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.









Thursday, 10 January 2013

Engravings Can't Always Be Relied Upon To Date A Stein

I have encountered a number of instances with HB steins where there has been an engraving on the stein by a previous owner that often has a date. In many instances the engraving coincides with when the stein was made and is a reliable means to date the stein. In some cases however, the engravings on the steins are much later than the date when the stein was produced and first saw usage. What the date on an engraving can definitely tell you is the latest possible age of a stein. Below is an example of a stein that I just purchased that has an engraving on the inside of the lid, that is far later than the date when the stein was produced. The makers mark on the stein, which is partially engraved over, indicates that the stein was made by W. Wild, whom from my research made HB steins in the 1880's. The crude way that the HB is etched is also indicative of an HB stein from the 1880's and not something that was done in the late 1890's. The engraving on the stein bears the name P.Kröber E.Friedrich and the date Easter 1898. It is likely that this stein was a gift, or perhaps passed down to the person whose name is engraved, by the original owner of the stein.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Old HB Photos

Old photos are always interesting, because of the snapshot they give us of what once was. Below are a few old Hofbräuhaus related photos that I have come across online that all seem to tell their own story about what the great beer hall was like in the past. The first picture is apparently of legendary Hofbräuhaus server Anni Popp. The second is of two servers with their hands full. The third and fourth pictures show life inside the beer hall circa. 1897. The fifth and sixth photos show the interior of the Hofbräuhaus, and the last photo shows the exterior of the Hofbräuhaus in 1895.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Hofbräuhaus Numbered Steins and HB Steins with Receipts

In the distant past the Hofbräuhaus used to number their steins. According to Walter Mück, who has written a book on Munich brewery steins (" Historische Bierkrüge Münchner Brauereien" which you can buy on his site), the numbers on the lid were to keep track of the inventory of steins. If a stein got broken, which many did they would issue a new stein with the number, or if they needed more inventory they would make a new range of numbers. His insight explains why you may see a very low number on what is obviously a newer stein than some with higher numbers that are clearly older. Steins with a particular number may have been broken several times and replaced over and over in the inventory. I would imagine also that the numbers would help the people serving the beer, identify which customer had which stein. The highest number on a stein that I have encountered is # 28,670.

At some point, the Hofbräuhaus made numbered steins available for purchase, as well as using them strictly for inventory. The evidence that suggests this is that a few numbered steins have surfaced that have original sales receipts. I imagine that once a stein was sold, that particular number would be out of circulation and would not be remade. The earliest HB stein with it's original receipt dates from 1898. Ron Gray the owner of the stein wrote and artiucle about it. The link to the article is The latest one I have come across is dated from 1914. That means for at least 16 years numbered steins were available for purchase. It is unknown whether or not there was a certain criteria to able to purchase your own numbered stein. Perhaps they were only sold to regular longtime patrons (like the stein lockers there today), or maybe there was no restriction and anyone was able to purchase them. I am yet to see in over 100 numbered steins, a duplicate. That doesn't mean there isn't any, with close to 30,000 numbers having been issued. There is no archive at the Hofbräuhaus anymore, so many of the questions that could have easily been answered at this time cannot be.

If you have a numbered HB Stein, I have compiled an HB Stein Registry that is cataloguing numbered HB steins. The registry is sent out each month to those that contribute.

Below is pictured the HB stein in my own collection that still has the receipt. It was purchased in 1912.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Recently Auctioned on eBay- Chair From the Hofbräuhaus- Boy I Wish the Seller Shipped to Canada

Recently on eBay a chair from the Hofbräuhaus was auctioned. Unfortunately the seller wouldn't ship to Canada, or I would have tried to buy it for sure. It went for an unbelievably low price. I imagine the shipping would have been quite high though. You can see from the two pictures that were in the listing that the chair has a lot of character and would pretty cool in any mancave or bar area.

The Latest Additions To My HB Stein Collection

These 2 steins are the latest additions to my HB Stein Collection. They date from 1890's and are both numbered. The steins were made by Ludwig Mory (as seen in the picture) who was a popular maker in Munich, and whose business is still operational today by his descendants. The imprint on the body of the stein is to my knowledge the first style of HB Stein that had HB with the crown. Earlier styles had either just an etched HB or a crudely carved HB, but no crown.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Hofbräuhaus 350th Anniversary in 1939 Marked the Switch From Kgl. to Staatl.

When the Hofbräuhaus celebrated it's 350th Anniversary in 1939, the Hofbräuhaus ceased to officially be known as Königliches (Kgl.) Hofbräuhaus and hence forth was known as the Staatliches (Staatl.) Hofbräuhaus. Many HB enthusiasts believed this switch occurred after World War I, when the nation ceased to be ruled by the Kaiser, as did I, but in e-mail correspondence with the Hofbräuhaus they told me that it wasn't until 1939 when the change in title was made. In the two 350th Anniversary steins below, pictured is the last Kgl. Hofbräuhaus stein and the first Staatl. Hofbräuhaus stein. Thus, any Hofbräuhaus stein with a Staatl. is post-1939.