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Beer steins have certainly come a long way since the time when it was traditionally used as a beer drinking mug; it is much more than just that nowadays. Of course, it's still being used as a beer drinking mug but many also find it rather delightful to collect.

At times, beer steins can be refer to as just stein or German beer stein, due to the fact it was invented in Germany, but more often than not, it’s known as a beer stein. The word stein means "stone" in German, which doesn't exactly refer to a mug or beverage container. Nevertheless, what we called a beer stein is actually pronounced Steinkrug, which translates to stone mug in German. The reasoning behind the name stein (meaning stone) is that it was traditionally made out of stoneware, a ceramic made from non-refractory fire clay, thus the origin of the name. It can also be made out of porcelain, pewter, wood, crystal glass and, from time to time, silver. At the top of the mug, it may or may not have a lid that can be open with a thumb lever. The lid came to be during 1400s, the period also known for the Black Plague, when many Eastern European countries, including Germany, had a infestation of flies during the warm summer seasons. Shortly after, a law was passed, to further prevent diseases from spreading and ensuring sanitation, that all food and beverage containers (including beer steins) must be covered.  As time passed and the Black Plagued ended, the continued use of the lid as a stopper, that helped to keep the beer from spilling out, kept lids in the design. Much had to do with the popularity of overdrinking (intoxication), dancing, and getting really rambunctious in those times.

Beer steins, since then, have evolved and many of them have excellent craftsmanship and decorative artwork that will take your breath away. Each one comes with amazing detail and in beautiful hues.  They come in all different themes, from animal/wildlife to holiday steins that can certainly add excitement to your already exquisite home decor or be a conversation-starter when used for beer drinking. Many decorative beer steins still has the flip lip with the thumb lever but it's not as commonly used in Germany.

In Germany, the most popular festival for beer drinking is known as Oktoberfest. It is a 16 day festival held to celebrate beer. It usually runs from late October to beginning to mid-September. It is commonly known as the world largest fair, with six million people attending every year.