German Regimental Steins began at the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Constitutional law required compulsory military service to all German men between the ages of 17 to 45 excluding only members of ruling houses, criminals and those deprived of their civil rights.
The German Military was divided into six land based groups which were of the following:
Engineer or Pioneer
Air Force (started at the end of the century)
During this time, military service was compulsory and it was considered a great honor to defend your country. The completion of a military man’s service to the fatherland was a milestone to be commemorated.
At the completion of his active duty and to start his reserve service to his country, the soldier either purchased or was presented with a commemorative stein. These steins were considered a badge of honor by the men who had served in the German military.
Each stein was custom made and decorated with information relating to the unit that the military man had served with. The pewter lids were either cone or dome shaped with ornamental designs and the tops were crowned with figurines or symbols of the unit group.
Names of fellow men in the unit were displayed in columns on either side of the handles. The unit name, along with a picture depicting the unit he served in was on the front of the stein. Various other phrases and lettering would be applied representing his unit. Many of these steins were also decorated with a drinking toast or phrase that was popular with the men of the unit. Translated today, these phrases still make wonderful toasts.
At the local beer hall all others could see that he had served his homeland with honor and helped to ensure the security of his people. This alone, was an excellent reason to display the stein and to toast the honor of all those who had served Germany.
Regimental steins are still made today, but in replica versions. Authentic Regimental steins are still today a highly sought after item by many avid beer stein collectors.
The following are some popular military toasts found on some Regimental steins:
German – Kanonendonner is unser Gruss!
English – Cannon thunder is our greeting!
German – Brueder stosst die Glaeser an, hoch lebe der Reservemann!
English – Brothers bring those glasses on, highly live the Reserve man!
German – Dauerfeuer ist unser Gruss!
English – Constant fire is our greeting!
German – Wert trev gedient hat seine Zeit, dem sei ein voller Krug gewith!
English – He who has served his time, has a mug that is fuller!
German – Stolz zu Ross die Kavallerie, auf dem posten spat und frueh!
English – Proudly rides the cavalry, guarding from morning to night!