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Written by Jim Banko, U.S. Steinholding Founder

About Our Team

The U.S. Steinholding Association started in 2015 with one man's love for the sport of Steinholding and the idea to build a central informational source for athletes everywhere to discover the sport. Since then, our team has grown and spread across the country as we've continued to expand our capabilities and services! We work with other members of the Steinholding community across the country; meet our core team here!

The Boss Man

Jim Banko

Commissioner and Founder

After training and competing at a high level from 2011 - 2015, Jim won the 2015 Hofbräu National Masskrugstemmen Championship, setting a new national record at the time. During his years of active involvement with the sport, he had seen the need for an organization to bring the Steinholding community together by connecting athletes with events and helping more people learn about the sport. He figured that his experience put him in the best position to meet this need, so he launched the U.S. Steinholding Association in late 2015 with the help of USSA tech expert Jason Logsdon. Jim also serves as a member of the USSA Executive Rules Committee and has been a Hofbräu National Championship Judge from 2016 - present.


Jason Logsdon

Jason "Loggy-Dog" Logsdon

Information Technology

Although he isn't a seasoned Steinholder himself, Jason was an early supporter of Steinholding, boisterously cheering on competitors at many events and working with Jim to provide the technical knowledge needed to run ussteinholding.com, the foundation of the U.S. Steinholding Association's online presence. When he isn't answering annoying questions from Jim about the website, Jason is an accomplished food blogger, modernist cooking author, and founder of AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com.


Jason working hard during the 2014 National Championship MC Hurta

Jason "The Medium Hurt" Hurta

Competition Operations

Bursting onto the Steinholding scene in 2014, Jason's passion for the sport and intense training regimen immediately catapulted him to the Hofbräu National Championship where he set a new national record and went head to head with Jim winning by less than 8 seconds in one of the greatest spectacles ever seen in the history of any sport. In an example of the sportsmanship that makes Masskrugstemmen great, Jason encouraged Jim to keep improving during the off-season and come back for the win, marking the beginning of a friendship between the two Steinholders that has endured ever since. Jason has also been a vocal advocate and an incredible ambassador for the sport in his home town of New Braunfels, Texas where he MCs and promotes competitions throughout the year at local German venues and the world-famous Wurstfest. Jason also serves as a member of the USSA Executive Rules Committee and has been a Hofbräu National Championship Judge from 2015 - present, as well as Hofbräu National Championship MC from 2017 - present.


Jeff and Lenny Coyne 'Always carry, never hold.'

Jeff "Judgy" Kurzweil

Head Judge

Lenny Coyne, the late, great Godfather of Masskrugstemmen in America, once met a young man with potential, plucked him from obscurity and taught him the ways of Steinholding. That young man was Jeff Kurzweil, who has become one of the nation's foremost experts on Steinholding and has been on the big stage judging the Hofbräu National Championship finals since 2011. His stern but fair demeanor as a judge has made him a valuable mainstay of Steinholding judging at the national championship event and other competitions throughout the Northeast. From times they had crossed paths previously, it was clear to Jim that Jeff would be an absolutely necessary addition to the U.S. Steinholding Association team, and their shared love of the technical components of Steinholding and German delicacies have made for a lasting connection. Jeff serves as a member of the USSA Executive Rules Committee and has been a Hofbräu National Championship Judge from 2011 - present.


Cropped jj profile

JJ Beal

Business Development

With his background as an athlete and an interest in sports business management, JJ has been an invaluable asset to U.S. Steinholding. Seeing the potential of the sport from a business perspective along with the value it can bring to venues that host competitions, he has been instrumental in assisting in the recent growth and development of the organization. He has used his skills to connect with bars and breweries across the Northeast to bring the sport to new venues in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut and support the mission and growth of the U.S. Steinholding Association.


Giselle Aerni, MD

Chief Creative Consultant and Medical Advisor

In her many roles as a sports medicine physician, Giselle has worked with athletes at all levels, from weekend warriors to Division I college and professional athletes alike. Her expertise has been put to use in developing Steinholding training programs and, with her unique perspective, she has contributed greatly to the growth of U.S. Steinholding over its entire history. She is also the founder and host of the Madam Athlete podcast, which recognizes the careers of important women working in sports.



Jim banko national steinholding champion Jim Banko is the founder of the U.S. Steinholding Association. He is the 2015 Hofbrau Masskrugstemmen National Champion and previous United States record holder for Steinholding with an official time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds.

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