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The Beer Circle » Beer Facts, The Beer Circle » Hashing – The Next Olympic Sport?

Hashing – The Next Olympic Sport?

What is hashing, you may ask?

Hashing mixes athleticism, hard work, and friendly competition mixed with a touch of hedonism. Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of British colonial officials and expats founded a running club called the Hash House Harriers. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, nicknamed the “Hash House.”

The runs were patterned after the traditional British paper chase. A “hare” was given a head start to blaze a trail, marking the way with shreds of paper, all the while pursued by a shouting pack of “harriers.” The harriers didn’t know the route and had to follow the clues to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and solving the clues, reaching the end was its own reward: the thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer.

Goals of the Hash

. . . from the 1938 charter of the Kuala Lumpur Hash House Harriers

  • To promote physical fitness among our members
  • To get rid of weekend hangovers
  • To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
  • To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

Course Markings

Setting a Course

  • Trails may pass through any type of terrain.
  • The hare can mark the trail with whatever they see fit.
  • Specials marks are used to indicate a false trail, a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn. The most commonly used mark is a “Check,” indicating that hashers will have to search in any direction to find the continuation of the trail. If the hare is thoughtful  the check and become a “beer check” with some liquid encouragement for the harriers.
  • There are two types of trails. “Live Trails” are laid by hares who are given a head start, while “Dead Trails” are pre-laid hours or days before the Hash begins. Live trails and dead trails are also known as “Live Hare” and “Dead Hare” trails, respectively.
  • Trails usually are point A to point B. Sometimes point B is close to point A for the sake of convenience.
  • The distance can vary. If you are the hare, you’ll need to look at the harriers and determine what is best.
  • The hare should be responsible for the after-chase refreshments but that is up to the entire group to determine.


The reward is here. After the chase, the harriers receive their reward for a great chase: beer.

Give hashing a try and let The Beer Circle know how it went. I intend to start a hashing with my running group. We already celebrate runs with recovery beers so a beer-centered run shouldn’t be much of a stretch.

It is time for the craft beer world to come together for a great cause. Let’s get hashing into the next Olympics!




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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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