Wednesday, 20 August 2014

My Holy Grail of HB Steins

A couple of years ago, while conversing on the Stein Talk forum at Stein Collectors International, one of the members of the forum told me about an HB stein that he had seen that bore the measure of the Bavarian Mass rather than the Litre. Why is this significant you may ask? It is significant, because when Germany was unified in 1871, they converted to the metric system of measure, thus the Bavarian Mass was replaced by the Litre. The Mass is equal to 1.069 litres, so when the conversion was made the customer would receive slightly less beer for their money. What is significant to me the collector is that a stein bearing the M for the measure denotes that the stein was made prior to 1871 (which is very old in terms of HB steins), and most likely made in the 1860s. As strictly an HB stein collector, a Pre-1871 HB stein is to me the Holy Grail of beer steins, and the stein that I had most desired. I have been fortunate enough to come across one, and add it to my own collection. The stein pictured below is # 806. It bears a 3 ringed hinge, which were believed to be circa 1875, but appears here on an evidently earlier stein than that. The lid is flat with an acorn thumb lift, and an engraved B on the top, as well as the stein #806. The body is combed with an incised HB, and there are no apparent maker's marks. The lid is fastened to the body soundly with no loose hinges that might indicate that the lid was a replacement or from a later date than the stein body. The gentleman whom the stein was purchased from indicated that in his 30+ years of collecting Munich Brewery Steins it was the only one bearing the Bavarian Mass that he had ever seen, and I personally had never seen one where the measure is **clearly visible** to confirm its age. Below are some pictures of the stein.

(**referring to the unlidded one pictured from a very low resolution image found in an article discussed in a previous post**)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Fellow HB Collector with a Fantastic Collection

This post is to showcase the collection of a fellow HB stein collector who has put together a fantastic collection. Dan has managed to accumulate a number of numbered HB steins of different variations. One of which is a very tough to find HB stein with the Hofbrauhaus Keller lid that dates from the 1870s. In his collection are also a number of other pre-1900 steins. His is definitely a collection worth showing off, and one to be proud of.



Friday, 4 October 2013


Just picked up an interesting numbered HB stein that is different from other HB steins I have in my collection or have seen before. I am not sure the exact age of the stein, but I would hazard a guess that it is most likely from the 1880's. The number on the lid of the stein is number 65. The stein is a 1/2 Litre in size, and does not feature the typical etched HB on the body of the stein, but has the trademarked HB logo on the lid. What is most interesting about the stein, is the lid. The lid has the HB logo with the crown above, which places the stein at 1879 or later, which is when the logo was trademarked, but rather than bearing the typical Kgl. Hof-braeuhaus Muenchen script around the logo. It simply says Hofbraeuhaus Muenchen. What is unique to this stein is also that is also has the words SCHUTZ MARKE as part of the logo. This is something that is unique and that I haven`t seen before on an antique HB stein. This leads me to believe that this stein could possibly be from shortly after the logo was trademarked, and before they included the Kgl. Hof-Braeuhaus Muenchen as the script around the logo. At this point I am just hypothesizing about the age, but intrigued to find out more about the stein and its age.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Article Sheds Light on the Origin of Marked HB Steins

Recently I came across an interesting article titled: Der bayerische Masskrug und das bayerische Bier, written by Siegfried Rübensaal. The article title translated is The Bavarian Beer Stein and Bavarian Beer. It delves into the history of Bavarian steins providing valuable insight and information on the steins of a number of Bavarian breweries. What I found that was of particular interest to me was the section of the article that talked about the transition of the standard unit of measure from the Bavarian Mass to the Litre, and also, the bits of the article that talked specifically about HB steins. Although HB steins were not the focus of the article, it there were was a very interesting piece of information that I was not aware of before. Siegfried stated that the Hofbraeuhaus began mark their steins on the body by etching in the HB around 1860. Previously I had been aware that HB marked steins pre-dated the transition from the Bavarian Mass to the Litre, but had know idea how long before. This valuable piece of information indicates that there was roughly a 10 year period where HB steins could have been manufactured with the Bavarian Mass rather than the Litre. In the article there was also a picture of one such stein (above). The picture was not of high enough resolution to get a good look at the measure markings, or detailed features of the stein, but it nonetheless gives a glimpse as to what an HB stein from the 1860's looked like.
The article is written in German, but with the use of Google Translate, much of what is written is understandable. The article is a good read and valuable resource for information for those interested in Bavarian steins, especially brewery steins. Check it out. If anyone reading this knows of a means to conatct the author of the article; Siegfried Rübensaal, please e-mail me at the address provided on the blog. I would like to get in touch with him to ask him further information about the pictured stein, and any other knowledge he might have about early HB steins.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

HB Stein #5643 -Recent Addition To My Collection

I recently added an old HB stein which is #5643 to my collection. It dates from the late-1870's to mid- 1880's. It has a flat lid with the HB on the lid without the crown above it, and an acorn thumblift. The body has a crudely etched HB, is combed, and has the measure on the front. I haven't yet received it in the mail, but will post more pictures when it arrives.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

HB Keg Top

The most recent addition to my HB collection is a unique item. It is the top of a HB keg used at the Hofbrauhaus. It dates from after 1939 (Says Staatl. Hofbrauhaus rather than Kgl.), but I am not sure from exactly when. It bears the number 2096, and is 31cm in diameter. This is a nice consolation to the kegs that were sold last year on eBay, but were unavailable to Canada.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Hofbräuhaus Oktoberfest Steins

Recently online a couple of different collectors have sold their HB Oktoberfest stein collections. Although I didn't purchase the steins, I saved pictures of the steins. Below is a pictorial of the majority of the HB Oktoberfest steins in between the years 1982 and 2012. The years that are missing are: 1983, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2007 and 2012. Sorry, I tried to get the pictures to line up in order, but it wouldn't seem to work.