Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s new German restaurant adds a very Oktoberfest activity to its monthly calendar

You have five more days to work on your biceps — and if you get strong enough, maybe — just maybe — you’ll win a trip to Germany.

Wichita’s new German restaurant Prost, which opened in November at the Revolutsia shipping container mall at Central and Volutsia, has added a popular German strength competition to its permanent calendar: stein hoisting. The first of planned monthly contests happens on Saturday at the restaurant.

Prost has teamed up with the U.S. Steinholding Association to put on sanctioned competitions on the last Saturday of each month. They’ll accept 25 men and 25 women, who will pay $25 each for the chance to compete. Their entry fee also will get them a T-shirt and a liter of beer.

The two monthly winners will earn a chance to complete in the restaurant’s Tournament of Champions in August, and the winners there will get airfare to Chicago to compete in the regional Stein Hoisting competition. Regional winners win a trip to New York City for nationals, and national winners win a trip to Germany.

Stein hoisting is an activity that Germans are quite fond of said Austin English, whose wife, Prost owner Manu English, is a native of the country. Wichitans have competed before: Stein hoisting events have been put on at Wichita’s Midwest Beerfest and at the Bloktoberfest event over the past several years. A few local restaurants have hosted competitions, too.

In Germany, it’s called Masskrugstemmen, which roughly translates to “the lifting of a liter mug of beer.”

To play, people must hold a stein of beer that weighs a little more than five pounds total straight out in front of them, using just one arm. The person who holds the stein the longest wins.

Manu and Austin English are the owners of Wichita’s German restaurant, Prost. Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

It’s not as easy as it sounds, English said. The U.S. National record is 21 minutes and 17 seconds for men, 5 minutes and 2 seconds for women, though the average time a man lasts in the contest is three to five minutes, one to two minutes for a woman.

“It’s like any strength or endurance thing,” English said. “It’s pretty hard.”

But it’s also pretty fun to watch. English has partnered with his beer distributors, and each month, the steins will be filled with a different German beer. Saturday’s beer will be Veltin. In February, the steins will be filled with Weihenstephan.

It’s not a drinking competition, English stresses. But people who participate are free to sip on their steins once they’re done.

People who want to participate should go by the restaurant at 2721 E. Central to sign up, English said. He’ll take competitors the night of the event but only if there is space still available.

The first contest will happen between 8 and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, he said.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.