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    

Sealed Sleeve 100 Beer Coasters From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hamm's Beer, 2012Beer Coaster From North CoreaVintage Stones Best Bitter Yorkshire British Beer Pump Tap Handle Clip BadgeVintage Tetley Bitter Beer Pump Tap Handle Clip Badge Brass 1986Vintage Beer Coasters Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, 2 Sided, Lot Of 5730 Recent Release Beer Coasters Mats Including State Of Origin SetVintage Fuller's London Pride Bitter Beer Pump Tap Handle Clip Badge Brass 1986Brand New Sleeve 125 Count Crown Royal Whiskey Beer Bar Coasters.Group Of 18 Hawaii Hawaiian Beer Coasters Primo Kona Honolulu Aloha BudweiserBeer Advertising Coasters--dab Original German Beer==pack==mint6 Vintage Beer Coasters Michelob Anheuser Busch St Louis, Mo150 Beer Coasters From All OverWacker Beer Coaster Lancaster PaLot Of Vintage Schaefer Beer Coasters2012 Coors Light Official Beer Of The Nhl One Sleeve (100) Coasters Bottle Can Koehler's Beer & Old Dobbin Ale - Erie, Pa - Octagonal Coaster - UnusedStack Of 100 Beer Coasters From New Jersey, P. Ballantine & Sons, Ballantine AleNine Advertising Beer Coasters From Australia - Craft Brewing Co.Vintage Griesedieck Brothers Beer Coaster St Louis Mo Missouri Old & Rare ShapeSealed Sleeve 85-90 Beer Coasters From New York, Genesee Cream AleRare 1937 Utica Club Beer -west End Of Utica, Ny "saengerfest At Utica" #060Stack Of 70+ Craft Beer Coasters From Missouri, Springfield Brg. Paul's Pale AleSealed Sleeve 100 Craft Beer Coasters From Missouri, Schlafly Beer4 Vintage Beer Coaster Pub Mat Heurich Brewing Co Senate Ale Washington D.c. BarBeer Coasters Eight Ball Brewery Newport Kentucky Summer 2016 "ei8ht Ball"Sealed Sleeve 100 Craft Beer Coasters From Massachusetts, Sam Adams OktoberfestStack Of 100 Older Beer Coasters, National Premium/national Light (g. Heileman)Sealed Sleeve Of 90-100 Craft Beer Coasters, Sierra Nevada Celebration AleStack Of 78 Craft Beer Coasters From California, Green Flash Grand CruCerveza Leona Beer Coaster Colombia (1) From The '90s. New. Nos. Rare.3 Old Hazleton Beer Coasters Hazleton Pa Advertising 1940sNineteen Advertising Beer Coasters - Various Rum - Incl. Bundaberg RumVtg Lot 38 Beer Coasters Lithia Weber Pabst Hamms Burgie Andeker Hamms CleanOld Canandaigua Pale Ale Beer Coaster Cataract Brewing Co Rochester Ny Nice!!(4) Alaskan Brewing Co. Craft Beer Stickers (4) NewTwelve Australian Beer Coasters Incl Hawkes LagerAtlas Prager Beer Coaster Chicago Il Nos Back Bar Vintage 1950's Waiter TopsLot Of 4 Kasai Beer Coasters Original Vgc Unused Vintage4" Beer Coaster Cooper's Beer Philadelphia Pa. Circa 1930's 40'sBeer Coaster Barrelhouse Brewing Co. Paso Robles, California 4"Beer Coasters! Nice Clean Vintage Sloppy Joe's (key West!) (16 Of Them)Beer Coaster Barrelhouse Brewing Co. Paso Robles, California 4" Great BeerCerveza Poker Beer Coaster Colombia (1) Cervecería Bavaria. From The '90s. New.Cerveza Karla Beer Coaster Colombia (1) Cervecería Union. From The '90s. New NosCerveza Colon Beer Coaster Colombia (1) Palos De Moguer Brew Pub. From '90s. NewFox Head 400 Beer Napkins 1950's Nos Back Bar Vintage Waukesha Wisconsin BrewTen Cardboard Microbrewery Beer Coasters Mostly From Upstate NyNoblespirit No Reserve {3970} Excellent Vintage German Beer CoastersVintage New Falstaff Beer Advertising Square Double Sided Coasters 100+ In Lot10 Craft Beer Coasters-battle Road,dragoon,ornery,fair Winds,blue Star,a-1a1930's Menu Metzger's Brauhause Washington Iroquois Beer77 New Amstel Beer Coasters Old' Printed In Germany10 Different Narragansett Beer Coasters-rhebus-puzzles-new-hi Neighbor !Beer Coaster Miler Reserve Amber AleSet Of 75 Sunshine Beer Brewing Company Vintage Coasters Retro 1950's New