Stein of the times

markstein.jpgI have a beer stein from 1918. It was given to me by my great aunt as a wedding present.As a display piece, the beer stein is the coolest of drinking vessels. Tall and imposing, with elaborate artwork spiraling up to a heavy hinged pewter lid, it seems that the ordinary beer it should contain would be given added body and substance just from being served in such a grand vessel.

Unfortunately, if you drink from a beer stein, you look ridiculous. Especially if you make your local pub keep your stein on premises so you can swill from it in public. So stop.

Incidentally, the beer stein is one of the many positive results of the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages. Apparently, after a while of everyone dying, people noticed that folks who lived in more hygenic conditions did not bite it at the same breakneck rate as those who existed in squalor and filth. So public sanitation laws were passed requiring, among other things, that earthenware drinking vessels of the day have an attached lid. This had the added benefit of keeping the black flies that swarmed into Central Europe each summer out of the beer.

Over time, beer steins became symbols of affluence, the “bling” of baroque Bavaria, if you will. Since they’re psycho about stuff like this, German craftsmen embarked on a tireless quest to improve and edify the stein, creating ridiculously large and elaborate pieces that, no matter how you might try and jam them in, would never fit inside a modern dishwasher.

So how about we just keep them up on the shelves where they belong?

Changes are imminent

The Beercraft blog will be getting a makeover later this month. I’ll be taking it to a standalone domain and running it on my own server. That sounds like a simple, hassle-free way to do things, right?

Anyway, expect a new look, more features, and hopefully the long-awaited implementation of that beer-review database that Bruce and I have never been able to get right. Speaking of which, if you’re a database guy (or girl) who’d like to get involved in a hellish nightmare of a project, let me know).

-Mark

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One thought on “Stein of the times

  1. I don’t know… This summer, after leaving my glass of beer on the porch when going inside to wash a couple of dishes, returning to find a large colony of fruit flies and other insect life had taken residence in my Double IPA, I started to wish I had a nice lidded stein.

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