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Beer Receptacles Throughout Time

It is commonly known that beer has been with mankind for a long time. The way we drank beer changed as beer expanded, grew, and improved. The earlier vessels mankind used for drinking included stoneware, pottery, wood, and even sewn-together pieces of leather. As time went on, mankind saw small improvements in the quality of their beer glasses. Midieval Europeans that lived during the era of the Bubonic plague saw the creation of beer steins, which had a closed top on the steins to prevent bugs from landing in the brew and making the person ill.

Today, the most vital factor to influence modern beer glass making was the creation of glass. As glasses became increasingly well loved, drinkers could really see what they were consuming and wanted a lighter and more appealing color as well as flavor. This led to the filtration of beers; drinkers didn’t want the chunks that were found in the earlier products of the breweries. With this new, improved wave of beer glasses, it seemed like beer steins were on the way out.

The creation of beer glasses thrived and made a variety of glasses for all types of various beers. The most well loved in America is the 16-ounce pint glass. It was originally used to cover the top of a Martini shaker, but barkeeps soon learned that as the beer poured out of the beer tap handles the pint glass was the perfect vessel because it let part of the carbonation to be released and allowed the aroma of the beer to be more pronounced. The pint glass rapidly became well loved with barkeeps who had to rinse each glass by itself because it can be place on top of each other and place easily on the shelves.

A drive to get customers to get their brand of beer by earlier breweries led to some extraordinary and groundbreaking moves on the marketing and advertising front. Giving out beer glasses to customers was a way that manufacturers learned to promote their products even though it was prohibited. This led to the manufacturers making glasses that were works of artistic merit unto themselves. The first were opulent and costly; they would often have gold or silver embossed on the sides. Eventually, artisans for the breweries started doing detailed carvings on either side of the glasses or steins and even developed a method of firing enamel paint onto the glasses. Even though they were manufactured more recently than other beer collectibles, these enameled glasses remain some of the priciest and unique today. Nowadays keen collectors all around the planet continue to collect these signs and collectables that are sometimes worth thousands. Have you looked up in the top of Granddad’s ancient dresser lately?

Michael Usry is a long-time beer lover and contributing author for “Beer Maniac” fanzine in Austin, Tx. He is also a top affiliate at beertaps.com beer tap handles, and steinsandglassware.com german beer steins, websites for household draft beer accessories.

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