The rain that has been blowing over UT's campus for the past week is coming to an end. Tonight's forecast predicts a drier sky for the popular "Free Beer Friday" event at Rumorz.
Allen Morton, the owner of Rumorz, explained that his bar decided to maximize an otherwise unexplored opportunity: beer busts.
"Nobody was doing anything like it," he said. "It seemed like they just didn't know how to have a good time anymore."
The event features plenty of deals, like 35 cent wings and $5 liquor pitchers, but the main draw is the promise of free draft beer until the tap runs dry.
Morton said that a typical Friday night will bring 1,500 people through the door, mostly students. They go through 10-12 kegs and roughly 80 gallons of liquor pitchers. He also estimated that people eat 20-30 pounds of wings and use, on average, 1200 pounds of ice.
"I would say that 75-80 percent of my friends go to Rumorz on most Fridays," said Camille Marsden, a sophomore in therapeutic recreation. "You can hardly walk because it's so crowded. If you need to go to the bathroom you need to be prepared to wait at least 45 minutes in line."
Morton admitted that he himself would like a little more room at Rumorz.
"It's almost a little ... well, I wish this place was bigger sometimes," he laughed.
The tradition started at the beginning of last year, and for some employees the "Free Beer Friday" has been revolutionary.
Morton chuckled as he recounted wild stories from Fridays past. Last week alone, the bar lost a big screen T.V. due an off-balanced group of sorority girls and a large banner behind the stage because of some overzealous dancing.
"There was a frat boy that just walked off the stage, he didn't step down but literally walked off it and landed on his face," Morton said. "Then there was the one we caught peeing in the trashcan the other night."
The madness ends at 3 a.m., when Morton and his bartenders shut the doors and assess the night's damage. Oftentimes, it takes five to seven people to clean the building. Morton said they stay until 6 a.m.
"The downside of liquor pitchers is all the puking and stuff like that," he said, wryly.
Recently, Knoxville area bars have struggled against convincing fake IDs. Rumorz policy allows 18-21 year-olds in with a $10 covers (girls get in free), but only the 21 and up crowd receives wristbands. Those without wristbands cannot be served alcohol.
"They have to have a really good fake to get past our bouncers," Morton said. "We've got be strict about it, I mean they sent in cadets this past weekend. Alcoholic Beverage Commission sends in these guys, always underage, and they try to get served at the bar. They bust our chops a lot just because of our location. All the bars down here, they do the same thing to them. ... But they like to bust our chops a little bit more than everyone else because we let in under 21-year-olds."
Regardless of the fake IDs, Rumorz is looking to expand its beer busts, with Morton going as far as hinting that the bar will soon start offering one on Saturday.
"Once the beer's gone, people still stick around. They're having a good time, so we figured 'Hey, let's do it again on Saturdays, see what happens,'" he said.