From the exquisite, ornate, and typically hand-painted detail found decorating their exteriors to the varying, sometimes gargantuan, sizes, it’s no wonder German steins are so popular! And let’s not forget about their rich history and collectability!
Steins can be fun to drink from at your local beer hall and add a fulfilling level of authenticity to some already great German brews, but these lid-topped drinking vessels weren’t made that way for kicks. Germany established laws around the 14th century that required beverage containers to have lids.
“Why put a lid on a big stein I’m just going to keep drinking from” you might ask yourself. Well, though they look cool now, the peskiness of having to open and close a lid between sips of one’s favorite dunkel or Oktoberfest would be the obvious choice between that and contracting the bubonic plague. Yep, flies carrying the deadly plague would, perhaps, land in your delicious beer turning it from a delightful intoxicant into a deadly libation.
As unique as one could imagine, these drinking vessels can range in size from .03 liter (1 oz.) to a staggering 32 liter (8.4 gal.)! The typical stein holds a volume of .5 (1/2 liter – 16.9 oz.) which is roughly your usual pint, with room for foam. Not only do they come in different sizes, but the shapes and construction material range as well.
Steins can be made from ceramics, earthenware, glass, pewter (what most lids are made from), porcelain, wood, or one of many other materials and their subjects range with even greater variety! Depicting everything from sports to one’s occupation, figural to traditional and on a flat surface or through a dimensional relief, steins certainly run the gamut of artistic expression!
Without a doubt, 1001beersteins.com is one of the best purveyors of great beer steins, offering just about every type of stein under the sun. They offer an easy-to-navigate, simply designed website to browse their expansive selection, with a focus on quality.
The stein pictured is my trusty German lager drinking stein from 1001 Beer Steins and it’s gorgeous. Adorned with gold leaf and the German eagle surrounded by the flags of the 16 states, this superbly crafted, ornate stein, topped by a sturdy pewter lid holds an easy-drinking 10 ounces. Not only does this stein look cool and is fun to drink from, but it keeps bubonic plague-carrying flies from landing, unbeknownst to me, in my tasty beer.
If German steins are your thing, or you just want to get one for fun, shoot over to their website for superb craftsmanship and great selection!