Rogelio Juarez, Brooklyn’s own beer-mug-holding king, is on his way to becoming national champion!
The Fort Greene busser with an arm of steel ousted a Manhattan rival at Der Schwarze Kölner on Tuesday night — winning a slot in the U.S. finals for the second year in a row.
Juarez, a 49-year-old South Slope resident, will be one of 16 contestants — three from New York — to arm off in two weeks in Central Park.
“It’s incredible — it’s a surprise for me, too!” he said in the afterglow of victory. “I only hold it for my job. I don’t practice.”
Juarez works at the Fulton Street biergarten and earned his spot in the regional finals when he raised a one-liter mug filled with lager for 4 minutes and 45 seconds.
On Tuesday night he moved into the nationals by clocking in at five minutes. He trounced a 33-year-old Manhattan electrician by about 10 seconds.
“Everybody assumed I didn’t have a chance,” said the defeated Larry Mullins. “The hometown crowd was psyching me out. They were all really rooting for Rogelio.”
He forlornly added, “I came, I drank, I lost.”
The name of the Bavarian sport is Masskrugstemmen, which translates loosely into “beer-mug lift,” and has tipplers raising a filled glass mug for as long as possible.
The beer-wielding arm must be held out straight, parallel to the ground and directly in front of the chest. If you spill a drop, you’re disqualified.
And believe us, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Juarez’s victory came as no surprise to dozens of fans, including Greta Acosta-Black, head beer wench at Der Schwarze Kölner.
“He’s a bit of an underdog — he’s not your typical-looking strong man,” said Acosta-Black of the brawny champ who stands about 5-foot. “But he represents Brooklyn and he’s easy to like.”
Juarez will compete against 16 or so Americans on Sept. 17, including one victor from Long Island and another from Manhattan.
This is the third year that the United States will host a national competition. The country’s reigning champion clocked in at 10 minutes and 30 seconds, and the world record is an excruciating 19 minutes.
If Juarez wins, he’ll not only take the illustrious title of “U.S. Champion in Masskrugstemmen,” but also a trip for two to Munich, where the competition, and the arm power, is stiff.
“I’ve never been to Germany before,” said the ever-unfazed Juarez. “So why not?”
National beer-mug tournament in Central Park [enter at E. 72nd Street at Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, (212) 310-6600], Sept. 17 at 4 pm.