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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Very Fine 1878 Victorian Gorham American Sterling Silver Ale Tankard Cup Mug N/rVilleroy & Boch Mettlach Stein "alle Neune" Pig Bowling Alley .5l 1526Antique Mettlach German Student Association Beer Stein, Dueling, Dated1899 MintBeautiful German Mettlach Stein # 2382 .5l Rider & Knight 1897 MintHandsome Large Antique Victorian Sh1881 Solid Sterling Silver One Pint TankardEnglish Sterling Tankard 1731 Richard Beale London George IiAntique Etched Stein By Merkelbach & Wick--gnomes--c 1900Collectable Sterling Silver Mappin & Webb Tankard. Stunning L@@kStunning Antique 1/2 Liter Jewel Tone Mettlach Stein- Free Ship, Great ConditionLarge 19thc Antique English Staffordshire Pottery Mug Tankard W/ Frog Inside NrBarrel-shaped Sterling Silver Pint Mug, Birmingham 1919 Mappin Webb Beer TankardRare 1st Edition 1959 Schultz And Dooley Steins Set Vg Condition No ReserveExceptional Quality Antique Chased Islamic Persian Kashmir Indian Tankard/ MugHuge 18th Century Chinese Porcelain Qianlong Period Export Tankard / Mug. C1770Budweiser / Ceramarte Cs-50 2nd.clydesdales Holiday Stein Rare 1981Antique 1890s Villeroy & Boch Mettlach Neillsville Wi Brewery Beer Mug Cup VtgRare 18th Or Early 19th C. American ? Amethyst Tankard Open Pontil Great 1929 English Birmingham Sterling Silver Barrel Form Ale Tankard Mug CupC1735-1796 Antique Chinese Qianlong Porcelain Tankard Mug Crested Armorial1980 Budweiser Holiday Stein "champion Clydesdales" Cs-19An Unusual Victorian Sterling Silver Tankard Birmingham 1867 Victorian Silver Pint Tankard, 1879, 317gm - Barnard Family1971 Rumph Spiro Agnew Tankard Mug GlassElkington & Co Sterling Silver 1937 Cup / Mug / Tankard Commemorative Hallmark Budweiser / Ceramarte Cs-22 Centennial Stein ( Rare Twig Handle ) 1976Trench Art Post Wwii North African Campaign Battlefield Salvaged Brass TankardLovely Barker Bros 1938 Art Deco Delightful Silver Large Pint Tankard 404g 1981 Budweiser Holiday Stein "snowy Woodlands" Cs-50Antique Faience German Beer Stein, Wurzburg Crest, Engraved Pewter Lid Dtd. 18471974 Rumph Stone-throwing Ogre Tankard Aka Ogre Lidded Stein (repaired)Mettlach Villeroy & Boch Tankard, Lidded Stein No.1180 GermanyOriginal Collectable Vintage 1953 German Stein Regimental Lithophane Nude Women5-pc Lot Budweiser Stein (s) 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985Antique Reinhold Merkelbach Stein Jug W/ Lid Germany *** Authentic Vintage German Regimental Beer Stein *** English Solid Sterling Silver One Pint Tankard London 1967 William Comyns & SonsAntique Etched Mettlach 2001 Medical Book German Beer Stein, Inlay, Dated 19051981 Budweiser Clydesdale Snowy Woodlands 2nd Holiday Christmas Stein Cs50 MintSchultz And Dooley Utica Club Scuba Dooley 1st Ed Stein1981 Budweiser Clydesdale Snowy Woodlands 2nd Holiday Christmas Stein Cs50 MintAntique Wooden Tankard Beer Stein Black Forest Large Carved Figures Unique PieceGerman Ww2 Original Military SteinGerman Beer Stein Regimental Military 1/2 L. "authentic" Reservist 1903-1905 Gerzit Stein Gerz Santa Stein Out Of Box Mid 1980sMid 19th Century English Sterling Christening Tankard Cup London Halmarked Shultz And Dooley Steins - Webco - Utica Club - Made In GermanyNorse Pottery – Tankard MugGeorgian Style Solid Silver Pint Mug Tankard - B1930 - Sterling - 332gPj Carousel Horse "stein -goldstein" Black Horse With Floral DecorationsDisney World, Epcot German Beer Stein *limited Edition*1997 Louie The Lizard Budweiser Stein Cs-344 * Signed*1857 Queens College Oxford University Pewter Rowing Trophy Tankard No ReserveSchultz And Dooley Utica Club Coach 1st Ed SteinGermany Empire Love Token - Unknown Host Coin "fur Treue Und Fleiss Stein"*** Authentic Vintage German Regimental Beer Stein *** Solid Sterling Silver Pint Beer Mug/ Tankard, 1961 VgcBudweiser Champion Clydesdales Ceramarte Made In Brazil Stein Vintage German Reinhold Merkelbach Stoneware Salzglasur Stein - Lord's PrayerSamson Orient Lowestoft Export Porcelain French Chinese Armorial Mug Tankard YqzGerman Beer Stein Large Very Old And Collectible

Recent News: Beer Steins

Source: Google News

Finishing Touches
My New Orleans, March 2nd

For most people, being a regular customer at a doughnut shop might earn them a free treat every now and then or a complimentary coffee on the sly. But for Michael Dalle-Molle, Jordan Gurren and Conley Hataway, frequenting the Lower Garden District cafe ...Read more

Baltimore shopkeeper collects and sells Victorian jewelry that honors lost ...
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 22nd

Baltimore — Amid the old pocket watches, vintage lamps, beer steins and postcards at The Parisian Flea store is a small, 14-carat gold brooch with an oak leaf emblem. It sells for $595. There's nothing surprising about the Victorian-era piece, until...Read more

Vintage clothing is back in fashion, February 17th

Q: I inherited an antique beer stein from my grandfather. It appears to be made from milk glass or porcelain with a cast-pewter top. Written in German calligraphy is "Froh erwache jeden morgan. Trink dein topfchen ohne Sorgen," or, in translation...Read more

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

Tradition claims that it was the bubonic plague in the 14th century that inspired the creation of beer steins. Many people had noticed that there were more deaths in filthy places in town than in clean sections, and that there were clouds of insects...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

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