Pros:Lead-free, looks great and holds a lot. Has a nice antique look about it.
Cons:Prone to the occasional dent. They aren't cheap.
The Bottom Line: These tankards are a must-have for every serious beer drinker or collector. They add an Oldé English feel to your bar and they're great to drink from.
Ever since I was a wee one I was fascinated by my dad’s collection of pewter mugs and tankards. He has several, and they’re all engraved trophies he won from golf tournaments. I figured one day I would like to have my very own. It took 30 years, but…
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I was browsing the Amazon site hell-bent on purchasing a nice pewter tankard for myself when I realized just how many varieties there were out there! Many had highly polished pewter finishes, some with special designs, lion-handles some even with lids! All I wanted was just a basic, run-of-the-mill tankard that I could drink beer (or anything else) out of. Nothing more, nothing less.
I just wanted a plain Tankard
That’s why I decided on the basic Glass Bottom English Pewter Tankard. Pewter is quite expensive to buy so that’s another reason I got a basic one. Yes, I can be cheap sometimes. Just ask my wife. (I don’t think she really ever got over the beer can pull-tab engagement ring I put on her finger while pretty drunk one night. Actually I don’t even remember that.) But seriously, If I ever did that I don’t think I would be sitting at this computer today!
Currently at around $50 on Amazon, I bought mine 2 years ago for somewhere around the same price, so for a drinking tankard it’s still quite expensive. Make sure you really want one first before shelling out the dough. Before I continue however, you might be wondering, what IS Pewter really?
What is Pewter?
Pewter is made from a mix of metals and is 85%-99% tin. The remaining elements are Bitsmuth, Copper, Lead, Antimony and some silver. Back many years ago Pewter Mugs/Tankards were made with high amounts of Lead but modern day Pewter is now Lead-free and has been for quite some time. I would imagine older Leaden tankards to be much heavier with the Lead content, this one I’m reviewing is lighter that a small teacup, so I would tend to agree that the Lead issue has been resolved.
This tankard has a dull Silver finish, absolutely no discerning markings on it whatsoever. The Pewter is quite thin but solid. The handle has a squarish shape and is the perfect size for my 4 fingers. If you have large fingers, however you will only get 3 fingers through the handle, as mine are pretty small. The nice feature that I also wanted was the glass bottom. To me it’s not a real tankard without one! It’s just for looks and style, but I guess it could come in handy watching the ball game where you don’t want to miss even a second of the action…you can just look through the glass bottom while taking a swig and not miss a thing! This tankard stands 4½ “ tall and is a tad over 4” across the base. The top is 3¼ “ giving it the real ‘tankard’ look as it tapers in at the top. It holds 2 cups (US cups) and has a ½ inch to spare at the top. 2 cups is equal to a pint, or 18oz.
Crafted in England
The bottom is engraved with the following: Genuine fine Pewter Hand Crafted In Sheffield England. To me that’s what it’s all about. These tankards’ history come from the Mother Country England many many centuries ago and you can amuse yourself looking into their origins on various sites.
Everything looks and tastes better in a Tankard!
Although plain looking compared to other more elaborate and expensive tankards, you can engrave it and would make an ideal gift (or even trophy). It weighs almost nothing. The glass bottom is half of the weight of the tankard, as pewter is quite light. I like the wide base as it makes it easier to sit it flat without fear of knocking it over. I can’t compare the taste of anything from a Pewter tankard. It is just amazing. Beer flavors are amplified, heck, even Coke Floats whenever I feel like them. It tastes just so much better from metal containers than glass, ceramic or plastic. Just don’t put hot beverages in it, not only does the Pewter heat up fast the glass bottom may crack under certain temperatures. Even the Pewter will melt at 200°C so don’t get drunk and put it in the oven for whatever insane reason! Also, Pewter is NOT dishwasher safe. Hand wash only.
Durability is average. I have dropped mine several times…no, not drunk. It now has a slight dent lower down on the side where it must have landed. This is not Anodized so it’s still susceptible to bumps and bruises. Mine even has a few scratches on it through the dull finish and they stand out fairly well. Look after it well and it will still last forever.
Cleaning and Care
These tankards can be washed in warm water with dish washing liquid. I just clean mine with a Dobie Pad in soapy water and it does just fine. I also keep my tankard in the fridge for whenever I’m ready to enjoy a nice cold beverage! Just don’t freeze it. The glass base will crack, then it won’t hold anything. You can always make it look shiny again by using and standard Pewter Polish. Not Brass, Silver or any other polish though, use polish specifically designed for shining Pewter.
My final thoughts:
Pewter Tankards and mugs make a great centerpiece on any coffee table and a nice talking point for your friends. Cold drinks taste great from them but they can be damaged and dented when dropped. They are Lead-free, can be engraved and make a nice gift or just keep it yourself! Be aware that they aren’t cheap, so make sure you’re actually going to use it if you buy it.
Now I shall raise my Glass Bottom English Pewter Tankard and say:
© 2013 B.Hondow
Thanks for reading and thanks to Dawn for adding this item.
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