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Irish Taste Fest

A Childrens' Game

Our story starts with a boy named Carl Schoene. At a young age, Carl played a game with his friends using nails and an ax in his native home of Germany. This game began with someone challenging others, as kids do, by what is commonly referred to here in the United States as a "dare." During the nail game, each player competed against one another by taking turns swinging an ax at a single nail pounded in the stump of a pine tree. When the nail was countersunk, a new game started with the person finishing the previous nail exempt from play. The process continued until a single player remained, who was then bound to do a predetermined chore.

Carl's Nagelspiele

In 1957, Carl immigrated to Saint Paul, Minnesota, along with his parents (Karl and Elizabeth). With him came the game. After constructing a building on land purchased just West of Stillwater, Minnesota, Carl's parents opened the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter. When Carl was not handling his duties at the restaurant, he would challenge his friends and patrons of the Gasthaus to a Nagelspiele. (In German, the generic word "Nagelspiele" means, simply, games with a nail; it is not specific to Carl's game, but was often used due to the nature of the German language; for example, "Wir spielen eine Nagelspiele.")

Carl married an energetic woman named Kim, and the couple later purchased the family restaurant. German festivals, such as the Maifest, Summerfest, Oktoberfest, and Winterfest were celebrated at the family owned restaurant. As it reminded him of home and his childhood, Carl would ensure that nail games would be played at these festivals. To ensure the safety of Gasthaus patrons, Carl's Nagelspiele would be watched over, usually by Carl's new father-in-law, Mike Wlaschin. As was traditional, Carl's Nagelspiele was often played by children though adults would sometimes play for a round of drinks.

Mike's Nägelspiel

Under Mike's supervision and direction, Carl's Nagelspiele evolved. Cross-sections of cottonwood began to be used and were placed on a waist-high stand with its face pointing to the sky. Later, the peen end of a blacksmiths' hammer was substituted for the ax blade. At some point in time, each player was given their own nail, which was pounded into the face of the tree chip around its perimeter; the goal now to be the first to pound in one's own nail. With a little prodding, Mike's Nägelspiel was soon embraced by Gasthaus patrons. (The German word "Nägel" is plural for "Nagel," and "Spiel" is singular for "Spiele:" thus, "Nägelspiel" means a game played with nails).

In the late 20th century, Mike began engaging in this service for profit. He would charge patrons for entry into a game, and give the winner a prize. However, he had no name under which he would engage. When they would make their regular visits to the Gasthaus, Mike would solicit German immigrants for another phrase that would describe Mike's Nägelspiel. When asked for a German word meaning to strike with a hammer, a few of the old-timers replied, "Hammerschlagen." And, that is exactly what Mike called his new proprietorship. (The German word "Hammerschlagen" is a verb meaning, loosely, to beat with a hammer; in example "Sie Hammerschlagen mich" means "you are beating me with a hammer.") Ourtrademark Hammer-Schlagen™ is a derivation of this German verb.

WRB's Hammer-Schlagen

In 1999, WRB, Inc. was organized under the laws of the State of Minnesota in which all of the intellectual property of Hammer-Schlagen™ was vested. Mike enlisted the aid of his lifelong friend, Jim Broderick, and picked up a third partner, Jim Martin, an acquaintance of Mike's daughter, Kate (Kim's younger sister). In the year of our founding, these three hatched a plan to spread Hammer-Schlagen™ operations further throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and into Florida. A business needs a logo, and Hammer-Schlagen™ was no exception. Shortly after our organization, the youngest of Mike's daughters, Karen, drew up a wonderful picture depicting our trade dress (which you can find in the upper left of this screen). While working at a Halloween party in St. Paul on a Friday night in 2000, Kate and Jim Martin started using fun little slogans in promotion of the game ("Get Hammered," "Get Nailed," and "Got Wood"). The next day, Kate put those slogans on stickers and the pair used them at the Halloween Party that night. We continue to use Karen's logo and Kate's slogans as our trademarks and operate under Mike's original trade dress to this day.

In the coming decades, Hammer-Schlagen™ would make appearances at motorcycle rallies, music festivals, county fairs, special events, and many other venues throughout the United States. We have also become a famous mainstay in several bars and restaurants. In 2003, Carl Schoene passed away though his spirit still lives on at the Gasthaus. This was followed by Jim Broderick's passing in 2008 from cancer. We hope the memory of those who planted the seeds of Hammer-Schlagen™ will long be remembered in our legacy.


Jenga - Adult Size

Beer GamesJenga is played with 54 wooden blocks. Each block is three times as long as its width, and one fifth as thick as its length 1.5×2.5×7.5 cm (0.59×0.98×3.0 in). To set up the game, the included loading tray is used to stack the initial tower which has 18 levels of three blocks placed adjacent to each other along their long side and perpendicular to the previous level (so, for example, if the blocks in the first level lie lengthwise north-south, the second level blocks will lie east-west).

Once the tower is built, the person who built the tower gets the first move. Moving in Jenga consists of taking one and only one block from any level (except the one below the incomplete top level) of the tower, and placing it on the topmost level to complete it. Only one hand should be used at a time when taking blocks from the tower. Blocks may be bumped to find a loose block that will not disturb the rest of the tower. Any block that is moved out of place must be returned to its original location before removing another block. The turn ends when the next person to move touches the tower or after ten seconds, whichever occurs first.

The game ends when the tower falls in even a minor way—in other words, any piece falls from the tower, other than the piece being knocked out to move to the top. The winner is the last person to successfully remove and place a block.

Washer Pitching

Washer Pitching is a game, similar to horseshoes, that involves two teams of two players that take turns tossing washers towards the washer box. In order to score, one must place a washer into the box, into the can that is within the box, or within one foot (shoe size) of the box.

The object of the game is to earn points by tossing metal washers, usually around two inches in diameter, toward a hole, usually denoted by a can or pvc pipe, in a box. Washer boxes vary in size and shape, but a standard for one-hole washers is 16 X 16 X 4 inches, with a cylindrically-shaped cup (4½ inches in diameter and 5 inches in height) located in its upper surface. Boxes are placed approximately 20 feet away from each other, a distance often determined by a string attached to the front of each box. However, if a string is not attached to the box, one may take 10 paces from box-to-box, this will usually denote 20 feet.



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