99 Bottles Of Beer On Andre's Wall: How Much Booze Could Andre The Giant Actually Drink?

Stories about Andre The Giant can sometimes make him sound like wrestling's version of Paul Bunyan: a mythical figure who could tip over a Volkswagen with little effort or eat 12 steaks and 15 lobsters in a single sitting. But some of the wildest legends about Andre involve his ability to put away a truly prolific amount of booze. Tales of Andre's extraordinary capacity for alcohol have been told for decades by wrestling figures like Ric Flair, Tim White, and Gorilla Monsoon, and celebrities like his "Princess Bride" co-star Cary Elwes and director Rob Reiner.

On an episode of the WWE Network series "Legends of Wrestling," Mike Graham made the incredible claim that Andre was able to drink 156 beers in one night. As Thrillist estimated, that's nearly 2,500 fluid ounces or just under 20 gallons of beer — the equivalent of about one keg, one 30-pack, and two cans of beer. Hulk Hogan told similar tales. In a 2014 radio interview, he shared two stories: that Andre drank 108 12-ounce beers during a 45-minute layover at the Tampa airport, and 12 bottles of wine in a three-hour bus ride during a tour of Japan.

The actual numbers are, of course, hard to verify. A 1999 episode of A&E's "Biography" series that covered Andre's life shared some of the more outrageous claims, including that he could down several bottles of blended whiskey, wine, and Cognac — before, during, and after dinner.

Andre the Giant quit drinking later in life

Despite the legends, massive quantities of food and alcohol were not a nightly occurrence for Andre the Giant, according to referee Tim White, who was also Andre's handler with the WWE."He'd do it more for fun," White said in the 1999 interview for A&E's "Biography." "He had a normal appetite. It was a decent appetite, believe me, more than I can eat. But, for his size, it was normal."

In a 1984 interview on "Late Night with David Letterman," Andre himself acknowledged the legends, confirming to Letterman that he had drank 117 beers in one sitting. But, Andre added, he quit drinking due to his ballooning weight, which had reached 560 pounds at his heaviest.

Cary Elwes, who wrote about his friendship with Andre in his memoir "As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride," told The Daily Beast in 2014 that Andre didn't drink for the sake of it. Instead, drinking was Andre's way of coping with the considerable pain of carrying all that weight, plus the nightly rigors of a career in pro wrestling. Still, Elwes said he was impressed by how much Andre could put away with seemingly little effect.

"The man was extraordinary. He never even slurred his words or was tipsy!" he told the Daily Beast. "He was absolutely a man who could consume vast amounts of alcohol and not have it affect him at all. I've never seen anything like it."