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Prost! Mukwonago woman sets national record in stein-holding

A woman in Mukwonago has discovered her superpower...and it's beer-related.

Julie Gilbert, a mother of three, now holds the U.S. women's national record for stein-holding. The official name of the sport/competitions is masskrugstemmen (masskrug meaning stein, stemmen meaning hold).

Gilbert says she entered a local contest on a whim and it brought her all the way to New York.

Filled to the line with beer a regulation stein will weigh between five and five and half pounds.

"It's not necessarily like super exciting to watch until people start dropping out," Gilbert said, giving a demonstration at her home on Tuesday.

Her official hold time at the US National Masskrugstemmen Championship: 4 minutes and 20 seconds. That competition happened in mid-September and is sponsored by S&H Independent Premium Brands.

A national record - not bad for starting at Oconomowoc's German Christmas Market as a joke.

"None of us had ever heard of it. We didn't know what it was. After we learned about it my friend said 'We have to do this. We have to go try'," Gilbert said.

"And then in July I got an email and on the top it says 'Congratulations. You have qualified for the U.S. national championships," Gilbert said.

In high school she was a gymnast specializing in the uneven bars. She says she's always had decent upper body strength and good grip. With some encouragement from her husband, she started training.

The whole process gave her father a sense of pride.

"Oh yeah, I've told all my friends. I belong to the legion post here in town and they all know it and they've seen the pictures and they've seen the videos," Patrick Galagan, Julie's father, said.

During the competition in New York around 4,000 people were watching the stage. It was a main event at the Oktoberfest in Central Park.

"They get you started and they say '3,2,1 hold' and you pick up your beer and now it's started," Julie said.

"The first two minutes are kind of easy for me. Just waiting for the time to pass," Julie said.

And her competitive side - she says - pushed her passed all her recorded practice times.

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