“Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi!”
That’s the German toast that was chanted again and again at the lively Krause’s Cafe and Biergarten in New Braunfels as the Masskrugstemmen competition began.
True German Spirit
If you’re wondering what that long tongue-twister of a word means, Krause’s demonstrates the phrases’ German spirit through the annual competition they host of Texas Stein Holding. Or, as they’d say back in the old country — Masskrugstemmen. In this competition, anyone over 21 can try their luck at holding a liter of German beer directly in front of their bodies. The stakes are high for whoever does this correctly for the longest.
With a rowdy crowd and delicious traditional German food, 22 men and 28 women stood in line to see who would move on to the finals. They were angling for a chance to move up and compete again in New York City. Emcee Jason Hurta urged the crowd to chant and to encourage the Stein-holders.
Hurta himself is a successful Masskrugstemmen champion, as he won the 2014 US National Masskrugstemmen Champion title with a holding time of 14 minutes and 3 seconds. As for the winners of the night at Krause’s, Todd McEachern lasted 8 minutes and 26 seconds in the men’s division. Lori Anderson held her stein for 4 minutes and 49 seconds in the women’s round. Everyone who entered got to drink the liter afterwards as a reward for their hard work.
For Anderson, this win came as a surprise. A New Braunfels local, she explained that her brother was actually supposed to enter the competition but couldn’t make it, so she took his place at the last minute. “I think it was just beginner’s luck,” the surprised Anderson said.
Hurta let us in on a few secrets to mastering Stein-holding. He advised that your grip is more important than anything. It also helps to keep slight movement in the shoulder, extending the arm and then pulling it back. Overall, it just takes a lot of practice said the previous champ.
There is no better place to hold a competition of this kind than Krause’s Cafe. The New Braunfels Biergarten and restaurant is historic, with it’s opening dating all the way back to 1938. Today, they honor German traditions with live music, some of the best German foods, Bavarian competitions like Masskrugstemmen and more.
The popular Krause’s menu reflects New Braunfels’ German heritage with their own twist of South Texas flavors. Over 100 beers are available on tap with local, regional and international options.You’ll also find cocktails and wines on tap.
For me, the food served at the Masskrugstemmen competition was almost as exciting as the Stein-holding itself. A buffet of mouth-watering German selections was made up of picks such as the Wild Game Sausage Sampler, the best Brussels sprouts you will ever have, Pretzel Platters, Texas Schnitzel and more. A roasted wild boar was set up at the end of the buffet, apple in mouth and all. It was enough to make a vegetarian like me cringe, but quite the feast for those meat-lovers out there.
To finish the night, desserts like the Triple Chocolate Dunkel Cake and Apple Strudel tasted like they were straight out of your Oma’s kitchen!
Getting in the Mood for Oktoberfest
On top of all of that, the Chris Rybak Band performed a lively, audience-engaging set of German-inspired tunes, complete with the Lederhosen-clad accordion player and a talented, young lead singer in traditional German dress.
Since Krause’s stays true to their German roots, y’all can bet that their Oktoberfest will be a big Texas celebration you won’t want to miss! There’ll be an evening of music with opening act Terry Cavanagh and International Polka Hall of Famers Mollie B & SQUEEZEBOX with Ted Lange. Mollie and Ted are the first and only husband and wife to both be inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame. They also host one of the only two polka shows on Sirius XM. Get your tickets for this event and many more at Krause’s Cafe’s website.
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Cover photo courtesy Gracie Watt
Gracie Watt is the Editorial Intern at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @gracie.whatt