The art of collecting beer coasters (or “beer mats” as they are called in Great Britain) is referred to as tegestology among its more sophisticated aficionados. But despite the fancy Latin name, paper-pulp beer coasters were patented in 1892 by Robert Smith of Dresden, Germany, for a very simple reason—to absorb the condensation and overflowing foam that tends to spill over the rim of a freshly poured glass of suds. People collect them now, but as with many pieces of paper ephemera, they were meant to be thrown away.

Made of thick paper pulp, these inexpensive square or round cards were sometimes used in warm climates to cover open glasses, thus protecting the precious brew inside from flying insects. But regardless of their placement, beer coasters were attractive to brewers primarily because they were cheap, making them a great vehicle to advertise products. In fact, the medium was so economical, breweries could afford to produce coasters for special events, or series of coasters with, for example, different messages or jokes on each.

One U.S. brewer who did a particularly good job with the series coaster was Piel’s of Brooklyn, New York. Its set of coasters from the 1940s showed a different cartoon character holding up a glass of beer (which was identified by a small arrow and the word “Piel’s”), stating “I don’t mind the grind,” with the beer being his reward. Characters included an organ grinder (of course), bike racer, and even a truck driver, which is an image that would probably not be approved today. A set of Piel’s coasters in the 1950s featured the short conversations of Bert and Harry, who were voiced in TV and radio ads by legendary comedians Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding.

Special-events beer coasters include the ones made for the Ballantine Inn at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This coaster could be stamped and personalized on the reverse, just like a postcard, and then mailed to friends. (A U.S. coaster manufacturer of that era named Absorbo called its products “beer pads.”) And then there are the legions of sports fans who collect coasters produced by Budweiser, Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, and scores of smaller brewers for their local baseball and football teams.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Red Fox Chapter

Red Fox Chapter

The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Fort Pitt Beer Coaster Metal Tip Tray Sample W/running Waiter Pittsburgh LithoJax Beer Vintage Coaster Patio At Madam Johns Jackson Brewing Co New Orleans La Jax Beer Vintage Coaster Gateway Of The Two Lions Jackson Brewing Co New OrleansNational Bohemian Beer Coaster Baltimore , MdNational Gold Seal Beer Coaster, National Brewing Co., Baltimore, MdDrewry's Beer Coaster, Drewry's Limited Usa, Inc., South Bend, InJax Beer Vintage Coaster Madam Johns Legacy Jackson Brewing New Orleans La 2 Neuweilers Capuziner Beer & Cream Ale Coaster Allentown Pa Rare OnesSam Adams 120th Boston Marathon 2016 26.2 Brew Beer Coasters Set Of 125!Utica Club Beer 25 Years Schultz & Dooley Small Metal Beer Coaster 4.25"Vintage Belleville Illinois Nice Stag Beer Fiber Coaster Western Brewery Unused1950s F & S 3" Beer Baseball Coaster, Fuhrmann & Schmidt Co. Shamokin, Pa. Jack Daniels - Get In The Game With Jack - Australian Issued Coaster - Beer Mat 1940's Era Iroquois Beer & Ale Coaster Buffalo, Ny 4" Indian Head Sculpted #2Four Piece Grouping Of Vintage Pearl Lager Beer Cardboard Coasters-comical ThemeSenate Beer-ale 4" Coaster Heurich Wash DcVintage Falstaff Beer Styrofoam "thermo Coasters" (cozies) In Original PackageLot Of 15 Different Beer Coasters Brand New***30 X Lot Of New Peroni Italy Thick Beer Coasters**Lot Of (25) Diff Vintage Chech Republic Beer Labels - MintLot Of 17 Us Beer Coasters (maine/hawaii/new England Included) Mostly MintVintage Iroquois Beer 6 Inch By 6 Inch Coaster...no Creases Or Water Marks...Lot Of 5yuengling Premium Beer 1970's Coasters By Dgy -pottsville, Pa 3 1/2"#0101950's Hensler Beer Coasters-newark, Nj 3 1/2" "our Beer"...jim Hensler #01175 Unique Us Beer Coasters! No Dupes! Majors & Micros! New Listing! #1 Lot Of 3!Collection Of (40) Diff Old Style Beer Labels -la Crosse, Wi-mintVintage Lot Of 6 German Beer Stein Coasters Wood3 3/4" Meisterbrau Chicago Beer CoasterRare Colonial Brewing Co - Draught Kolsch Ale Australian Coaster - Beer Mat Vintage Iroquois Beer And Ale Cardboard Coaster20 Diff Craft Beer Brewery Bar Coasters - Oregon HawaiiNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Fano BryghusNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Norway - Kinn BryggeriBrooklyn Brewery Single Sided Australian Coaster - Beer MatNice Beer Coasters From Norway - Ringnes Juleol - Christmas BeerNice Beer Coasters From Norway Ringnes Bodo Aktiebryggei Juleol - Christmas BeerNice Beer Coasters From Sweden - Pripps DalarnaNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Norrebro Bryghus - Brugge BlondeNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark Norrebro Bryghus Skargaards PorterNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Sweden - Brekeriet BeerModern Times Beer Coasters ~ San Diego, Ca ~ Fortnight Of The Monsters ~ Look!Coors Coors Light Beer Coasters - SexyLot Of 5 1960's Duquesne Beer Coasters-pittsburgh, Pa- 3 1/2" #0252 Different 1950's Phoenix Beer & Ale Coasters Buffalo, Ny 3 1/2" #8a & 8b1950's Genesee Beer Coaster- Genesee -rochester, Ny 3 1/2" "more People Like"Staropramen Czech Beer Coasters Lot Of 20 New Edition 2015Skol Beer Coaster Romania / New 2016 !!!Canadian L'independante Beer Coaster Traditional Okinawa Drink Cocktail Coaster Bingata Shirt Beer Mat Red JapaneseLot Of (50) Diff Vintage Czech Republic Beer Labels - MintLot Of (50) Diff Vintage Poland Beer Labels - MintLot Of (5) Diff Vintage Redtop Beer Labels -cincinnati, Oh-mint(4) Micro Beer Coaster Mat Lot Stone Ipa California Escondido Ca Gargoyle100 Vintage Beer Coasters (4) 4" Micro Beer New Coaster Mat Modern Times Point Loma California Lot SetHope Brewery Australian Beer Coaster - Beer MatNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Norrebro Bryghus Double KnotNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Norrebro Bryghus Graupner SchwarzNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Norrebro Bryghus North BridgeNice Microbrewery Beer Coasters From Denmark - Norrebro Bryghus Pacific Summer