Friday, May 20, 2011

Kick some masskrugstemmen

I've referred to my boyfriend on here many a time, but usually to laud his artistic achievements as both a gourd carver and table painter. While his artistic talents lend themselves nicely to blogging, as photos really do break up huge blocks of text quite nicely, I worry that this has overshadowed some of his other fine talents. This is my personal blog, so it's natural that it should generally focus on me, my fitness, and how sculpted my biceps look if I flex and photograph them in black and white, but the following story demonstrates that he probably has me beat in terms of feats of strength.

Last night, we went with a group of friends to the Bierhaus near Grand Central to celebrate a friend's birthday the right way: with 2-liter boots full of beer and waitresses in Bavarian dirndls. For those of us who thought 2-liters was an excessive quantity of beer to drink, out of a boot or otherwise, the Bierhaus also came through with a delicious platter of fresh pretzels and biercheese. The wursts weren't too shabby either. The night we were there, and I gather they do this most nights, they were holding a masskrugstemmen. Masskrugstemmen is an actual Bavarian competition that loosely translates to "the lifting of a liter mug of beer." At least that's what the American-German Club of the Palm Beaches says, and they've never given me any reason to doubt them as a source.

Assuming the translation is correct, it's a fairly accurate explanation for what the contest entails. Contestants have to hold a full beer stein out, without bending their arm, and the winner is the last person to have to drop their arm. Also, spilling is naturally not allowed. My boyfriend and another in our group thought it would be fun to face off against the 8 other strapping competitors. After all, there was no entry fee and even the losers got to keep the brew they competed with (and at $16 a liter by Bierhaus prices, that's not a bad freebie). Also, the winner stood to win their very own beer stein. How often to opportunities like this really come around?

Free beer or not, nothing about this contest looked fun at all. I would love to give you a play-by-play of the event, but really it doesn't lend itself to visuals. Also, I couldn't see over the heads of the people in front of me. I do know that the one girl who was playing was not the first one out, which made me proud of my gender. Suffice is to say, there was a lot of arm shaking in that 4 minutes. But in the end he triumphed--and is one beer stein richer for his labors! He's also apparently entered in the masskrugstemmen finals which will take place on Summer Stage in Central Park with a chance to win a trip for two to Germany. Naturally, as the supportive girlfriend (who has never been to Germany), I've offered to lend him Tony to aid his training.

A promotional picture taken by the Bierhaus (I took it from their facebook page). Sorry it's so tiny; it was taken by a Bierhaus waitress on her cell phone. Just as they did to commemorate victors in the masskrugstemmen contests of old.


  1. Way to go, Boyfriend!
    I'm thinking that it's time to put a name to him in this blog as he keeps coming up. Assuming he wants to be anonymous, you might find a code name. Doesn't Fafner have an associate in Das Rhinegold? Alternatively, you could refer to him as SA (strong and artistic)?

  2. I think Fafner's giant friend is Fasolt. Although don't they end up killing each other over the Rhinegold? Perhaps it's not the comparison I should go for. I'll definitely think on it though.

    Also, welcome back! It was hard writing without your faithful commenting.

  3. i'm impressed. completely and seriously.