The Origin of the Beer Boot Glass or Bierstiefel
The Beer Boot is a uniquely German invention. In Deutschland they are called Bierstiefel and these boots are popular with tourists in Bavaria and Munich in particular. Beer boots became increasingly popular after being featured in the last beer drinking contest in the movie BeerFest. Since then, beer boots are popular on college campuses throughout the USA. More beer boots are importing and sold in the USA than in Europe and some of the glasswerks have trouble satisfying the American demand.
Beer Boots have been around for about a 100 years and were first record in the history books in Germany. Soldiers would drink out for boots will on leave in many of the bier gardens in Bavaria. It is thought that this military tradition started with a Persian general who made an oath to his troops to drink beer from his boot should they achieve success in storming a town. When this was accomplished, the clever general had a glassmaker fashion a boor from glass so he would fulfill his promise to the troops yet not taste his own feet. Since then, soldiers have enjoyed toasting to their victories with a beer boot. This tradition continues to this day within the German army and to American troops stationed within Germany.
These large boot shaped glasses are a challenge to drink from. They can be passed around the table or bar and people can try to drink the beer without spilling any when lowering the glass. While not many German beer gardens will serve beer in glass boots, the ones that do will require a deposit. The trick to drinking from the boot is to hold to boot so that the toe is pointed either to your left or right. This prevents air from building up in the toe and the resulting beer shower should the toe be pointed either up or down.