Get your stein checked out in the 'Rhine

The Downtowner

By Zachary Petit

OVER-THE-RHINE In a nutshell, it's "Antiques Roadshow" with beer.

At least that's how Steven Hampton, executive director of the Over-the-Rhine Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., describes the second annual Steins in the Rhine event.

Slated for 11 a.m.6 p.m. Nov. 10 at Kaldi's Coffee House, 1204 Main St., the gathering will feature free appraisals for steins and other beer-related items, in addition to traditional saloon grub, and of course, local beer.

"It's a great chance for people to see the value of their memorabilia," Hampton says. "The steins are just fantastic. People bring them in and have no idea what their value is."

Sponsored by the Brewery District and the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, planners decided to resurrect Steins in the Rhine after its overwhelming success last year. Hampton says event-goers dug around their houses and showed up with myriad steins and other brewery knickknacks, from bottle caps to signs.

"There was some very impressive stuff that kind of came out of the closets," he says.

Because Cincinnati has such a rich brewing and German heritage after all, the city once served as one of the largest brewery centers in the country Hampton says local residents are prone to having all types of beer-related memorabilia.

Hampton, himself an owner of a first edition Christian Moerlein stein and some old brew bottles, discusses the beauty of antiquated Queen City items.

"It's kind of neat to hold something that was made 120 years ago right down the street," he says.

A few pieces are slated to be displayed and sold at the event, and the Brewery District also plans to unveil a new poster showcasing past and present Cincinnati breweries. All the while, roast beef, sausages and other fare will be on hand to mimic the grub eaten during the city's beer heyday in the 1800s, and a portion of Kaldi's profits are set to be donated to the nonprofit Brewery District.

Members of the Thoroughbred Stein Verein, a chapter of Stein Collectors International, will be dolling out free appraisals of the traditional and often richly ornate drinking vessels. The event breathes life into the past; Stein Verein President George Hibben says everyone who came to the event last year had a story about their item, and many even had family members who were connected to the old breweries.

"It was just laden with history and pride," he says. "It was unbelievable."

As for the steins, Hibben says their values can be determined based upon factors such as their manufacturer, rarity and what specific type of stein it is. Should you bring your own stein to the 'Rhine, consignments are also slated to be taken for an upcoming Germania Society auction March 9.

Overall, Hibben says the event is a natural fit for the area.

"It's a celebration of Cincinnati tradition and Cincinnati history," he says. "We're hoping that the public comes in and shows their civic pride in their own personal histories."