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Authentic German Steins for beer

The German stein originated around the 14th century. The spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe forced Germany to take some precautions in preventing a catastrophe. During the next 300 or so years, Germany enforced many regulations on how their beer was to be produced and transported, while other European countries didn't take such precautions. Thus German beer quickly became popular across Europe and demand for the beer increased as well. This demand made it a necessary search for inexpensive, yet durable material to transport large amounts of beer to different areas. Although many materials proved to be a sufficient material to use in creating beer steins, the most common materials used were glass, stoneware, and porcelain. 

Stein is an abbreviation of German Steingut "stoneware", the common material for beer mugs before the introduction of glass. The word is not used within Germany. Beer steins were made primarily with pewter in many areas across Europe, but many steins were known to be made of glass, porcelain, and silver as well. Steins has also been known to have been forged out of wood, earthenware, and crystal. Although they have long gone out of fashion, the lids on beer mugs serve as a sanitary measure especially to keep insects out of the beer. They are usually made out of pewter, and are usually equipped with a lever that is in reach of the thumb, so that it is possible to grab the mug and open and close the lid with a single hand.