German beer steins are decorative and memorable souvenirs from your visit to Deutschland. The pewter lids started in the 14th century to split up drinking beer from the painful death. Traditional German steins are designed to keep your bugs out.
Having been an employee in Germany for so many years, our shelves are decorated having a half of twelve beautiful beer steins. Stein comes from Steinzeugkrug, or stoneware jug. In the late section of the 14th century the Bubonic Plague or Black Death killed millions. Wonderful that death, swarms of black flies buzzed across Germany, sustaining death and disease. Germans implemented many health rules to protect the survivors with the plagues. One was that beer steins required lids to keep the flies out from the brew.
Rich Germans used gold or silver for his or her steins. The most popular drinking population used stoneware. Just one benefit of being a plague survivor was the few remaining laborers received high pay. They invested some of their salary into decorative stoneware with shields, knights, and other images.
In the 1892 Oktoberfest glass beer mugs were introduced. With fewer flies and hygiene, the German beer stein benefits diminished. They became decorative art and standard tourist souvenirs.
When traveling in Germany, search for taverns where customers generate their own beer steins. It's fun to check out the different designs and colors. The sounds are marvelous with all the snapping pewter lids among the laughter. Returning over six centuries with a crowd, such as this, and their German beer steins, no bug had a chance.