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]

Clubs & Associations

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Recent News: Beer Steins

Source: Google News

German charm, friendly ambience makes Stein Haus in downtown Bay City one ..., September 16th

And cabinetry behind the bar came from an old grocery store in Duel, an unincorporated town located in Bay County's Beaver Township. And then there are those countless beer steins. "There are more than 1,000 of them," Fournier said. "I started...Read more

The 5 Best Oktoberfest Celebrations in St. Louis This Fall
Riverfront Times (blog), September 16th

One of the great things about St. Louis is its history. We can celebrate Mardi Gras with the best of them, thanks to our French roots, but St. Louis also had a large amount of German immigrants in the 19th century (Anheuser-Busch, anyone?). Today, that...Read more

Events In Queens For September 11-September 18
Queens Tribune, September 11th

The Poppenhusen Institute will hold an Oktoberfest fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. Historic presentations, German singers and dancers, tournaments, games, face painting and a beer stein holdings contest are some of the highlights at the festival. German...Read more

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

Curator of the Wilson's Mettlach collection, Eugen "Gino" Ruzi talks about the display athe American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. There are approximately 3,000 pieces of Mettlach wares, including steins, in the collection...Read more

September brings plenty of fun events to Eagle County
Vail Daily News, September 4th

So pack an extra layer or two, and head out to some of these gilded gatherings, featuring everything from antique cars and music festivals to dining walks and open-air markets. There are two Oktoberfests left, a new location for the manliest event of...Read more

30 can't-miss fall festivals coming up in Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas Morning News, August 27th

12 OKTOBERFEST Indoor and outdoor biergartens will serve Spaten's Oktoberfest brew, as well as craft beers from around the country. The inaugural event, presented by Spaten, will also feature music, dancing, dachshund races, keg-rolling and stein...Read more

Cuckoo for Clocks Now Sells German Beer Steins
PR Newswire (press release), August 15th

The collection of beer steins was common throughout the 1900s. Individuals as well as museums collected antique and replica beer steins. Beer steins can be made of such diverse materials as pewter, glass, porcelain, silver, wood, earthenware and crystal...Read more

Editorial, 8/15: The endangered town hall meetings
Lincoln Journal Star, August 14th

“The town hall, the most common summer forum for constituents to interact with constituents, is effectively a relic,” Sam Stein of wrote earlier this month. The New York Times last year traced the decline in the number of town hall...Read more