For centuries, pewter was the most popular material used for making eating and drinking utensils. Pewter does not tarnish, rust, or break, and of great importance in the stein business, it does not impart a taste to beer, as do copper, silver, and iron. It was not until the 1700's that stoneware replaced pewter as the material of choice for most steins. There have been many very different techniques for shaping and decorating pewter beer steins. In the 1500's, pewter steins were either decorated in cast or hammered relief or by engraving or incising. In the 20th century, pewter steins underwent stylistic change of the Art Nouveau period.