A leather pint pot? You must be mad! How can you drink beer out of a tankard that’s not made of glass or pewter?
Surely you’d spill it all.
source: Dr House Cleaning
Enter The Leather Tankard
Well, it’s my dad’s birthday later this month and I was banging my head thinking what to get him as a birthday present. It’s a big birthday for him, so although I’d already bought him novelty socks, a jumper, an amusingly crappy book and some other stuff, there was nothing of any weight in there. You know, something that he could keep and look back at in years to come. Something a bit less crappy. Something momentous.
I figured that I’d maybe get him a glass tankard. I bought one for a buddy of mine a few years back, had his name and age engraved on it and everything.
I went to ebay and took a look, but all the glass tankards seemed a bit meh. Take it or leave it, nothing special.
Next, I moved on to pewter, but again, they didn’t really shine. It’s just more of the everyday ground hum. You know, the static and noise that nobody really notices. The background.
Then I started getting desperate, typing things like “crazy tankard”, “funky tankard” and even “gothic tankard”. That last search brought up some real kickass tankards with skulls, skeletons and dragons on them. Some of them were hella cool, but really not the sort of thing that my dad would appreciate.
I’d almost given up and I closed the ebay tab. I moved onto Google and just kept staring at that damn white screen with those stoopid six letters. Suddenly, I typed “leather tankard”. I have no idea why, my fingers were crazy inspirational sausages, freaked out automatons. I’ve never heard of a leather pint glass.
I Guess I Just Like Sick Leather Stuff
Anyways, “BOOM”, suddenly there were all these photos and descriptions of these crazy leather drinking vessels. Lots of them.
And they looked very weapon.
I started poring through the detail. Loving it, soaking it all up. Here are a few of the top facts that I discovered:
- Leather drinking vessels stretch back from ancient times, perhaps all the way to Egypt.
I was aware of the leather drinking canteens, but not these crazy cups!
- Britain has been a home to leather drinking vessels for longer and in higher numbers than anywhere else in history.
- These leather vessels were called black jacks, because of the black sealant used to keep it watertight inside. It’s also where the word jacket comes from.
- Historically, they were used in pubs and inns, because glass was far too expensive and the exceedingly rich were the only ones who had glass drinking vessels, sometimes just the one, to be passed around the table.
- Just like glass, the lining of a leather tankard can be cracked, but unlike glass the pitch lining can be repaired so they will last a lifetime.
- They were also used on battlefields, because they don’t clink or make a noise.
- The leather was originally lined with birch tree sap or (more expensive) beeswax to keep it waterproofed. Now brewer’s pitch is used, being the traditional method of re-caulking wooden beer barrels and lining water tanks.
So, I knew what I was going to buy. And I found a great place to buy it: Hidebound in County Durham, who are a small and friendly outfit that has a 21 year history.
For some reason, I always think of County Durham as being in Ireland. It’s not. And I’m an idiot.
Tudor Style. Aaah yeah
I put my order in for a brown leather Tudor style tankard.
My Leather Tankard!!
I told them it was for my dad’s birthday in a week or so and they got right back to me to say they’d make sure I received it in good time. They weren’t wrong, it took just a few days.
When it arrived, I could not believe the quality. This thing is a piece of art.
Modeled on the shape of tankards recovered from Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose, the Tudor Style tankard is broad based for shipboard stability and has become the traditional tankard shape.
I also got it personalised with my dad’s initials, for a whopping whole extra £2.
A Leather Tankard For Life
Take a look at some of the photos. This thing is the business.
Personalised lettering on the leather tankard
Epic stitching, perfect for a birthday present 🙂
The lowdown on the brewer’s pitch interior. Nice.
The personalisation is sweeeeet!
This leather tankard is da bomb.
I reckon my dad is going to be completely blown away when he gets this leather tankard as a birthday present. The magicians and dream weavers at Hidebound also make leather goblets and I’m going to buy myself some of these fairly soon.
So, if you have someone special’s birthday coming up and you want to buy them something exceptional, you cannot go wrong by going for a leather drinking vessel from Hidebound.
Or just treat yourself, what the heck, you probably dang deserve it, don’t you? Well?
Do it. Do it now!!! You will not be disappointed. Ain’t no way.
I have a leather tankard just like in the photos. I’ve been looking for somewhere that could repair the pitched lining. Any advice?
Thanks for the note. Yes, Hidebound, the guys I bought my tankard from, do a repitching service. I’ve also bought leather goblets from them since and again the work was top notch. https://www.hidebound.co.uk/product/re-pitching-service/
I hope this helps,