CHEERS! The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest mugs are a coveted collectible

Lift a glass to a Gem City tradition

Handcrafted mugs created by regional potters have been a sought-after collectible since Oktoberfest at the Dayton Art Institute began in the 1970s.

The earliest mug in the DAI’s collection, from 1974, is made from glass and features a printed DAI logo. In the years following the mugs were mass produced until the idea to use local potters came about.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

In 1979, artist Chuck Healy created the first hand-thrown mug as they are known today. Between 1,000 and 1,500 mugs were made and sold that year. By 1984, 10,000 commemorative Oktoberfest mugs had been sold.

The design process for the mugs starts a full year ahead. Potters are on site during Oktoberfest planning for the next year’s design in conjunction with the DAI’s Associate Board. Each year, unique styles, sizes and shapes are created.


It is not uncommon for visitors to Oktoberfest to purchase a mug to continue a set that began with previous generations of their family.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

This year the tradition continues with handcrafted mugs in shades of blue and cream created by Bubba Jones Brew Cups and More. The potters, based in Frederickstown, have created 1,700 large, small and shot sized mugs for this year’s event.

Large mugs will be sold for $40, small mugs will sell for $30 and shot glasses are $10.


What: Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest

Where: The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

When: September 27-29. Oktoberfest hours for Saturday, Sept. 28 are noon-11:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 29, noon – 7 p.m.

A Lederhosen Lunch will be held Friday Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and the Preview Party will be held from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Cost: Lederhosen Lunch (free admission; food & drink available for purchase); Preview Party (Advance Tickets: $55 members; $75 non-members, At the gate: $95); Oktoberfest General Admission (Saturday & Sunday)

Advance Tickets: $8 adults; $5 seniors (60+) & youth (7-18) At the gate: $10 adults; $7 seniors & youth. Children 6 and under admitted free.

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