Moscow mules and copper mugs go together like happy hour and drink discounts. But by no means is this cold-making conductor beholden to vodka, lime, and ginger beer exclusively. Copper cups are ideal anytime you need to chill your drink rapidly and keep it colder longer—no matter what your drink of choice is.
Believe it or not, serving beer in a copper mug is a popular choice among many ale lovers. Just like the mule, the copper enhances its taste and has impressive thermal dynamics that run circles around a glass bottle or aluminum can.
Join us as we unpack the benefits of using this polished metalware as a copper beer stein. But first, let’s go back in time.
History of Steins
For centuries, beer has been consumed from steins, a large mug designated for beer that’s typically made from metal, wood, or clay. You’ll recognize them by their oversized handles and distinct hinged lid.
The term originates from the German word "Stein Krug" (meaning stone jug/mug) or "Steingut" (meaning stone goods), according to Steiner Center. The earliest known steins date back to the 14th century. Around the time the bubonic plague hit, Europe ordered all drinking containers to be covered to prevent the spread of disease. Hence their popularity.
Most steins are built to hold about half a liter (16.2 ounces). However, on the large end steins can hold an impressive 32 liters (8.4 gallons). As a basis of comparison, our Mega Mule Copper Mug can contain 96 ounces of beer for those who enjoy a heavy pour.
Both differ from the traditional tankard which holds less liquid and is typically made of glass. Steins are also distinct collectors items that are often ornately decorated or hand painted, increasing their value. Antiques and limited additions can also cost a pretty copper penny.
Copper beer steins in particular are popular gifts for all variety of special events from bachelor parties and weddings to college graduations and birthdays. Since they're so easy to engrave, custom etching can, and often does, help make a special milestone or event all the more memorable.
Antimicrobial Properties of Copper
Ancient civilizations used copper containers to kill waterborne bacteria for millenia. Modern day science shows they were definitely on to something. Researchers testing microbially-unsafe water were pleased to learn that when placed into room-temperature copper pots and retested 16 hours later, the bacteria had all been killed off.
More recently, copper also showed it’s even capable of killing viruses, including MRSA, MERS, Swine Flu, and, you guessed it, COVID-19. What’s more, where COVID was able to last for days on plastics and other metals, it didn’t stand a chance on the surface of copper.
With the antimicrobial boost, beer steins made of copper are just one more way you can protect yourself from the virus.
Health Benefits of Copper
Could copper cups be good for your health? Science says yes.
High in antioxidants and other positive properties, the metal has been shown to:
- >regulate blood pressure
- >lower bad cholesterol
- >produce melanin for your skin
- >speed up healing
- >aid with iron absorption
- >strengthen bones
- >detox your stomach
- >support thyroid health
- >regulate the kidneys and liver
- >boost the immune system
- >stimulate brain function
No wonder the Chinese once prescribed copper coins to treat heart and stomach pain. Even Ayurvedic practitioners recommend all dosha diets start the day with a glass of copper-enriched water to keep the body in balance.
Cold Properties of Copper
The science behind why copper mugs stay so cold is impressive. We’ll let you do your own deep dive, but suffice it to say that it will out chill a glass bottle, pint glass, or frosted stein every time.
Elementally, copper has impressively high thermal conductivity properties. Almost no other element in the periodic table can touch it. Compared to glass, it can conduct cold nearly 400 times the average pub cup.
How it affects beer drinkers is simple. No need to water down your beer with ice. Instead, place your copper mug/stein in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Carefully pour your favorite beer and within minutes, the copper will cool down even luke warm beer into the perfect temperature!
Moscow mule beer mugs are also just plain pretty. If you have an at-home bar, they’re practically their own centerpiece.
Copper Stein Care and Maintenance
Owning a copper beer stein is pretty low maintenance, so long as you clean it correctly. The most critical copper care rule: keep it out of the dishwasher. You’ll also want to make sure it stays dry and out of humid environments.
Whether using a designated copper cleaning kit or going with some common pantry items like salt and vinegar, you can ensure your copper mug stays as pristine as the day you ordered it.
From light beer to ginger beer, in copper mugs drinks just taste better. Ready to try it out for yourself? Contact us to become a copper convert.