Beer Steins History and Origin

The word stein comes from Steinzeugkrug, German for stoneware jug or tankard. These days the word stein is used to describe any beer container. It no longer matters the material or size, as long as it has a hinged lid and a handle. Some beer afficianados will only use the word tankard to refer to all-pewter or all-silver varieties of steins. Mug is also commonly used for beer containers that have handles but never a lid. Confusing? Truth is, there’s nothing like a beautiful beer stein for enjoying a great beer.

Castle Tower Stein

Beer Stein History. Did you realize that beer is one of the oldest beverages known to humankind? In the early days of the United States, taverns were common, but most people had beer at home and it was drunk with almost every meal, including breakfast. Children, adults, everyone drank beer. Being fermented, it kept well and was readily available and was seen to have health benefits and was of course tasty and ‘soothing’ as well!

The beer stein evolved in Europe during the black plague in the 14th century. A horrible epidemic, the plague killed millions across Europe. However, it heralded the dawn of sanitation. Wondering what this has to do with beer steins? It’s the lid. The lid kept the vessel closed and germs away. It was a practical solution to protecting what was considered a life-giving and most valuable beverage. Soon, these tankards become objects for design and artists were outdoing one another for the most elaborate steins. Fantastic designs incorporating much detail with one outdoing the next became more and more commonplace and evolved into the beer stein we know and love today.

oktoberfest beer steinOktoberfest Stein

Beer steins make great collectible items. At one time, they were only available in the more traditional German design and those are still remarkably popular. As you can see on our site, there is no limit to what a beer stein can look like. Everything from dog motifs to cowboy boots and your favorite pair of jeans formed into a popular drinking vessel. Fun, whimsical or serious and stalwart, beer steins are appreciated by collectors, home brewers, people who just plain love beer and everyone in between. Your favorite beer can be enjoyed even more in a great looking beer stein. Bottoms up – you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a Munich beer garden – whether your den, your living room or at a backyard barbeque. Steins rule the day.

Beer steins have other advantages besides being beautiful – many hold either half a liter or a full liter of beer – that’s just shy of quart for those of you stateside (!) Some hold as much as one and a half liters and beer steins keep beer colder longer, making your favorite drink as refreshing and delightful to savor the whole stein through. No more warm beer after half your drink.

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Global Beer Consumption Statistics And Trends [Infographic]

Our Global Beer Consumption Statistics and Trends infographic will answer some of the most common questions often asked by beer lovers and brewery owners.

  • Which country has the highest per capita consumption of beer?
  • Which Country consumes the highest amount of Beer?
  • Which beer is most sold in world?

And a lot more in the same vein….

Infographic by 1001 Beer Steins

Global Beer Consumption Statistics And Trends

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Czech Republic has the highest Annual Per Capita Consumption of Beer of 158.6 Liters

China has the highest national consumption of Beer of 28,640 Mega Liters followed by United States with consumption of 23,974 Mega Liters

Nevada is the highest per capita Beer Consuming state with per capita consumption of 44 Gallons/year Whereas Utah has the lowest per capita Beer Consumption of only 19.5 Gallons/year

Bud Light is the most sold Beer in the world with sales of $5.327 Billion per year

July 4th is highest beer consumption Day of the year with consumption of 63.5 Million crates of year followed by Memorial Day (61.0 Million Crates) and Labor Day (60.2 Million Crates)

Global Beer Market revenues are expected to reach 522.60 Billions by 2015

A-B InBev has the highest Global Beer Sales share of 18% , followed by SABMiller (14%) and Heineken (9%)

China has the fastest growing Beer market having annual growth rate of 39.7% followed by Brazil having growth rate of 8.3% and Russia 7.1%

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Beer Stein Lid Types

Are you looking for a collector’s item that is unique, colorful, and tells a bit of history? If you are interested in beginning a collection that will encourage conversation in your home and increase in value over time then Beer Stein figurines may just be the thing(s) for you. The beer stein figurine offers diversity, shows a side of creativity, art, and is an ever-evolving gift.

USA Theme Beer SteinsUSA Theme Beer Steins

 A very important and unique part of the beer stein is its stein lid. The lid became an integral part of the beer stein when Germany passed a law requiring a lid for all drinking vessels due to the black plague or the Bubonic plague. The hinged lid enabled the drinker to open the beer stein with just their thumb, take a drink and then by releasing their thumb, close the lid securely down over the beverage protecting the contents from deadly disease carrying insects and other contaminants.

Beer Stein LidsBeer Stein Lids

The lid was most often constructed of pewter which could be fashioned into different shapes and designs, was strong, but light weight.

What types of lids are available? Though there are hundreds of different lids available, they can be categorized mostly as:

Conical Lid – These lids are shaped either like a cone or steeple and are generally the least expensive type. Most conical lids are entirely machine made, and are constructed of mainly pewter. The surface is then plated with nickel or a similar alloy providing a shiny finish. Sometimes a pewter-like alloy is added to create a dark antique finish.

Conical Lid Glass Stein Oktoberfest Beer Stein

Glass Stein                            Oktoberfest Stein

Superior ornamental lids – These are always created with hand crafted pewter and are presently limited-edition. The design is complete with a glorified conical shape and fancy top finial. There are some are very interesting ornamental lids.

Thewalt and Paulus antique stein     Dragon Slayer Stein   Cobalt Blue Stein

Thewalt & Paulus Stein    Dragon Slayer Stein          Cobalt Blue Stein

Flat lids – these are also known as semi-flat lids and usually fashioned from pewter. The top surface creates the perfect place for engraving and embossing. Engrave the lid with a personalized message and make it unique and special.

Lovers Beer Stein Siegburg Stein

Lovers Beer Stein         Bavarian Mini Beer Stein    Siegburg Stein

Figurine Lids – This particular type of lid is the top of the line. It is generally made of pewter and the decorative figure is generally mounted on top of an ornamental pewter lid.


Castle Stein Eagle Stein

Castle Stein              Biker Bob Stein                 Eagle Beer Stein

Stoneware Lids – While this particular type of lid is made of stoneware, similar to the material in the body, the main parts of the lid are constructed of concealed pewter; the hinge, tang, strap, shank, support and thumb lift.

Soccer Beer Stein  Castle tower stein

Soccer Stein                                               Castle Tower Stein

Any of these beer stein figurines is sure to please and strike up a conversation with their interesting and intriguing designs.

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Authentic German Wedding Beer Steins

Surprise the bride and groom on their wedding day with this traditional bridal cup. The beautifully polished pewter beer stein has a cup at both ends allowing the couple to toast one another and drink together as they enjoy their first celebratory drink as a couple. The bride’s skirt can be engraved with a sentimental message or just their names if you would like and this will become a cherished keepsake to be passed down from generation to generation.

Nuernberg Bridal cupNuernberg Bridal cup

It is a symbol of love, inspiration, faithfulness and good fortune.

To this day this chalice remains a symbol of love, faithfulness, and good fortune for the couple who drink from it. The bridal cup is also known as a wedding or maiden cup. The bride’s skirt is hollow and she holds the additional cup. History shows that weddings have been blessed by this tradition dating back to around 1450 in a small town called Nuernberg in the southern part of Germany and was a very popular wedding tradition.

She chose love over money.

It began with a noble mistress who fell in love with a goldsmith. Although her father did not approve of the union, the couple who were very much in love and were determined to wed, wed anyway.

The young woman refused many titled and rich suitors having her heart set upon the goldsmith so the enraged father cast him into a dungeon. As the daughter cried and refused to eat day after day the father issued a challenge to the goldsmith hoping he would cause his daughter to give up her mission when the goldsmith failed, as he was sure he would. The challenge was to create a chalice that a bride and groom could drink from simultaneously without wasting the wine. He was certain that it could not be done that he told the goldsmith that if he could perform such a task he would allow his daughter to marry him.

The goldsmith met the noble man’s challenge.

The goldsmith set about with love and inspiration to create the masterpiece with his own true love as his model. He hollowed his bride’s skirt to hold the wine for the groom, and created a bucket in her uplifted arms with a swivel on the bucket to pour the wine into her beloved husband’s waiting mouth. In the end the goldsmith’s love for his intended helped him to create this truly magnificent work of art that freed him from imprisonment and convinced the father to grant permission so the two could get married.

Porcelain Wedding Beer Stein

Porcelain Wedding Beer SteinPorcelain Wedding Beer Stein

This elegantly crafted porcelain wedding beer stein stand 8 ¼ inches high and is all about romance. There are blooming lilacs so intricately depicted that one can nearly catch their fragrance; the awaiting wedding coach, the town crier announcing the wedding, doves, a wedding chapel and a loving couple all decked out in formal attire. The thoughtful craftsman thought of everything when designing this wedding beer stein down to the threaded hinge pin so that the lid could be easily removed for engraving and then replaced.

More Wedding Steins

Glass Wedding Beer SteinGlass Wedding Beer Stein

Stoneware Wedding Beer SteinStoneware Wedding Beer Stein

Wedding Dance Beer SteinWedding Dance Beer Stein

Stein of LifeStein of Life

The world’s largest beer stein

Largest Beer Stein In WorldLargest Beer Stein In World

The man who drinks this is truly a man!

This is the largest beer stein in the world, standing 4 feet high and 47 inches around, fashioned of stoneware and weighing 35 lbs. even before filled. It holds near 8 and ½ gallons. The beautiful wedding beer stein depicts the “Flemish Country Wedding” a painting created by Brueghel. The removable lid is decorated with Gambrinus, the German beer king. Wouldn’t this make a memorable wedding gift?

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German Beer Steins Make Wonderful Gifts

Buy one for a valued friend or family member, and buy one for yourself too.

United States Marine Corps LE German Beer SteinUnited States Marine Corps LE German Beer Stein

German beer steins come from the finest German Beer Stein manufacturers and make ideal gifts. Originally, the word stein came from an abbreviation of the German word “Steingut” which means “stoneware” and it was the preferable material when the beer mug was first introduced. It was invented in Germany around the 14th century and it is still until today a traditional drinking mug for some German families.

These unique ornamental jugs have become popular all over the world.

Neuschwanstein Castle SteinNeuschwanstein Castle Stein

Originally, they were made from stoneware and now they have become available in different attractive designs, colors and varieties, and how the steins look also changed dramatically. They now are available in hand-painted ceramic relief, porcelain, stoneware, wood, silver, glass, pewter and even crystal which again make them a perfect gift for every occasion.

2L Cuckoo Clock German Stein2L Cuckoo Clock German Stein

The standard steins crafted out of porcelain and pewter owns silver plates that can be engraved with a tiny phrase or a desired name that can fit with it. Of all the beer steins, the ceramic beer steins were very costly and only the upper class families could afford to own them.

The hinged lid keeps your drink protected.

Fest Stein With Climber HandleFest Stein With Climber Handle

The steins have their unique design that allows a tiny hinge to be pressed to lift the lid that covers up the drink. This enables the drinkers to use one hand to lift the lid while drinking and to close the lid with one hand too to cover the drink while not drinking. This concept has actually existed in German in the past for hygiene purposes since there were lots of flies or fleas at that time. As the German hate to have floating insects in their beer, and hence, came up with the idea to design the German steins. Nevertheless, the insect problem became less later on and now the lid allows the German drinkers to move it freely without having their drink spilled out.

They come in a wide assortment of styles.

Old World Map Early Explorers German Beer SteinOld World Map Early Explorers German Beer Stein

The beer steins are not just all round with handles but can be made in a variety of shapes. They can be shaped like owls, castles, boots, horns, vases and even appear in human shapes. Some come with lids, some don’t; some come with handles and others do not. Still, they take the collectors years to accumulate many different styles and shapes of the beer steins which are available in the market now.

The artwork on these German beer steins is truly noteworthy.

Barrel Beer SteinBarrel Beer Stein

Many elaborately designed German steins are being hand-crafted with the partying and drinking scenes being the most well-known designs.The beautiful scene can depict a range of designs from simple delicate flowers on tiny stems on the clear glass steins, to the vivid scenes featuring the German people at work and at the countryside.

Firefighter Beer SteinFirefighter Beer Stein

Viewing one of these beautiful beer steins makes you feel as if you yourself are visiting Germany itself. In fact, you do not have to like beer to have the beer steins as they can be collected for their noteworthy German art and heritage paintings found on the beer steins by most well-known artists.

German beer steins make exceptional pieces for collecting.

Peter Duemler Royalty Beer SteinPeter Duemler Royalty Beer Stein

Nowadays, the people are not only using them for drinking beer but also collecting them for their outstanding artistic and historic value. Due to its value as a marvelous art piece, they have become collectible things for tourists and natives alike. Even though they are many modern styles and designs, tourists are always looking for the very old ones which are sold in auction sites or antique shops. The steins have now become a novelty gift but they still have a good use for drinking beer to make it a great gift for those who enjoy drinking beer.

Porcelain Wedding Beer SteinWedding Beer Stein

Depicting the scenes, designs and styles of the German beer steins will actually peak your interest for their beautiful art values and marvelous craftsmanship. Hence, they make extraordinary gifts to be given to anyone especially for those who appreciate the beauty of paintings and sculptures.

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A Special Beer Stein for your Groomsmen

Groomsmen are those who play an important role in your big day. They are your good friends who have been very helpful throughout your whole wedding process and are going to witness you tie a knot with your chosen partner.

oktoberfest beerwagon steinOktoberfest Beerwagon stein

As the groomsmen they are your best buds that have assisted you in the wedding planning and spent many memorable moments with you leading up to your marriage; giving them a perfect gift like the beer steins would show your thoughtfulness to them. Further, giving them a nice gift is an excellent way to say your thank you for their support.

Salzburg Austria SteinSalzburg Austria Stein

The beer steins are served as a functional and practical gift as they can be used to toast the groom and the bride at the wedding reception. Moreover, after the wedding ceremony, they can still be used as a memorable way to commemorate the special day your friends were there to witness you tying the knot with your soul mate. Additionally, the beer steins are made out of durable materials, so they can still be used to have a cold brew when desired at home anytime.

Imperial Flag SteinImperial Flag Stein

Nowadays, many of the ornamental beer steins are even microwave and dishwasher safe. What’s more? The glasses of the steins can also be etched with logos, funny quotes, initials and even names making them a perfect gift for a special person like a groomsman.

You will not be disappointed as these well-made beer steins are worth your purchase. On top of that, most steins now are made from the most popular version of etched glass, porcelain or pewter, making your spending worthwhile as great gifts for groomsmen.

Fantasy Castle SteinFantasy Castle Stein

The beer steins have been a traditional way to express your thank you to the guy(s) who has played major role in your life. It is certainly a great way to give your token of appreciation to your friend. Expressing thank you is by far the most crucial part. Your carefully selected beer stein symbolizes how much you appreciate their assistance and their time for coming together at the moment of your joyous union.

castle tower beer steinCastle Tower Beer Stein

Why do the beer steins make a great gift for groomsmen? Most males prefer to relax by the end of the day with just a nice cold beer. So, if you give them a well-made beer stein that would be an ideal idea for them to drink a beer at the end of the day as a wedding thank you gift too. You could also personalize the beer stein by putting his name or nickname to make it as “his” beer stein and no one else can own it except him!

Apenland Dancers SteinApenland Dancers Stein

Nearly all beer steins can be engraved with thoughtful messages making them keepsakes that last for a lifetime. Selecting just the right groomsmen gifts is relatively easy. By conveying your message to the recipient you let him know that you took time to find him a personalized gift engraved just for him. In another perspective, it reflects your interest and sincere appreciation to your groomsmen.

Afternoon Parade SteinAfternoon Parade Stein

Another notable feature of the beer steins is that you can have it engraved with the groomsmen’s initials or names, simply to recall many precious memorable moments together. With your sensible message: Hey, you’re my best pal and I also enjoyed our times together, he will certainly take pleasure in your thoughtfulness. With this message in mind, your groomsmen will appreciate the beer stein(s) for their special meaning and also will be touched by your appreciation and thoughtfulness. These will certainly make truly unique and thoughtful gifts.

The beer steins, in other words, will be an ideal gift as you can personalize them. Indeed, a personalized present makes it represents something more special and meaningful as it was created just for your groomsmen.

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A Guide to Authentic German Beer Steins

It’s only right that German beer steins command respect and interest as they have been around for at least 700 years dating back to the 14th century when Germany first created a law requiring a protective lid for all beverage containers. This was needed to protect the consumer from the bubonic or black plague which was raging through Germany. The beer stein was not only an answer to this crisis, but a work of art and a proud edition to most homes. They began to become status symbols and collection items.

The German beer stein tells a story.

Auf Wiedersehn Beer SteinAuf Wiedersehn Beer Stein

The beautiful German beer stein pictured above depicts as the title states “auf wiedersehn” or “good bye” in German. A lady stands in the window gazing down at her gentleman and wishing him a fond adieu, probably praying for his safe return as he leaves on his journey.  One could weave their own tale to this beautifully created and painted picture. This German beer stein has a limited edition of 2500 pieces worldwide, so this would truly be a remarkable addition to any serious collector’s group. The lid is designed of durable and beautiful polished pewter.

The German beer stein also represents a family’s coat of arms.

Beer SteinsBulgaria Bulgarian Crest LE German Beer Stein .5L

The current coat of arms of Bulgaria is adapted from the original version originating from the period of 1927-1946. This Bulgarian beer stein bears a design similar to the earlier design which was first used by Tsar Ferdinand I in 1887- 1918. The original gold lion was kept but the coat of arms of arms of the Soviet Union was dropped when communist rule ended in 1989. It was intended to be a symbol of independence and the sovereignty of the Bulgarian people and state and the coat of arms is depicted in ways that are in keeping with the law regarding state seals so they must be authentic and standardized to be displayed and used. The crown signifies royalty.

The motto “Unity renders power” is printed below the crest. The large colorfully hand painted stoneware beer stein was handcrafted in Germany and is topped with a beautifully polished pewter lid. It stands 10 ¼ inches and holds a generous half a liter of fluid. This beautiful German beer stein has a limited edition of 10,000 pieces.

German beer steins represent history.

heritage beer steinsLORD’S PRAYER BEER STEIN

This exquisitely decorated 16 inch beer stein is “wrapped” in the Lord’s Prayer written in German. It holds one and half liters of fluid and is topped with a polished pewter lid and an ornately decorated cross

Sometimes one tends to think of beer and beer steins in conjunction with beer drinkers, a rough and crude group, but this could not be further from the truth. Beer has its beginning before the birth of Christ and was an important part of the diet. Monks brewed beer and actually used the sale of beer to assist the monastery and the poor. Many a devout and devoted Christian is a moderate drinker, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

The German beer stein is useful.

Beer is not harmful when consumed in moderation. Medical studies have proven that moderate drinking is not harmful and is in fact beneficial in reducing the risk of brain deterioration, dementia and high cholesterol. So whether you want to buy a beautiful German heritage beer stein, or several, they are not just decorative but useful.

Oktoberfest beer steins represent celebration.

oktoberfest beer steinGerman Oktoberfest w/ Pretzel Handle LE Beer Stein

When King Ludwig I was just a prince he wanted Bavaria to share in the happy celebration as he married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. He organized a horse race and party with an estimated 40,000 guests. Beer flowed freely toasting to the merriment. Oktoberfest continues to be celebrated every third year, although it is commonly held without the horse race but with a state agricultural show, parade, shows, beer drinking, food stands and merriment. A similar celebration dubbed “the largest authentic Oktoberfest” in the U.S. draws approximately 500,000 people annually.

This hand painted Oktoberfest beer stein has a limited edition of 5,000 pieces worldwide.

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Budweiser Beer Stein – Show your loyalty with Budweiser Beer Stein

Show your loyalty to your favorite drink with a Budweiser Beer Stein

Budweiser Beer Stein

Beer is a comfortable drink. One many people enjoy at the end of a long hard day. There is nothing like a long cold drink of your favorite brew. When you drink your favorite drink out of your Budweiser Beer Stein you reassure yourself that the Budweiser beer stein will protect your brew while you shoot a few games of pool or sit around the pool. The lid is especially designed to easily open with just your thumb so you can drink with one hand. After taking a drink the lid safely falls back into place and will protect your drink from uninvited pests.

Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Beer SteinAnheuser Busch Bock Porcelain Beer Stein

Adolphus Busch, the son of a well-to-do German, and his father in law, Eberhard Anheuser are the co-founding fathers of Budweiser. They introduced Americans to the refreshing Bohemian lager. In fact Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch) is still in the family as the great-great-grandson of Busch, August Busch IV still serves on the board of Anheuser-Busch maintaining the great quality of beer that Budweiser beer drinkers are familiar with.

If you are a loyal Budweiser fan, you have made a wise choice as Budweiser enjoys a rich and honorable history. They became the leading global brewer in 2004. Here are just a few interesting facts about the background of Anheuser Busch:

  • Anheuser Busch sells both beer and soft drinks
  • Employs over 116,000 people.
  • Employs people in over 30 countries
  • Generates over 1 billion dollars annually
  • Owns the world’s largest brewery.
  • Is one of the world’s top five consumer product companies.
  • Carries several brands (some global some regional):
    • Beck’s
    • Budweiser
    • Stella Artois
    • Brahma
    • Staropramen
    • Alexander Keith’s
    • Leffe
    • Hoegaarden
    • Bud Light
    • Skol
    • Quilmes
    • Labatt Blue
    • Michelob
    • Harbin
    • Sedrin
    • Cass
    • Klinskoye
    • Sibirskaya Korona
    • Chernigivske
    • Jupiler
    • King Cobra
    • Natural Light and Ice
    • Tequiza
    • Bacardi Silver
    • O’Douls
    • Rolling Rock
  • Owns and distributes Bacardi and Monster Energy brands
  • Established a brewery in 1860 in St. Louis, Mo., USA

Eberhard Anheuser was the major financier for the original Bavarian Brewery Company and was the person the company would go to whenever they were facing financial difficulties. As he began to purchase interests the company became his in 1860. He was born in 1805 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in 1805 and died on May 2, 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Anheuser Budweiser Beer SteinAnheuser Busch Parade Dress Clydesdale Beer Stein

Two of his daughters, Anna and Lilly, married in a double wedding to brothers Adolphus Busch and Ulrich Busch in 1861. Adolphus worked as a brewery supply salesman at the time. During the time Busch was serving in the United States Army his father had passed away leaving him a portion of his estate. It was with this money he purchased a part of the Bavarian brewery and became co-owner of the Bavarian Brewery  in 1879. The company was re-named Anheuser-Busch.

It is a story that inspires, as Eberhard was originally a soup and candle maker and Adolphus a salesman, but they both co-founded an extremely profitable company by working hard and remaining dedicated to a quality product and fine customer service.

Adolphus was not only interested in offering the customer the most appealing product, but also performed philanthropic activities such as assisting Kastel-Mainz after the 1882 devastation resulting from flooding.

He donated a number of buildings in downtown Dallas, one of which is the Busch Building, now a national historic landmark, and contributed a large sum of money for a vessel to be sunk and used as a marine habitat. This popular dive site has been named in his honor.

It was Busch that first bottled beer. He also created a network of rail-side ice houses and launched the first fleet of refrigerated box cars to carry fresher and colder beer. In 1901 his sales passed the one million beer benchmark.

When you toast with your Budweiser beer stein you can toast to success, philanthropy, ingenuity and family tradition.

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Types of Beer Steins

Beer steins can be fashioned from:

  • Crystal glass
  • Earthenware (rarely)
  • Pewter
  • Porcelain
  • Silver
  • Stoneware
  • Wood

They are usually an ornamental beer mug of half liter or a full liter and many times have hinged lids with a thumb lever. Some beer steins are actually open without a lid, and there are also beer mats sold to use as a covering, if you prefer to not have a lid on yours.

heritage beer steins

It is believed that the pewter lid with the thumb lid was created out of necessity during the Black plague to lessen the risk from the diseased fleas which were infecting the population by corrupting food and drink. A German law was created during the 14th century calling for a protective lid to accompany all beverage containers.

After the plague common laborers were fewer and wages were actually better. A laborer could afford the luxury of purchasing an ornamental beer stein and they were considered status symbols. They were proudly displayed in German homes.

While other European countries brewed and sold beer, in Germany there was a demand for quality and safety. Germany enforced strict regulations in both production and transport of the product and German beer quickly became the most popular during this era. This increased the need for durable containers that could be mass produced inexpensively. Different materials were experimented with in the 19th century, the most popular being glass, porcelain and stoneware with each having their own unique advantage:

Stonerware Beer Steins with Pewter Lid

Stoneware beer steins could be mass produced from molds and elaborately carved. This beautifully designed scene is of a knight on horseback near the castle gate. Many different designs could be fashioned while using stoneware.

budweiser beer steins

Glass beer steins yielded also to multiple productions and also could be acid etched or produced with multi-colored glass overlays. The color and clarity of the brew could be seen through the beer stein, and at that time the costliest beers were clearer so not only was owning a beer stein a status symbol, but purchasing a higher quality ale was also.

glass beer steins

Porcelain beer steins allowed the creator to use favorite characters in the design making molds of particular shapes to replicate people or things.

porcelain beer steins

In the latter 19th century there was a renewed interest in using pewter. Pewter is an alloy that is made almost totally from tin, the fourth most precious metal in common usage. Pewter beer steins contains around 92% tin and small amounts of antimony, copper or bismuth to give added strength. Tin is a plentiful natural resource and use of it has very little or no impact on our environment.
pewter beer steins
The earliest example of pewter-ware known to man was a relic found in Egypt and believed to have been created around 1350 – 1580 BC. The Worshipful Company of Pewters, in London were granted a Royal Charter by King Edward IV in 1473 which allowed them to regulate standards within the pewter trade. Use of pewter for drinking vessels, tankards, beer steins and goblets showed it to not only make a luxurious looking item but one that withstood the test of time. Intricate patterns were created and the pewter beer stein became a much prized item. Pewter also lent itself to the ability to be used in combination with other materials such as glass, exotic woods, ceramic and brass. Its versatility was endless and the interest in the art increasing. With the constant demand craftsmen are working hard to produce patterns which are more unique. Working with pewter is rewarding as it lends itself to many techniques and is only limited by one’s imagination and skill. For example, it is sometimes polished to a fine “satin” finish, other times hammered to give a distinctive patterned look.

stoneware beer steinsWith all the unique designs being fashioned beer steins were becoming popular collector’s items and ending up on museum shelves and home shelves.

Whichever type of beer stein you use to hold your favorite drink, or to adorn your home is your choice, but there are many to choose from and at least one is sure to strike your fancy. Cheers!

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A Bavarian Beer Stein May have Saved Your Life

Many U. S. citizens should be grateful for the invention of the beer stein. If your forefathers did not come from Europe you undoubtedly are related to or close to someone who did. There was a time in our ancestral history where the black or bubonic plague raged through the countryside and left many deaths in its wake. Did you know that the Bavarian beer stein was one of our best tools of defense? If you are a collector of these beautiful beer steins you should take pride in owning part of a wonderful heritage and knowing that the beer stein was instrumental in protecting our ancestors from death from the plague.

bavarian beer stein

Dazzle your friends with some interesting facts about Bavarian Beer and Bavarian Beer Steins.

There are some fascinating facts to be known about Bavaria and also about German beer steins. If you are a collector or thinking about collecting Bavarian beer steins it is beneficial to know some of these little tidbits of information before you engage in a conversation about your pride and joy. You don’t want someone else to outshine you in this conversation, after all, so dazzle them with some of these facts:

german beer steins

  • The weight and thickness of your treasured beer stein is such to help it bear rowdy celebratory toasts and clinks of other glasses.
  • The opening is wide to allow for the foaming beer.
  • There are more breweries per capita in Bavaria than anywhere else in the entire world.
  • Of all the breweries in Europe, 44% are found in the State of Bavaria.
  • Beer steins received their name in honor of Karlis Steins, a Latvian and Soviet astronomer.
  • Drinking of beer began to spread in Europe after it was discovered that the Black plague was thriving from unsanitary drinking water. The stein was created with a hinged lid which would keep the infected flies out. This hinged lid could be opened with just a thumb so one could drink with one hand and the lid would safely and securely fall back over the top of the drink to protect the liquid inside from contamination.
  • The most well-known and significant factor which played a part in German brewing took place in 1516. It was the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, or in English, the purity requirement.
  • The purity requirement was ordered by Duke Wilhelm IV to ensure that the beer was of the highest quality.
  • Regulation states that the beer is only to be made of barley, hops, and water. Only one other main ingredient is added and that is yeast.
  • This regulation is the oldest regulation placed on food and has remained virtually unchanged for almost 500 years.
  • The creation of the Bavarian beer stein was one of the major steps made to protect quality.
  • Originally the German beer steins were fashioned from stoneware with a pewter lid, and then as pewter became more popular the entire mug began to be created from pewter for the next 300 years. Afterwards German beer steins were fashioned from porcelain and silver.
  • More beer is drunk by Czechs, Irish and then the German people.
  • The history of beer dates back to around 1000 A.D. with the first experimentation being conducted by the monks.
  • As the production of beer became profitable the country’s leaders legislated the production of the beer.
  • Some well-known historians believe beer was one of the provisions taken on Noah’s ark because beer has long been a staple for mankind.
  • An ancient picture has been unearthed depicting the King of Ur and his nobles raising high their glasses at a banquet during a toast in 2500 B.C.
  • In the 1st century AD Romans historians stated beer was “the usual drink of Germans and Gauls.”
  • Egyptian texts dating back to 1600 BC have been found indicating many different medical prescriptions which were given had included the use of beer.
  • Detailed recipes for approximately 20 varieties of beer were found on Babylonian clay tablets dating back to 4300 BC

An occasional drink is actually beneficial to one’s health.

authentic beer steins

This article is not meant to extol the virtues of beer, while beer does contain properties which both lower cholesterol and provide us with antioxidants, it has been often time misused and consumed to the detriment of mankind. It is hoped that anyone who enjoys an occasional drink both drinks in moderation and does not drive while drinking.


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