Tankard were formed in 1982 by three classmates, Andreas Geremia, Axel Katzmann and Frank Thorwarth. At the time, the band was known as Vortex and Avenger until the current name of Tankard was discovered by the band in a dictionary.
After losing their guitarist because of their image as a bunch of drunks, they moved on to issue their first record in 1986. From that point on, the band has continuously made songs and records in the same style they started out with - fast metal songs in honor of alcohol. Thus they claim to have invented a new genre called "alcoholic metal". Tankard are self-proclaimed "Kings of Beer".
The band chose this name after looking through a dictionary and finding 'tankard' to be a synonym of 'beer mug'.