A History of German Beer Steins

Where did beer steins originate from?

Beer steins have their origin from Germany and date back to the 14th Century. During this period there was a severe infestation of flies all over Europe, as well as an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague. Due to these circumstances, a number of immediate laws were passed in Germany in an attempt to stop the spreading of the plague. In accordance with these new-found laws, all citizens were instructed to cover any tins or bowls generally used to store their foodstuffs and beverages, with the rational thinking that this measure may help to stop any further infection. While the rich made use of silver bowls from which to drink their favorite beverages, the first beer steins were modest mugs fitted with a plainly crafted hinged lid. Most of these steins were crafted from simple stoneware amongst the poor to enjoy their beer.

Beer steins in the 17th century

During the 17th century, renaissance artists wanted to add some more class to the modest beer steins, and came up with some crafty ideas as to how these commodities could be more appealing. Steins dating from the 17th century were crafted from glass and silver and typically host carvings of biblical and historical pictures with added symbolic information. This transformation took the world by storm, and the elite society started to place their orders for beer steins from around the globe.

Germany was still the beer stein leader (and still is)

When the Chinese came to hear about these prestigious beer steins, they started to craft their own version of steins and, therefore, became very much in competition with Germany. However, similar items crafted by the Chinese market could not compare to the newest innovation of the Germans: Porcelain steins decorated with paint works of commendable designs which, when equated to that of China, were of a far more superior quality. In lieu of this, it stands to prove the beer stein have been perfected by the Germans over time.

Beer steins from 18th century and beyond

With the commencement of the 18th century came innovation. Beer steins were then being crafted from silver, ivory, engraved glass and enameled glass. Those who loved their beer, however, did not pay much attention to the new-found designs, but simply appreciated its overall design.

Modern day beer steins outshine all other workmanship and are crafted with an array of designs. Although these items are still used for the enjoyment of beer, the collection thereof has fast become a hobby amongst avid stein lovers, and the value of the materials used as well as the age of a specific item are highly estimated in terms of value. Collectors often say that they collect these items due to its history and the association with the so-called “golden era” of beer.

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