The engraved beer tankard – a special gift

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A great gift for a beer lover is a personalised engraved glass beer tankard. Those with an affection for ale have been drinking their favourite tipple from glass tankards for hundreds of years.

Why glass?

Most people drink beer from glass nowadays, but this was not always so. Pottery, pewter and china mugs were once popular.

Beer glasses have been made since 1639, but were expensive before cheaper mass-produced glass came into usage. Glass was taxed until 1845, which also added to their cost.

The traditional dimple beer tankard was invented 70 years ago, in 1938, at the Ravenhead glassworks in St Helens, Lancashire. There are no records of which designer created the dimple design. In 1938, many pubs served beer in pottery mugs, so the dimple glass tankard took a while to become popular. It is estimated that 500 million dimple glasses were manufactured before the straight beer glass become the vessel of choice.

Writer George Orwell was a supporter of drinking beer from china mugs. In an essay in the Evening Standard in 1945, he expressed this point of view specifically.

A documentary ‘Down at the Local’, filmed in 1945, showed that china mugs were still being used in some country pubs, while most urban pubs used glass.

The one advantage of glass tankards is that they are transparent. Beer drinkers wanted to see as well as taste their beer, and this is cited by many for why glass replaced china and pottery for beer drinkers.

Another rival for the beer mug was pewter. Many drinkers liked pewter mugs, but they were much more expensive to manufacture than glass equivalents. Landlords experienced many thefts of pewter mugs, and this was blamed for their demise. By the middle of the 20th Century, pewter mugs ceased to be found in most pubs. Orwell favoured pewter for stout, but even his support could not prevent the demise of the pewter mug.

The revival

Britain’s largest dimple glass makers, Ravenhead and Dema, ceased trading by 2001, and this was heralded as the death of the dimple beer tankard. This was true for a while, but there has been a recent surge in popularity of the dimple and other beer tankard styles. Many are made in China, but you can still purchase modern British made quality glass tankards.

An engraved glass tankard is a personalised gift for a beer drinker. There are plenty of designs to choose from, including cut crystal glass or plainer Stern glass. An engraving company can engrave any name and personalized message.

An engraved glass tankard can be a way of saying ‘thank you’, or can be given to an employee to recognise a job well done. Engraved glass tankards are not expensive for a personalised gift. They are perfect for difficult-to-buy-for male friends, making a unique gift that will be treasured for many years.

Non-beer connoisseurs may not care about what they drink their beer out of, but others will have definite views about the advantages of drinking from a quality engraved beer tankard.

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