Hallmark sat down with Keepsake Artist Tom Best (virtually!) to discuss the inspiration behind his 2020 Beer Stein releasing at Ornament Debut in October.

Tom: “I grew up with a few of my dad’s and knew that people collected them. They are a perfect vehicle for storytelling and have that old world charm that works so well for Christmas ornaments. Plus, I’m a beer guy and German, so I went with my strengths!”

Tom: “I do quite a bit of research on these steins, not only on the chosen subject matter but beer steins in general. My phone has a thousand pictures of steins as I always have an eye out.”

Tom: “Well the great thing about these beer steins is the subject matter can be nearly anything. I did all the Santa and Christmas themed ones early on, so these days I feel I can do just about anything that inspires me … thus the Nautical theme. I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, so boats, ships and big water were a part of my daily scenery. In addition, my cousins lived near the coast in Maine where my Uncle had a sail boat. So, I can even say I’ve sailed on open ocean!”

Beer Stein (back)

Beer Stein (front)

“The actual idea for this year’s nautical stein started with the lid. Usually, I figure out the theme or subject matter first. Then, design the front. Next, the handle hinge character, then the lid and finally the back side last. I had the idea of a bell buoy swinging in the waves with a bell. When the lid flips up, the bell swings. So, the ship, ships wheel, and ship anchor with wreath were kind of a “no brainer.” Same with the dolphin, sea turtle and fish. My favorite part of this year’s beer stein is actually the sides … there are two mermaids holding each end of a garland. They are surely a sailors delight! Cheers to you all!”