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The history of beer steins is related to the origins of beer.


Origins of the Beer



Beer dates back to to ancient times. The Sumerian civilization – 5000 BC- had developed agricultural skills in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and used to cultivate barley. In a prayer to the oldest or maybe first Goodess of beverage – specifically beer-  the Goddess Ninkasi is mentioned making beer everyday to satisfy her desire for alcohol. The fact that the beer is mentioned in ancient mythology indicates that people of the time knew about it and had tasted it. The archaeologists have found a stone inscription for a “best beer” recipe dating back to 2500 BC from this civilization. Beer was also known in Babylon taverns and in Egypt beer was not only part of the Pharaohs’ drinks choices but considered as a medical drink. The Greeks could have learned how to produce beer from the Egyptians, according to historical evidence.
Beer was also produced in many places of the world due its easily found components.
We also know that the monasteries were a good source of beer production as well as many liqueurs and special beverages. Some Saints are patrons of brewing are Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Luke the Evangelist and Saint Nicholas.
In Europe, beer used to be made at home. The oldest brewery of record was in the Benedictine Weihenstephan abbey and dates back from 1040 . It still in existence today under the name of Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan – Bavarian State Brewery- , owned by the State of Bavaria.
England produced Ale and exported it to the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. By 1400s. 
In 1516, the Duke of Bavaria adopted the purity law by which only 3 ingredients could be used in the production of beer: water, barley and hoops. The yeast was added to it after the French chemist Pasteur discovered it.  


It was by the time of the Industrial revolution that beer production became organized  by breweries and took a corporate manner. By the end of the 19th C with the discovery and creation of some temperature devices the manufacturing of beer took a whole different phase of controlled production.
Today there are different variations of beer all over the world. We can find lagers, dark beers, wheat beers, stouts, milds, pale ales, bitters, golden ales, chili beers and  cream ales among some.



Beer steins history         
Beer stein literally translated from German means beer stone. In English, these two words refer to the traditional German beer mug made out of stoneware or theGerman collectible beer stein that have been designed and created through the centuries featuring a great variety of themes.
In modern times, beer mugs are made of glass and can be found in any pub, brewery or bar as well as in any Oktoberfest celebration. They normally do not have a lid.
The history of the beer steins is related to the history of beer.  People used to drink beer in any kind of open container depending on the occasion and location. Those open containers could be called mugs as they had no lid or top.  When the bubonic plague epidemic invaded Europe, in the 1300s,  killing over 25 millions, a regulation was put in place resulting in the creation of the ancestor of the beer stein as we know it  today : a body of porcelain- earthenware and a lid which in general is made of pewter with a thumb lift that would help keep the stein closed and allows to drink using one hand.  A transition in lids occurred from the 1400s until  the strict law of the covered container was put in place .The first step was to create a lid cover teh beer stein or mug to avoid flies to get into the beverage or borders of the container. Some lids were drainers or screen like lids. 
The wealthiest people had pewter or silver containers to drink beer . The majority of people drank beer from earthenware mugs or steins which were very fragile.
Through time, experiments and improvements of firing at high temperatures lead to the non porous material of the steins as we know it today making the modern beer steins sanitary and able to keep the full taste of the beer.
During the Renaissance various artistic designs and molds were created and decorated on the body of the steins. The well known cobalt blue glaze  was invented in those days giving the steins a very elegant and stunning look. In social meetings and as a home, the beer stein started to have an important value as a collector's  item as well as a social status. The beer stein became an instrument of drinking but was also seen as a social element of the times in the German society. Historical, medieval and religious scenes were molded with intricate detail and the wealthiest commissioned Geran beer steins limited edition and gave them  to their closest friends.
An unusually shaped drinking container was the horn shaped Scandinavian “stein”. It was not easy to add a lid to it and the most commonly used was the British pewter tankard.
Once the covered-container law was over, Germans loved the steins they had produced in the last 300 years and decided to continue with the covered lid German beer steins as we know them today. Since that time, the challenge to add creative detail to the earthenware 3d body of the stein, the pewter lift and thumbnal did not stop. Different shapes and designs make a region different than the other and this is reflected on the steins’creations.
By the late 1800s, the steins started being manufactured with molds in organized productions. Glass, porcelain and character steins started to be produced in the 1900s . After WWII., the reproduction of antique steins started to be manufacturedas well as historical editions and the German beer steins are collected by people all over the world, specially the USA.  Relief 3d motifs hand painted on the body of the stein and vaious pewter molding techniques increase the possibilities to achieve better and more realistic mass produced designs and series of steins for the collectors.
In our modern technolodical world, the steins are still one of the few items totally made hand made  in the country of origin with no imported pieces, by German craftsmen and artists. We think this is an added value for the stein collectors. When you buy a collectors' German beer stein, you are not only buying an item that will add something to your collection but you are buying a tradition in the history of the original stein making that dates back to the 1300s. The German beer stein you purchase  is made in the real lieu where the history behind the beer stein started and by the descendants of the first German beer stein makers. You are collecting a true piece of German history brought to you in our modern times.

A piece of History on each German beer stein, hand painted on eartheware by stein masters. custom steins, drinking stein, beerstein, limited edition steins for the collector.