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

Events in NJ: Stein-holding contest, superheroes, bees and Queen with Adam ...
The Star-Ledger, July 26th

Masskrugstemmen sounds like work, and it is. It means beer-stein holding in German, and it's been a fixture of German beer gardens for generations. Test your stein-holding skills at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City at 11 p.m. tonight. Contestants must hold...Read more

The 7 best things to do in NJ this weekend
The Star-Ledger, July 24th

It means beer-stein holding in German, and it's been a fixture of German beer gardens for generations. Test your stein-holding skills at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City at 11 p.m. Saturday. Contestants must hold a 1-liter stein of beer at arm's length for...Read more

Schroeder's: One of San Francisco's Oldest Restaurants Gets the Small Plates ...
SF Weekly, July 23rd

Its new chef Manfred Wrembel, previously of boundary-pushing restaurants like Plum and Incanto, has done an admirable job making heavy German beer hall food relevant to today's audiences, and, more importantly, the San Francisco climate that never ...Read more

Day tripping in Northfield: What book are you reading?
Twin Cities Daily Planet (blog), July 23rd

We hike for a few hours, grab a cone or a root beer float, and come home feeling like we've taken Thoreau's advice to live deliberately and deep, and to suck out all of the marrow (and ice cream) of life. Last month T spent a week at ... I popped into...Read more

Community Notes
The Jersey Journal, July 18th

beer holding contest on Saturday at 11 p.m. The "Masskrugstemmen," which has a literal English translation meaning "beer-stein holding," has been a tradition of German beer gardens for generations; and involves contestants holding a heavy one-liter...Read more

El Paso Coliseum to host Oktoberfest in September
KVIA El Paso, July 10th

12-14 at the El Paso County Coliseum and will feature German beer and food, as well as a polka band. The event will feature authentic Paulaner Wiesn Beer, which is especially brewed for the Oktoberfest in Munich, authentic beer steins made in Germany, ...Read more

Trade of the Day: Buy a German World Cup Beer
Bloomberg View, July 9th

Germany defeated current World Cup hosts Brazil 7-1 yesterday, and will face either Argentina or the Netherlands in the final. England exited the competition in the first round without winning a single match. Munich brewery Paulaner Brauerei GmbH says...Read more

Germany's World Cup semi-final demolition of Brazil summed up perfectly by beer
Metro, July 9th

Brazil's 7-1 humbling by Germany in their World Cup semi-final showdown has predictably become the feature of numerous internet memes and jokes, but few sum up the events in Belo Horizonte quite as well as this video. Goals from Thomas Muller, ...Read more