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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Beer Stein Library

Beer Stein Library

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

Red Fox Chapter

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

Bottle Cap Index

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]

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

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]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Beer Steins

Source: Google News

Florida Weekly, January 28th

Chili & More - The fourth annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival starts at noon in Laishley Park. Taste chili from 25 teams while enjoying live entertainment. ... Farmers Market - The Punta Gorda Historical Society's Farmers Market...Read more

The Evolution of a Big Mountain Icon
Flathead Beacon, January 28th

Its beer-begrimed, boot-battered floors have hosted untold leg-wrestling matches, and the rough-hewn timber beams and walls remain festooned with a hodgepodge of historic ski posters, antique signs, sepia-toned photographs, crudely carved names and...Read more

Drink up! Old world beer steins find new market
HeraldNet, December 11th

a mug, so a hinged lid with a thumb-lift was added — and the stein was created. Since beer was already a common beverage and its taste was improved when lids helped prevent spoilage, beer consumption increased and so did the manufacture of steins...Read more

Frank & Stein's new location opens in Winter Park
Orlando Sentinel, November 24th

The UCF area's finest (only?) craft beer hangout has the cornhole and casual vibe of a college bar with the well-curated draft selection of an upscale brewpub. The UCF area's finest (only?) craft beer hangout has the cornhole and casual vibe of a...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

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

Beer, winery events top October in Michigan
Port Huron Times Herald, September 25th

Those include a souvenir Bell's beer stein, admission to an event called "Friday Evening Beer School," and two drink tokens. Tickets are available online at (OK, we checked on what meat-centric means. And it means...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