Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beer Coasters

It's interesting how how one can find themselves with a collection of something without actually giving thought to collecting. That's what has happened with me and beer coasters. Beer coasters, or mats, are one of the pieces of breweriana that seem to accumulate around here. I typically pick them up when visiting brewpubs or beer fests. I was recently looking at the stacks I have and reminiscing about their sources. Some are from friends who brought them back from trips, sometimes accompanied by beer! Others where gathered on visits to breweries. I've picked quite a few up from brewers' booths at beer fests.

These bits of cardboard provide advertising for the breweries. Fortuitously, they also serve a number of useful purposes for drinkers. Besides keeping the bar or table dry (when our beer is improperly served in frosty mugs), they are quite useful for marking your seat at the bar if you have to get up. Need to attend to "business" after drinking a few beers? Just place the coaster on top of your glass and you'll (generally) prevent an over-zealous server from taking your beer away while you are gone. I don't know how prevalent these coasters are in other parts of the world. Boak, of Boak & Baily, comments that the coasters are popular in Germany, but are not used in England.

Beer coasters have some advantages for collectors over other sorts of breweriana. As opposed to a collection of bottles or cans, they take up very little space. You can store the coasters in photo albums or on a wall. Of course the best thing to do is to use them as they were intended. Put them under a glass of good beer!


  1. I find myself collecting coasters as well. I have a drawer that I throw these into. I also keep bottle caps, 6-pack carton sides (for the art work), and some beer bottle labels. Call me crazy, but I think I got the bug of collecting everything from my casino chip collecting days. I'm a pack rat when it comes to beer'obilia.

  2. Dave,

    I hear ya. I didn't mention the boxes of six-pack cartons I have in the basement as well. Glad I'm not alone in this obsession!

    One of these days I need to soak the 300+ bottles and get the labels off.

  3. We tend to collect beer mats in Germany, but the ones you do see in Britain tend to be so damp and moth-eaten that they're just not that appealing...

  4. You can always tell someone who spent too much time in a pub as a kid, they can flip at leat ten beer mats and catch them with no problem.


Comments on posts over 21 days old are held for moderation.