When I first heard of Masskrugstemmen I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only could I not pronounce it, I couldn’t believe my luck in finding it. Such a complicated name! But then I registered that this was a German word; tough-to-say is a no-brainer in Germany and actually results from that famed German efficiency in everything including word condensation. And Masskrugstemmen isn’t even that long when you compare it to, say, Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeit, which, I’ve read, refers to food intolerance. But I digress!
Masskrugstemmen is translated as Steinholding. It’s a sport! And for our purposes at Oktoberfest it is too good to be true. Why didn’t we know about this last year? Why did it take us 17 Oktoberfests to learn about the best of all sports (IMHO). This is as good as the Chair Luge and tapping of the Oktoberfest keg. As good as weisswurst and mustard. As good as a dirndl. In fact, it goes quite well with a dirndl. It goes quite well with lederhosen. It belongs to our Party In The Streets.
Let’s press on. What is it?
You take several perfectly normal people (there you are, the first test), assemble them on a stage in front of all their admirers and supporters (the second test), provide each with a 3-lb, 1-liter stein, filled with 1 liter of Oktoberfest lager (brings the total to 5 lbs) and with a starters fog horn blasting the start, competitors will raise their steins, straight-armed, perfectly horizontal and hold the steins in place, disregarding all cat calling, pejoratives and verbal insults to their abilities. With sweat dripping, lactic acid accumulating and ego at stake, the contest continues until the last man or woman remains with arm outstretched, stable and proud. That’s fun, right?
You don’t even have to sign up. Just show up on the day, with your best arm and be one of the first 10 men or women on stage. Winners go to Jack’s Abbey Oktoberfest the following Saturday wearing Moon Hill merch and planning to win the state-wide competition. And then it’s on to Nationals!
Oktoberfest Masskrugstemmen (Steinholding) Competition
1 PM, Oktoberfest Day
In front of the Ale House