Antique beer steins, mugs and tankards are prized for their craftsmanship and colorful ornamentation and scenes. They can be found in many styles and materials, including copper, pewter, silver, pottery, ivory, porcelain, glass and wood. Many steins were imported to the U.S. from Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially from the city of Mettlach, whose potteries produced thousands of the vessels.

The beer stein had its origins in the mid-1500's along the Rhine river in Germany, when small towns began producing functional drinking vessels decorated by enameling and glazing. Each town or area adding their own flair or nuance. By the 1860s, factories around Westerwald and Dresden began producing ornamental steins for display, and continued doing so until WW1, from which the industry never fully recovered.

Lately there's been renewed interest in collecting beer steins with unique designs, including reproductions of works by famous artists. Designs reflect everything from historical battles to comical faces and even car racing and baseball. While many steins have been produced and marketed as collectibles, the most valuable continue to be pre-1900 German handmade steins.


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Beer Stein Library

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Though partially restricted to members-only, this site has a huge amount of free, publicly available and incredibly… [read review or visit site]

Red Fox Chapter

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The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

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Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

British Beer Labels

British Beer Labels

This pre-1965 collection is organized alphabetically by brand and contains scans of seemingly thousands of beautif… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

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Bock Beer Labels

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A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Beer Steins

Source: Google News

Soldier Roy Wooldridge's life saved by Nazi Erwin Rommel
BBC News, November 21st

Now, that empty cigarette packet will feature on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. ... After his request to the general, he was taken to the mess hall where a stein of beer, a packet of cigarettes and a meal of meatballs, potatoes and sauerkraut were waiting...Read more

Antiques | How did Uncle Sam become famous?
The Courier-Journal, November 14th

Uncle Sam seems very happy, perhaps because he is 101 years old this year. Or perhaps because his likeness has been used on a beer stein. How did he become famous? The initials "U.S." were put on barrels of beef sent to the U.S. military during the War ...Read more

All about Uncle Sam
Observer-Reporter, November 8th

Uncle Sam seems very happy, perhaps because he is 101 years old this year. Or perhaps because his likeness ... A beer stein that looks like that Uncle Sam was made by Schierholz Porcelain of Plaue, Germany, in about 1890. The company, started in 1818, ...Read more

At 101, Uncle Sam is one happy centenarian
HeraldNet, November 6th

Uncle Sam seems very happy, perhaps because he is 101 years old this year. Or perhaps because his likeness ... A beer stein that looks like that Uncle Sam was made by Schierholz Porcelain of Plaue, Germany, in about 1890. The company, started in 1818, ...Read more

WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO GO
Florida Weekly, October 30th

Wine & Music - D'Vines hosts a Happy Halloween Party and a free Oktoberfest Beer Tasting with Ms. Chrissie at 7 p.m. Claire Litke plays spooky and kooky Halloween favorites. 701 JC Center Ct. 627-9463. .... Farmers Market - The Punta Gorda Historical...Read more

The Pantry stocks up Hillcrest
Arkansas Times, October 29th

If the address and the antique staircase inside hadn't been the same, we never would have realized we were in the same spot that formerly played host to The House restaurant. Gone are the dingy walls, replaced by new paint and bright fixtures. Gone...Read more

Turn-of-the-Century Style Beer Hall Opens Next to Columbia
DNAinfo, September 25th

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Elaborate porcelain German beer steins are stacked high in a dark antique cabinet, turn-of-the-century lamps glow and sepia-tone photos of carousing New Yorkers line the walls of the cavernous new beer hall Bernheim ...Read more

Oktoberfest: One of the world's largest stein exhibits located in Pomona
LA Daily News, September 9th

The city that's home of the Los Angeles County Fair has one of the world's largest collections of Mettlach beer steins on permanent view at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. The steins depict the history of European thought and art, from the...Read more