The CDFL is Redefining Drinking Games by Combining Craft Beer with Terrible Movies

For most adults the term “drinking game” conjures memories of college coeds guzzling crappy piss beer to ridiculous games like Kings Cup, Quarters, Flip Cup, or Beer Pong. They may also recall no real good ever coming out of these games because the end result was often waking up with a terrible headache or with a lawsuit. I started the Competitive Drinking Film League (CDFL) with two friends, Kyle Graham and Matt Russell, in the hopes of changing peoples’ view of the stereotypical drinking game by taking fantastically horrible movies that would otherwise be downright painful to watch and making them amazing by adding craft beer. Lots of craft beer.

It all started during my pre-bachelor party nine years ago when my friend Karl Akesson told me that we were playing his creation, Drinkaway Camp, the Sleepaway Camp drinking game. My mind was blown and my life was forever changed once the end-credits rolled. All I could do was grab the sides of my head and say, “What the fuck just happened?!” (If you’ve ever seen Sleepaway Camp you would understand why). This experience led me to create my own game, Troll 2: Emag Gniknird Eht, which I shared at the iO West Theatre in Hollywood. After a great reception of this game, the CDFL was born. We spent a year at the iO, and then found a home at Silver Lake’s Virgil, playing Sunday nights at 9:00 once a month.

What distinguishes the CDFL’s approach to movie-watching drinking games is that the audience is split into three different teams. Each team has a set list of drinking rules, but it is the goal of each team to enforce the other team’s rules, hence the competitive drinking part of our name. The three CDFL members are team captains that provide some commentary on the movies. Kyle and I are trained improvisers, so these games often resemble an episode of Mystery Science 3000. Some popular past games include Over the Tap (Over the Top), My Drunken Valentine (The original My Bloody Valentine), The Drink Wars Holiday Special (The Star Wars Holiday Special), and Top Shelf (Top Gun).

This Sunday, 5/19, at 9:00 we’re running The Boozies: The Goonies drinking game for free. Come by and end your American Craft Beer Week at the Virgil by sipping some choice crafts to a Richard Donner classic that’s just downright stupid, but loved by any child of the 80s (including myself). The Virgil has 6 crafts on tap with local beers rotating in from Stone, Coronado, Strand, Eagle Rock, North Coast, and Lost Coast for $5 a pint. They also have four drafts in cans including Golden Road Hefe and Boont Amber Ale.

Next month we’ll be playing The Mighty Drunks (The Mighty Ducks Drinking Game) just in time for the Stanley Cup Finals. In July we’ll have The Never Ending Pour-ey so mark your calendars. More and more adults are finding out that these games are not just for jocks with IROC-Z Camaros as the CDFL has tailored terrible and nostalgic movies to become a cinematic experience that pairs nicely with fine craft beer. Follow the CDFL on Facebook at and check out all the events at The Virgil including standup comedy, dance parties and live music at The Virgil is located at 4519 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles in case you need to give the address to the taxi driver so you’re not responsible for driving home. Come out and watch these awful movies with a delicious pint in hand, and remember, even though these games are competitive, everyone is a winner when you’re drinking craft beer.


About Dave Stratton

Dave Stratton is an artist many times over, but like many struggling artists in LA, he hasn’t made a dime for any of it. Originally from Washington State, he found the three loves of his life in college: improvised comedy, his wife, and craft beer. Over time his drawing skills deteriorated to what resembles a chicken clawing at an Etch-a-Sketch due to the large amount of boring hand writing and note taking that he’s done in his professional life. He took his artistic aspiration to the computer through typing and creating media in hopes to one day become a robot himself. He also focused his craft on the stage by studying comedy at the iO West. He can be found performing around LA and Hollywood in hopes to score a few bucks for some beer money (jokes on him though because improvisers are almost never paid).

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1 Comment

  1. Dave Stratton:

    We’ll be playing The Mighty Drunks on June 9th at 9:00 pm at the Virgil! Come out and chant “Drunks, drunks, drunks, I mean ducks, ducks, ducks!”

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