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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Red Fox Chapter

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Bottle Cap Index

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British Beer Labels

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This pre-1965 collection is organized alphabetically by brand and contains scans of seemingly thousands of beautif… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

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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