000 years old — it deserves more respect than this."
"I don't agree," says "World Beer Games" executive producer Aidan Tracey. "The show is lighthearted and fun and is absolutely designed to promote beer culture and sociability."
Tracey has attracted advertisers including Belgian brewery Interbrew, ex-employer Beer.com and Hooters — all of whom hope to cash in on the show's target demo of young viewers.
"Promoting beer as just fun and games is just a stupid thing to do," says George Hacker, director of the Alcohol Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy and educational organization based in Washington.
"Beer is, by far, responsible for this country's greatest alcohol problems," Hacker says.