When friends or family gather together for a drink, it is common to raise glasses and say “cheers!”. To make this simple ritual more special, drink from an engraved tankard.
What the tankard is made of
One of the oldest known tankards is a 2,000-year-old one made from wood, which was found in Wales. It must have been used by a heavy drinker as it held four pints! In the 13th Century, tankards were common but still made out of wood.
In the 18th and 19th Century, tankards were metal with many having glass bottoms. The myth about these tankards was that the glass bottom was a way to refuse the King’s shilling to avoid conscription. The story told is that a shilling coin was placed in beer, and if the drinker drank the beer from the tankard and revealed the coin at the bottom, they had agreed to join the armed forces. A glass bottom tankard allowed the drinker to see the shilling, who then had the option of refusing the drink. This story is probably not true as recruitment to the armed services was often done by force, without the recruit given any options.
Another story is that the glass bottom allowed drinkers to see ahead when the tankard was raised to the mouth, This meant that someone aiming a punch at the drinker could be seen and evasive action taken.
A third possibility is that the glass bottom was a way to judge the clarity of the beer.
Metal and ceramic tankards are still produced but they are regarded as speciality items. Pewter tankards were once popular but used to be made from pewter that contained lead. This was found to be dangerous, especially for cider drinkers, as the acidity of the drink could leech lead from the tanker. Pewter tankard are still available but are made with lead-free pewter.
Today, most pubs serve beer in straight glasses. It is rare for pubs to serve beer in handled tankards, but glass tankards are popular among many home beer drinkers.
Making tankards special
An engraved tankard makes the glass personalised and special. With an appropriate message engraved on them, they make great gifts. They can be given for birthdays, at Christmas, or to commemorate special occasions such as anniversaries, engagements and weddings. They can mark significant achievements like getting that dream job, passing the driving test, or graduating from university.
Images can be added as well as words. Different text fonts are available to add extra impact, and crystal can be used to add to the luxury factor. For drinkers who prefer an engraved straight pint glasses, these are available. You can also purchase an engraved glass tankard with presentation box lined with silk-like material.
If you struggle to think of what to buy someone who likes beer, give them an engraved tankard that contains a message that expresses your positive feelings towards them.
The traditional way of celebration is to raise the tankards in the air, bring them together with a satisfying ”clink”, and then heartily say “cheers!”.