Stein of the Month: December 2001

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The Black & Tan stein, CS 314, issued in March of 1997 at an issue price of $75. The edition, limited to 5,000, sold out quickly.
The base markings of the Black & Tan stein (CS 314) identify the stein but also show a somewhat puzzling edition number. In an edition limited "up to 5,000 steins" and bearing a "sequential number on its base [as] its signature of authenticity", why is the number higher than 5,000? Due to breakage and other failures in quality control, typically between 10 and 20%, a larger number were ordered, produced and numbered, potentially as high as 6,000. Some of the steins bearing these higher numbers were issued to fill the complete edition of 5,000.

Black and Tan Porter Stein
American Originals Series

In 1997 Anheuser-Busch introduced two steins which together comprise the "American Originals Series - The Pre-Prohibition Beers of Anheuser-Busch."

The following information is taken directly from the back panel of the original box of this stein. "The first featured brand is Black & Tan, a porter beer initially brewed in 1899. Anheuser-Busch returned this style of beer to the market in 1996, brewing it based on original records found in the brewery archives.

"This 9" tall ceramic relief stein, handcrafted by Ceramarte of Brazil, displays an artist's rendering - based upon artwork taken from the original - of the Black & Tan bottle label which features an early version of the A&Eagle logo.

"On both sides of the label is deep relief work depicting images from the early days of brewing. Wooden beer barrels, a horse-drawn delivery wagon, mugs of beer and more - along with detailed graphics of barley and hops - all of which appear to be carved into a wooden beer barrel.

"A towering lid, etched with the name of the series and other intricate detail, is topped with three beer barrels. The handle is fashioned to represent an old-time beer tap and wooden nickel.

"This limited edition collectible stein is individually numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Each edition in the series is limited up to 5,000 steins."

The second (and last) stein in this series was issued in August of 1997 featuring Faust Beer, a brand produced by restaurateur Tony Faust, not coincidentally a close friend of Adolphus Busch, founder of Anheuser-Busch. Also limited to an edition of no more than 5,000 pieces, this collectible was totally subscribed in one week of its issue. In an attempt to placate collectors who were unable to purchase a copy of this stein, A-B created a special second "Gold edition" of 1,500 copies, each bearing a gold serial number, preceded by the letter G. Of course, these were instantly snapped up by collectors as a separate edition!

Michael Sapienza has a fine web site devoted to Anheuser-Busch collectible steins, and we thank him for his contributions to this short article.

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