Stein cerveza antiguas

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Choosing Antique German Beer Steins

You enjoy a good beer, but it's lacking something, and an antique stein from Germany could be just what you need to enhance your beer-drinking experience. After all, Germany is known for its beer as well as for its beer steins, and a collectible German beer stein can be just as interesting and complex as the lager that once filled it.

How do you identify antique beer steins?

When you are looking to choose an antique stein, a true test would be to take it to an expert, but there are a few signs to look for that can give you a clue as to how old the stein is or the era in which it was fashioned.

  • Due to the bubonic plague and the surge in the fly population, early German steins were required by law to have a lid on them, such as stoneware steins with an attached pewter lid.
  • Steins made from other materials, like glass, ceramic, porcelain, and silver are more commonly found in steins made in the last 100 years or so.
  • Check the lid and hinge, as both hold clues about the age of the mug. Stoneware lids and large closed five-ringed pewter hinges are among the earliest of these forms.

Are there specific types of steins?

There are distinct types of steins, and events of the specific periods in history changed how and why steins were manufactured.

  • Regimental steins were manufactured after the Franco-Prussian war in the late 1800s. They were given to German military men and veterans to commemorate their service. These steins were often custom-made for individual soldiers according to their personal preferences.
  • Mettlach steins are some of the more recognizable steins, as they often bear the mercury, old tower, or castle trademark. A Mettlach was usually stoneware with hand painting or detailed etchings, and they were also often given a white glaze on the inside.

What can you use your stein for?

How you choose to use your beer stein is up to you. Antique items can make a difference in the decor of any home, room, or office, as they can serve as focal pieces or simply as little touches to enhance the look and feel of your space.

  • You can line a curio cabinet with your antique collectible beer steins to keep them safely organized and clean.
  • You might repurpose your beer stein by turning it into a vase or storing your paintbrushes in it. Let your imagination and your space be your guide.
  • You could also use the old stein for its intended purpose and drink from it. After all, it's simply a mug, and mugs are for filling. Whether you choose to drink beer from it or something else, it is completely up to you.