Skip to content

Strong Arms for the Win: Training for Octoberfest Stein Holding

Stein holding is a Glenwood Caverns Octoberfest tradition that draws guys and gals who bring the brawn to this venerated brew hoisting competition. Up for the challenge? Check out our tips for training and more.

Octoberfest at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is fast approaching. The Bavarian-style festival takes place at the mountaintop theme park throughout October with ongoing family activities, German food, as well as fall-themed fun including a u-pick-it pumpkin patch.

On three Saturdays, October 1, 8 and 15, the event ramps up with traditional oompah music by the Alpine Echo band and contests for over-21s like axe throwing and keg bowling. However, the stein holding competition is the front-and-center crowd pleaser.

What is Stein Holding?

Octoberfest 2022 at Glenwood Caverns Adventure ParkRelatively new to the U.S., stein holding is a “fest-sport” that originated in Munich, Germany, home to the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the world. “Maßkrugstemmen” is the German word for a stein holding competition. A maß is a measurement that corresponds to about one liter of beer served in one of those giant dimpled German beer mugs made of heavyweight glass. The English term is a stein. When filled, those mugs weigh about five pounds. In competition, participants hold a full stein of beer at arm’s length. Whoever can hold their stein for as long as humanly possible without compromising posture or spilling their beer, wins. For women the typical stein holding time is one or two minutes; men last a little longer, between three and five minutes on average. The record for women is 5 minutes 34 seconds and for men 21 minutes 17 seconds!

How to Train

Stein holding requires strength and endurance. The best way to get better is to practice! If you don’t have a regulation beer stein, you can purchase one at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park during Octoberfest. Next, crack open your favorite beer and find a five-pound weight you can hold at arm’s length in front of you. Stein holding has some rules when it comes to posture. Your non-beer holding arm must remain straight down at your side, all five fingers should be wrapped around the mug handle and there’s no shifting or redistributing of body weight by bending backward or forward allowed.

According to the U.S. Steinholding Association, “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 your head in the game.” Track your progress with a stopwatch. Finally, and most importantly, reward yourself for your dedication to training by enjoying that cold brew you have nearby.

The beauty of the stein holding contest is that everyone really is a winner. Even if you drop your arm early on, you still get to drink delicious Oktoberfest beer.

How to Enter

Make plans to visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for Octoberfest on the first three Saturdays in October. Check back for more information about competition times and other fun activities. In the meantime, start training and purchase your Octoberfest park admission to attend online today.