It is commonly known that beer has been around mankind for a long time. The way we consumed beer developed as beer expanded, grew, and advanced. The earliest vessels humans used for drinking included stoneware, pottery, carved out wood, and even sewn-together bits of leather. As time proceeded, humans saw small improvements in the quality of their beer glasses. During the bubonic plague beer steins were essential because of their closed top to keep bugs from getting in the beer and getting them ill.
Nowadays, the most important thing to affect modern beer glass production was the development of glass. As glasses became more and more popular, customers could actually see what they were consuming and demanded a lighter and better color and taste. Drinkers didn’t want chunks in their beer anymore so manufacturers started to filter their products. With this new, more aesthetically pleasing wave of beer glasses, it appeared beer steins were on the way out.
All kinds of beer glasses were created and produced for the different kinds of beverages. The most popular in the United States is the 16-ounce pint glass. It was originally used to cover a Martini shaker, but barkeeps soon found that as the beer flowed out of the beer tap handles the pint glass was the perfect vessel because it let some of the carbonation to be released and let the smell of the brew to be more obvious. The pint glass rapidly became popular with bartenders who had to rinse each glass individually because it can be stacked on top of each other and put easily on the shelves.
On the advertising and marketing front some extraordinary and groundbreaking moves were developed by early breweries to try and persuade people towards their products. Handing out beer glasses to people was one way that manufacturers found to promote their products even though it was prohibited. This led to the breweries creating beer glasses that were works of art unto themselves. Gold or silver embossing on either side of the glass was not uncommon for these first flashy and pricey glasses. Gradually, artisans for the breweries began doing detailed etchings on the sides of the glasses or steins and even developed a method of firing enamel paint onto the beer glasses. These painted glasses remain some of the most unique beer souvenirs, even though they were produced later than the others. Today fervent collectors all over the planet continue to collect these signs and collectables that are sometimes worth thousands. Have you been up in the top of Granddad’s old drawer lately?