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

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]

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

Credit Illustration by Golden Cosmos
The New Yorker, November 29th

The beer the Oktobrists were drinking by the quart was thirteen per cent, or double strength; this, at any rate, was the claim of the young Thomas Wolfe, who, after a couple of steins of it, acquired a broken nose, four scalp wounds, and a cerebral...Read more

Treasure: Get out your holiday shopping lists
The Detroit News, November 26th

D-Lightful: One of my favorite places to honor my many Motown memories is Eastern Market's Detroit Mercantile Co., where owner Robert Stanzler stocks and sells a fascinating variety of vintage and vintage-inspired Motor City memorabilia. Mixed in with...Read more

After the turkey: 2015 holiday events are here, November 24th

Dec. 4-6: Christkindlmarkt, 6-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton. Vendors with German items, such as wax ornaments, beer steins, pyramids, nutcrackers, wooden...Read more

Antiques malls have become museums of our grandparents' past
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel, November 22nd

Sometimes a room or cubicle is arranged like a typical bedroom from the turn of the century with bed, nightstand, dresser, wash table with bowl and pitcher and old dolls placed in a rocking chair. There are beer steins and ashtrays, Mason jars...Read more

North Fork yard sales: November 20, 21 & 22
Northforker (blog), November 20th

Whether you're looking for unique tchotchkes to decorate the mantel or are on the hunt for vintage clothing (or maybe an octagonal fish tank!), you're in luck: Here are a few scheduled yard and tag sales between Riverhead and Orient from Friday...Read more

Ho Ho Ho: Holiday things-to-do checklist, November 19th

Dec. 4-6: Christkindlmarkt, 6-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton. Vendors with German items, such as wax ornaments, beer steins, pyramids, nutcrackers, wooden...Read more

I tried to blow my student loan money on a piece of the Aggro Crag from 'Guts'
SB Nation, November 17th

moments, and also something I still check eBay occasionally for to this day -- because having a piece of the Aggro Crag would be dope. Three days later a package arrived at our door. Swizzle had bid on (and won) $275 in antique German beer steins...Read more

See Inside the Home of the World's Premier Treasure Hunter
TIME, November 10th

As the founder of New York City-based auction house Guernsey's, Ettinger specializes in collecting oddball items that traditional auctioneers might not touch with a 10-foot-pole: Wooden carousel horses, antique beer steins, dinosaur bones and worm...Read more