German beer is a beloved alcoholic drink throughout the world. It’s also a huge cultural staple and symbol of Germany. In fact, Germany makes $1.4 billion annually from its beer exports. 

The only thing more German than drinking German beer is joining a stein holding contest. The best place to find one of these unique competitions is at your local, seasonal Oktoberfest celebration.

To learn more about this traditional Bavarian pastime, check out the guide below.

What is a Stein Holding Contest?

Oktoberfest, the famous German beer and folk festival, hosts many traditional German activities. One of these is maßkrugstemmen, or, the stein holding contest. Unless you’re a big fan of German culture, you may have never heard of it.

A stein is the English term for the infamously huge German beer mugs. Traditionally, they are stoneware, but today they are made of glass. You can bet that they can get heavy when filled with a liter of beer.

As the name of the event implies, a stein holding contest involves holding a full stein of beer at arm’s length. It’s a lot more challenging than it sounds and would make a pretty good workout routine.

How Much Does It Weigh?

A heavy, glass stein usually weighs about three-and-a-half pounds without any liquid. It’s composed of a thick glass body and a sturdy handle. When you add one liter of beer, the full weight rises to about five pounds. 

The stein holder should grip the handle in their fist. There are strict rules about how to hold the stein.

What’s the Average?

The average stein holding time is much lower than you may expect. Women can typically hold the stein for one to two minutes, while men last for three to five minutes.

Those who last longer than the average times are good candidates for national competitions. The best way to find out is to join your local Oktoberfest competition and see how you fare.

How to Train?

Stein holding is a test of endurance and strength. It may sound like an unusual thing to train for, but training is necessary if you’ve never done it before. 

The first step is to go out and purchase a stein of your own. Before you fill it with liquid, try testing your endurance by holding the empty stein away from you for as long as possible.

your shoulder will likely want to give out first. You will also need to train yourself mentally to prepare for the pain you’ll feel. Concentrate on keeping your elbow locked and keep your head in the game.

Make sure to keep a stopwatch nearby to track your progress. Training is essentially just practicing this hold over and over again.

More Information

Oktoberfest is a great opportunity to learn more about German culture. They not only host the famous stein holding contest, but offer dozens of imported beers, sell delicious German food, and provide a lively atmosphere. 

To find out more details about the Nashville Oktoberfest, check out our page!