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Rogelio Juarez does it again!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Fort Greene’s strongest beer-mug holder is the neighborhood champion once again!

Rogelio Juarez defended his stein-hoisting title on Tuesday night at Der Schwarze Kölner — leading him one step closer to the national tournament.

The 49-year-old employee at the Fulton Street biergarten trounced 15 lily-armed contenders in this year’s contest. Next week, he’ll vie for the Brooklyn crown.

“It’s no problem — I’m ready again!” said Juarez, 49, who works as a busser at the bar near Hanson Place.

Juarez clocked in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds this year, besting his previous record by 10 seconds.

The name of the game is Masskrugstemmen, which translates loosely into “beer-mug lift,” and has tipplers raising a one-liter lager-filled glass mug for as long as possible.

The beer-holding 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.

But just like last year, Juarez was unfazed by the four giddy challengers that managed to keep up with him.

“He is a hard worker and he is very prideful,” said Greta Acosta-Black, head beer wench at the beer hall. “People were nervous and laughing, but he had a very stoic face.”

Now he’ll head to Brooklyn’s run-off round at Der Schwarze Kölner on Aug. 30. If he succeeds, he’ll enter the national competition in Central Park on Sept. 17.

This is the third year that the United States will host a national competition. America’s reigning champion clocked in at 10 minutes 30 seconds, but the world record is an excruciating 19 minutes.

“I won’t focus on trying,” Juarez said. “It’s mind over matter. Come out next week!”

Der Schwarze Kölner [710 Fulton St. at Hanson Place in Fort Greene, (347) 841-4495].

Updated 11:25 am, August 24, 2011
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