Beer Stein vs Beer Mugs & The Washington Nationals

DC Sports Nexus ---- Wednesday, July 18, 2012

According to the Nats promotions team, on Friday night at Nats Park, the first 10,000 fans who are age 21 and up will receive a free Beer Stein.  A beer stein is traditionally a beer mug made out of stoneware instead of glass.  They typically resemble more of a decorative piece than something you would want to drink out of on a regular basis.  That is what a typical person thinks of when they hear the term 'stein'.  

So why does the Washington Nationals promotion page show the following picture of a typical beer mug for their beer stein giveaway.

I think the mug shown is a really awesome promotion item.  In fact I would prefer to have it over a stoneware mug.  I'm just taking some exception to the fact that the team is calling it a stein.

I don't care about the history of beer steins and what the literal definition is.  I don't care that the old traditional steins were replaced by glass.   I know what a beer stein is and the item in the picture above is not a beer stein.  It is a decorative souvenir cup to drink out of, true.  But many fans who hear that there is a "Beer Stein Giveaway" are going to show up somewhat surprised when they are handed a plain old mug.  (If they are like me, they will be happier to get the glassware)

As a former employee of a beer company, I have collected a variety of Beer Steins over my career.   Every Christmas our gift from the company would be a case of crappy beer and a Christmas Stein. My collection just sits in my house gathering dust, and I have never once taken a drink out of one.  (maybe I can sell them in like 40 years).  

The following is what a beer stein should look like.  Intricate art, 3 dimensions, "craftsmanship". Future value. 

I also have a variety of cool glassware and mugs.  Despite the cool shapes, sizes, and logos on these glasses, I have never considered them to be beer steins.  They are basically glass mugs with a logo on them.  Not really artistic.

So fair warning to the 5 Nationals fans who care.  When you show up to the ballpark on Friday night to watch the Nats take on the Braves you will most likely be getting a boring large glass mug, and not a real collector's item.

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