Sixteenth-century German fraternities would settle their differences via sword-fight duels. Following the duels, the students would stitch their wounds up with horse hairs and reconcile the differences while drinking beer. As the tradition went, a fraternity brother's own boot would be filled with beer and drunk while the members would cheere him on. The advent of glass blowing allowed the drinking to take on a more hygienic and appetizing structure. The boot, called a "stiefel" in German, traditionally holds two liters of
beer, and today is commonly made of glass.
The fraternal German rite-of-passage sword-fight duels and boot-drinking carry from the 1500's to present day