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A beer stein is a German mug used for drinking beer, typically made of German stoneware or glassware. Additionally, a stein can be made from stone, hardwood, steel, crystallized glass, or ceramic. The ornately sculpted clay mug with a hinged metal top that is famous for being used at Oktoberfest is what many individuals associate to be an authentic German beer stein.

Fascinating History of Beer Steins

German beer steins have a long history, both in terms of what they are made of and how they have developed over time. The Germans wanted their creations to last, whether made of stone or clay so they were designed to be long-lasting and not shatter too easily. Despite its simplicity, the beer stein has a fascinating history. It is said that the history of the beer stein traces its origin back to the Plague centuries ago. To prevent disease transmission due to flies and insects carrying contagions, it became a widespread practice to cover crockery with lids.  Likewise, beer steins were capped with cylindrical lids (typically made of silver) keeping insects and the pathogens they carried at bay. It appears that lids on German steins became popular when the plague was rapidly spreading around Germany with the intention of preventing flies from entering the drink.  As steins became more popular, further attention was given to its decorative appearance. The regularly used stein evolved into not just serving the practical purpose of holding liquid but also became a medium of craftmanship to render artwork and design on the stein itself. Artisans directed their skills to crafting elaborate engraved decorations and movable covers. Since such humble beginnings, these well-loved beer vessels have traveled the globe and remained in existence to this day.

About Beer Steins

Generally, people equate the conventional style of sculpted and stoneware clay to be a drinking vessel that is made in Germany. The expressions used to describe this iconic German drinkware are Steinzeugkrug (Stoneware Jug), Bierkrug (Beer Jug), or merely Krug. Másskrug is another name for Oktoberfest decanters (Beer Mug). Traditional steins are made of pottery, hardwood, glassware. Steins are often topped off with a curved pewter or zinc alloy lid cover. The interior and exterior of the stein is typically covered with a ceramic glaze coating fired on at a high temperature allowing the beer mug to be food safe for drinking. The metal lid is soldered to the ceramic handle. Many feel that the metal lid covering the beer stein also assists in keeping the German beer inside cooler. While this is frequently a nice side benefit, it was not intended for that purpose (see reason noted in the section History of Beer Steins). Over the years, additional styles of steins have become popular such as the glass beer boot which is a drinking vessel in the shape of a boot. Popular sizes of this unique type of stein shape usually comes in a one liter or a two-liter size and makes for a great conversation starter at a German party or Oktoberfest event.  Another unique beer stein style is the beer stein horn which is a vessel that is molded in the shaped of a bull or ox horn.

Stein tankards are by nature heavy considering the weight of stoneware ceramic and a metal lid. The practical reason for the purpose of beer steins (glass or clay) in contemporary times is to keep the German beer cold. Additionally, because steins feature a distinctive handle, this helps to prevent the warm hand from coming into contact with the stein and thus prevent residual body heat from transferring into beer. The beer stein’s thick ceramic provides insulation, allowing the drink to remain at the original pouring temperature for a longer time. Due to the hand-crafted quality of the stein, the mugs are not microwave safe or dishwasher safe. Rather, they should be hand-washed. 

Visit Oktoberfest in Munich to see how iconic beer steins have become in Germany. Consider the forearm power required when you see a bartender holding many one liter German steins filled with beer to be delivered to a group enjoying German food and festivities. Steins definitely contribute to the ambience of Oktoberfest events and top off one’s German look of wearing a German wool hat, lederhosen, or dirndl.  They also serve as a great beer 

The most efficient way to determine “how much is my beer stein worth” is to have it appraised by an impartial appraiser who has expertise in ceramic mugs, earthenware, or German antiques. Yet, you can ascertain whether the stein has value on your own by simply looking at the makers logo or insignia at the bottom to see if your stein is mass-produced or is a limited edition made by a “Made in Germany” factory. A symbol or text will typically be etched or imprinted on the bottom of the stein. These marks will indicate the stein’s manufacturer and whether the stein is a limited edition.  It will also confirm if the stein is German made or not.  If so, it will also indicate how many pieces were made in the limited edition run.  However, note that many steins imported from Germany these days are actually made in other countries and the final artwork or lid assembly is done in Germany and the factory will list the stein as being made in Germany. 

Where to Purchase Beer Steins

Oktoberfest Haus is a prominent importer and dealer of premium German beer steins and gifts. Stoneware, metal, pottery, crystal beer steins and mugs are offered. Mettlach, Thewalt, Marzi-Remy, Gerz, army, and salt-glaze steins are among the popular brands among collectors of authentic beer steins. All of our products meet global quality criteria and are highly regarded in various markets around the world. As a result, many in the selection are more valuable than overstock beer steins, machine-crafted steins, and steins manufactured from outside Europe.

View our comprehensive selection of beer steins at Offered are a carefully curated selection of unique and exclusive beer mugs found nowhere else. Our Made in Germany Zoller & Born German Beer Steins are constructed of fine German ceramic, hand-painted, and topped with a metal lid. This exclusive selection of beer steins includes limited editions of Zoller & Born using only the finest premium materials. Many of the beer steins come packaged in a gift box. Shop from a wide variety of styles and artwork including Oktoberfest Munich, Bayern, Coats of Arms, German Eagle, and exclusive artwork with scenes of Germany that are found nowhere else. If you are looking for a gift for Oma or a present for Opa, Oktoberfest Haus offers exclusive German gifts that are found no where else in America with qualified free shipping offers. Enjoy the experience of shopping a wide selection of German gift ideas that include beer stein shot glasses, kitchenware, German hat pins, souvenirs and more.

Additionally, if you are looking to have personalized steins or wholesale custom beer mugs with your logo or graphic image, contact us for more information. We manufacture steins that have a volume of .25 Liter, .5 Liter, .75 Liter and 1 Liter. If you have an Oktoberfest event, there are many options of stein styles, volumes and shapes that are available for customizing your logo or artwork design onto the product. Oktoberfest Haus has over thirty years of experience in serving North America’s wholesale and event buyers, offering custom beer steins at a competitive price and excellent quality. Partner with a company that has a proven record of supplying large events for their German drinkware needs.

Due to the unique and collectible nature of these steins, look no further for one-stop shopping of one-of-a-kind steins, beer boots and mugs. Avoid the hassle of searching for a variety of suppliers and makers.

If one is looking for a German beer stein, Oktoberfest Haus has the largest selections of Beer Steins in the USA!

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