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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Wehle Colonian Ale Diecut Flat Top Beer Can Sign West Haven Ct Dog Steins -rare-Superb Quality Elkington & Co Heavy 509g Antique B1936 Solid Silver Pint TankardStunning Large Heavy English Antique 1902 Solid Sterling Silver One Pint TankardSterling Silver ~ Georgian Style Pint Tankard ~ Sheffield 1967Antique Victorian Sunderland Lustre Named Tankard Mug- Born Middle Rainton 1866Solid Sterling Silver Christening Mug Cup 1/2 Pint Tankard Birmingham 1944 147gHandsome Large English Antique 1926 Solid Sterling Silver & Oak One Pint TankardSuperb Quality Large Heavy English Antique B1908 Solid Silver One Pint TankardAntique Villeroy & Boch Mettlach 2833 Stoneware Beer SteinGerman Pewter Lidded Tankard By Johann Gottlieb Geisler Circa 1780 - DecoratedSmart, Pint Silver Tankard, 1926, 295gmPeterson Tankard Estate Pipe Ireland Briar NiceSterling Silver Gilded ~ Large Victorian Cup / Tankard ~ London 1864Superb Victorian Sterling Silver Gilt Tankard / Mug - Chawner & Co - London 18751980 Holiday Budweiser Champion Clydesdale St Louis Mo Ceramarte Cs19 Stein/mugGerman Pewter Lidded Tankard By Benedict Aichetswieser Of Munich Circa 1730 Sks Zinn German Pewter Stein 8.5"1998 Dalmatian Stein Budweiser Anheuser-busch Lmt Edition Handcrafted GermanyNorthwood Green Oriental Poppy Tankard Water SetGerman Pewter Lidded Tankard By Abraham Master Mager Of Nuremberg Circa 1720 World's Fair Chicago 1933 A Century Of Progress Beer Stein Germany, Glass BottleGorgeous Georgian Copper TankardVintage Straight Razor S -7 Matching-stein Supply Co Los Angeles -rose Sil,inlayGerman Beer Stein Russian Fairy Tales Firebird Mettlach Villeroy Boch #1528Hart Arkansa Oel-stein Knife Sharpening Stone In Wooden Box UsedGerman Pewter Lidded Tankard By Benedict Aichetswieser Of Munich Circa 1730 Hard To Find Orange Tree Scroll Carnival Glass Tankard And One Tumbler, NrGerman Bismarck Tower Otto Von Bismarck Beer Stein 1908Collection Of 25 Budweiser Holiday Beer Steins And 1 Official Collectors Guide1981 Budweiser Holiday Beer Stein Cs 50 Snowy Birch Woodlands # 2 In SeriesWwii Trench Art North Africa Campaign Military Tankard Engraved TobrukAntique Art Nouveau German Stein W/ Porcelain / Ceramic Lid Flowers Nice ColorsOld Hires Root Beer Mug Mettlach Stoneware Stein Villeroy & Boch Rare Wainwright's Schweickardt & Holle Pre Pro Prohibition Glass Goblet Stein PrVtg German Lidded Salt Glaze Beer Stein Zur Erinnerung An Meine Dienstzeit 20 OzSet Of Six Solid Copper Mugs Moscow Mule Cup Tankard Bar Man Cave Usa VintageMettlach Stein1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein - Snowy WoodlandSuperb Large Heavy English Antique L1934 Solid Sterling Silver Pint TankardBudweiser Beer Mug Stein (9)Terry Pratchett 'stolen From The Mended Drum' Leather Tankard Discworld VintageVictorian James Dixon Tankard Red Glass Base Pattern 483Budweiser Collector's Club Member's Only Stein - Cb4 King A Regal Spirit1977 Star Wars Chewie Tankard/mug By RumphAntique Villeroy And Boch Mettlach Stein Tankard 16541980 & 1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein Mugs, 1st And 2nd In Series1981 Snowy Woodlands Budweiser 2nd Holiday SteinBudweiser/ceramarte Cs-19a 1981 Brown Grass Clydesdales Stein Rare1970s Craft American Tankard Beer Stein Mug Advert Polaris Snowmobiles W/ Tags2014 Budweiser Holiday Beer Stein Mug Glass Nib Clydesdale Horses Gift Beer BarMettlach Medical Book Stein 1980Antique 19th C. Gold Gilt Silver Plate Relief Hammered Tankard Marked Dated 1884Marine Corps Budweiser SteinVintage Red Etched Frosted Glass Beer Stein Metal Lid Floral And Fruit PatternTankard - The Morning After (promo) -1988- Thrash MetalRoyal Worcester Tankard / Mug Victorian German Regimental Stein 1909-1911Vintage Mettlach Tureen/ Punch Bowl With Beautiful Village Scenes On SideLooney Tunes Bugs Bunny Character SteinMad Lab Models (resin) - Bart 'n Stein (bart Simpson Frankenstein)

Recent News: Beer Steins

Source: Google News

Kovels: Beer steins born of necessity
INFORUM, December 19th

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. They were made of pewter, wood, stoneware and, for the very wealthy, ivory...Read more

Covered drinking vessel created to ward off illness
Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 13th

cherubs drinking wine, not beer, are carved on the outside of this ivory beer stein. It has a hinged lid and a handle. It sold for $5,760 at Fox Auctions of Vallejo, Calif., even though there are extra problems involved in selling old ivory...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

New Orleans From the Inside Out
Memphis Magazine, December 2nd

My all-star “oyster po-boy and Barq's root beer in a bottle” experience happens only at Domilise's Po-Bo & Bar. This family has been serving ... For family-friendly dinners, we love Cowbell, located in an old gas station at the end of Oak Street; this...Read more

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

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