Grand Rapids on Tap is coming up on Saturday, July 16 2015 at Calder Plaza and we want to get you ready for the event by teaching you about some things you'll see there they you may not know much about.

First on the list? Hammerschlagen. We know you're probably thinking, "What the heck is Hammerschlagen? Is is some sort of weird disease?" We assure you it is not, it's a game. And it's awesome.

It's a pretty simple game/competition made up of a stump, nails, and a hammer. We know that sounds like work, but we assure you, it's fun.

Wikipedia tells us that the rules are pretty simple:

Each player is assigned a nail. Each player's turn consists of a single swing at their nail with the wedge end of the hammer. Prior to swinging, the player must rest the wedge-end of the hammer on the log next to their nail. The hammer must be gripped behind the line on the hammer and with one hand (female players have the option of using both hands). The swing must be done in one continuous up and down motion.

Frequently, a player will bend their nail in such a way as to make driving it further nearly impossible. In this case, the player may use their turn to make a single-motion swing at the nail from the side in an attempt to straighten the nail. You are not required to stand in the same place for the entire game. Often it is necessary to switch sides of the log to get a better angle on your nail.

The object is to be the first one to pound in one's own nail. To win, the head of the nail must be flush with or below the surface of the wood.

This video gives you a better idea of what you're in for. If it looks like fun, be sure that you get your tickets for Grand Rapids on Tap and come out and play a few rounds!


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