Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of traditional Oktoberfest season. Instead of simply trotting out the usual traditions of Lederhosen, oom-pah bands and Americanized sausages euphemistically-called Bratwurst, the folks at Sam Adams Beer have been paying tribute to a more noble – and burly – Bavarian pastime; Masskrugstemmen.
As the massive beer tents would fill thousands strong and the beer really began to flow, the burly, assertive-personality Germans would begin games of one-ups-man-ship. Personalities now-lubricated with liters of beer would challenge each others’ physical prowess. Stand on your head while drinking a beer. Let the Mädchens (young girls) race with 35 pounds of full beer mugs (echoing the quick transport of suds by the waitresses through the packed beer halls). How fast can you chug the biggest of beers?
Perhaps the most taxing, lactic acid-burning of the feats of strength is Masskrugstemmen. This is where contestants fill a liter glass stein full of beer and hold it out directly in front of them for as long as they can. Now, this is not as easy as it sounds, especially with drinking involved.
A full liter mug weighs in at just over 5 pounds. Again, no big deal, right? There are rules. You must extend your arm straight in front of you at a 90 degree angle to the ground with your opposite arm flat by your side. You have to hold the handle of the mug and without your thumb over the top of the handle. You cannot bend or support your arm at any time. And, most importantly, you can’t spill a drop.
The world record is just over 20 minutes. The average time is 4.
While there are numerous competition groups scattered around the U.S., Sam Adams – America’s largest craft brewery – is using their nation-wide pull to make this an annual event of epic proportions. Out of their 33 distribution territories across the country, only three accounts from each are picked to participate in their Raise The Stein event. The winners of each – one male, one female – move on to their regional finals. Those winners go to the national competition in Boston. The top two from there win a trip to the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany!
Hopjacks has been selected as one of those three official participants in the entire Panhandle region. Competition begins at 9 pm tomorrow, Thursday, September 25. EVENT DETAILS HERE
And how is Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest beer? Malt-forward, for sure, but Americanized. As amber as autumn leaves, it’s got malty scents of sweet stone fruit, caramel and nuts. Rich and inviting, their Märzenbier exhibits biscuit, honey and cashew flavors with a decidedly-American level of spicy hop presence. The finish is slightly-sticky but mostly clean and memorable.
Think you have what it takes? Come downtown tomorrow and flex those muscles. Have yourself a Sam Adams Oktoberfest while you’re at it.