New Braunfels man wins national championship in unique sport

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

NEW BRAUNFELS - National champion Michael Tyler competes in Masskrugstemmen, a sport you don’t hear about too often.

“It is just as painful as any sport I’ve ever done,” said Tyler. “I have done football, powerlifting, track you name it.”

Masskrugstemmen is a stein-holding competition that originated in Bavaria. In it, competitors take a stein full of beer and hold it out in front of them for as long as they can.

Tyler said it takes a full body workout.

"I would run two miles, do 50 pushups, 50 sit-ups and then start training just so that I am already fatigued,” said Tyler. “I used to take silverware and set it aside and throw it in a cup, fill it with water and do weighted holds.”

Last year, his wife convinced him to give it a shot while at a local restaurant.

“I had a long day,” said Tyler. “This guy walks up to me and told me ‘Hey you have really broad shoulders. Would you like to compete in this?’ I didn't want to go up there. I didn't want to lose because I am tired and I just wanted to sit here and relax and enjoy my meal, then they pushed me and pushed me and my wife was like ‘Do it’ and I was like ‘Alright let’s do this!’"

Tyler ended up winning that competition and went on to compete on the national level where he took home 6th place. 

“I’ve always been stubborn,” said Tyler. “So I think that is a big thing. If you really want to be successful you got to tap into that stubborn side of things so I wouldn’t put it down.”

That stubbornness coupled with training feuled his goal to be the best of the best.

“The 2014 champion Jason Huerta worked with me,” said Tyler. “I would go to his office and train and then I would practice at home. My wife actually has a log of the amount of time we trained so we did 600 minutes, that is 10 hours of stein-holding to prep for this year’s national championship.”

Tyler found himself back on the national stage in New York competing against other stein-holders who have trained from all over the country.

Not only did he win the Masskrugstemmen Men’s National Championship for 2018, but he set the world’s record for a time of 21 minutes and 17 seconds.

“I have also got a time of 25 minutes during practice,” said Tyler. “It is really all up here. It is in your head. The whole time your mind is like put it down put it down put it down it is painful put the stein down, but you just got to fight that urge.”

Tyler has come a long way in his ability at stein holding.

“First time I had like 5 minutes,” said Tyler. Then the second time, I made it to 11 minutes. Now I am where I am today.”

Tyler won not only a championship belt and a trophy, but also a free trip for him and his wife to go to Germany.

Now he is encouraging everyone to do one thing when trying to reach a goal and that is to enjoy it to the fullest.

“Anybody who gets involved in it will soon and quickly learn that it is a blast,” said Tyler. “If you are going to do it, you can train all you want but if you are not having fun with it, then you shouldn’t be doing it. I just want to thank the entire community of New Braunfels, my sponsors at Krause’s Café and Biergarten, and my wife for getting me to where I am today.” 

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