Bavarian smashes world record by carrying 70kg of beer at historic festival

A Bavarian man broke the world record for carrying the largest number of beer jugs over 40 metres at a beer festival in Abensberg on Sunday.

Bavarian smashes world record by carrying 70kg of beer at historic festival
Oliver Strümpfel. Photo: DPA.

Hundreds of spectators cheered on 45-year-old tax inspector Oliver Strümpfel as he carried a total of 29 jugs, breaking his own world record.

In his first attempt, Strümpfel had set a new world record by carrying 27 jugs. The previous world record was 25 beer-filled jugs, set in 2014.

Half an hour after his first attempt, in his second attempt Strümpfel carried 29 jugs – and would have managed 31 if one glass hadn’t fallen down and if 10 percent of the contents of another glass hadn’t sloshed out.

The rules state that no more than 10 percent of the beer contained in a glass is allowed to splash out. A single empty glass weighs 1.3kg.

A judge and a notary were present to officially confirm the record feat.

The Gillamoos Fair in Abensberg is one of Bavaria’s oldest beer fairs, dating back to around 1313. The fair also has Christian roots, having evolved from a pilgrimage.

Over the past few months, Strümpfel had been regularly training both in strength and technique.

Determined to break another world record next year, he admits he hasn’t yet reached his limit.

“I know I can carry more than 30 jugs,” he said.

Despite difficulties placing the beers on a table after the operation, Strümpfel managed to avoid excessive spillage. But whether anyone drank all 70kg of beer afterward is unknown.

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world.