Stein Collectors International
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The Story Behind My FIRST German Beer Steins

from Jeff Arduini

I had always admired steins, especially the one lidded German souvenir stein that sat high upon a shelf in my parents' kitchen cupboard. It was a gift from my aunt to my Dad, when she had visited Germany, right before she got married to my Uncle. It had a shiny pewter lid and an image of the Koln cathedral on it. It was a half liter stein. Seeing this stein, ever since I was a small child, had sparked an interest and curiosity, in steins, with me.

When I was about fourteen, I got my VERY first German beer mug. I say it was a 'mug', because it lacked a pewter lid. It was a Brewery stein that was made in West Germany and it had the Dinkelacker Beer label emblazoned on it, which was a very popular German bier, at that time. I purchased it for just FIVE DOLLARS, at a huge German Oktoberfest that I attended, while on a family vacation. It was in a Pennsylvania Dutch town called Barnesville, PA and I went with my parents, my siblings and both of my Grandparents on my Mom's side of the family. I cherished it from that day forth and I still do! I still have it to this day and it looks just like new!! It reminds me of my humble beginnings, as a stein collector, and quite frankly, I still LOVE the looks of that traditional brewery stein with it's beautiful yellow and red logo.

The Summer that I turned 18; I got my first REAL German bier stein. I say 'real' only because this one had an actual pewter lid affixed to it. There was a local jewelry store in town called 'David's Jewelers' and they were going 'Out of Business'. So, they were having a 50% off inventory clearance sale on ALL of their store items, including their collection of German beer steins that they had in stock! Many times, you can find nice steins, Hummels and other German breweriana go-withs, at local jewelry stores, as it is a good place to look for them, and many stores carry such unusual collector items!

My Dad had found out about the sale and, being a beer stein collector, himself, he rushed downtown to buy these steins from the store before they were all gone! He bought all of the remaining steins that they had left in stock at HALF price---about 8 or 9 of them in all! They were, mostly, Thewalt, Goebel, Gerz and Marzi & Remy steins. He told me that for my birthday, as a gift, I was allowed to choose one stein for myself----he also advised me NOT to be greedy and pick the BIGGEST ONE!! LOL! I chose a Marzi and Remy stein that was a liter and it was a modern (1980's) reproduction of an old German etched or incised stein!! It depicts a tavern or gasthaus scene and it has a beautiful pewter lid!! It is VERY UNIQUE and I love it just as much, today, as I did back then. I have never really seen another one quite like it again. It reminds me of a very important milestone in my life and, also, of the generous gift from my wonderful father that got me started on a lifelong stein collecting obsession that both he and I have shared and still do today!!