The Surprising History Of Beer Mats And 3 Ways They Can Be Used

Date: 13 July 2021

Beer and ales have been popular drinks across the globe for decades. Due to this immense popularity, we keep seeing developments in new types of craft beers with unique flavours.

Additionally, with this immense rise in the popularity of beers, beer accessories have also become well-liked with different creative ways they can be used; beer mats are no exception to this.

Used widely in pubs, bars and even homes, a beer mat is a popular accessory that soaks up any drink spills. However, when it comes to the uses of beer mats, soaking spilt beer is not all that it’s limited to. It has also become an essential marketing tool for many pubs and bars to improve their brand identity.

That said, have you ever wondered about the history of beer mats? About its origins and how it rose to popularity?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, we’ve got you covered. At Mosaic Board Print, we specialise in producing custom printed beer mats, so we know a thing or two about the history of this product.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Beer Mats – Origins And Rise Of Its Popularity

Uses of beer mats; a glass of beer on a coaster placed on a table

If you go back in history to the 18th century, ginger ales and beers had always been very popular. People of all classes indulged in these drinks from time to time and there’s been conjecture that some sort of mat or cover was used for the drinks.

Many people used a small mat to wipe and absorb any spills and also to keep insects from their tankard. This can be considered as the earliest version of beer mats.

In those times as well, there were many uses of beer mats in unique ways. Pottery coasters were placed under different types of drinking vessels to protect tables and this was a common practice in many inns.

The first-ever cardboard-based beer mat was made and produced in Germany in the 1880s. The company, known as Friedrich Horn, produced thin cardboard mats and printed messages on top of them.

Another German company quickly took up the idea and released their own version of beer mats that were made of liquid pulp. These were much thicker mats that were also highly absorbent. Since these mats could also be printed on, the company quickly patented the process to produce the mats on a larger scale.

While there must have been unconventional forms of beer mats being used in the UK, they were first produced by Watney, Combe, Reid & Co. Ltd in the late 20th century. 

With the colourful designs adapted by the company, the beer mats served as a very important tool that promoted the brewery and improved sales. Due to the dates added by the printers on the beer mats, they could easily be tracked in time.

After Watney, Combe, Reid & co, a lot of companies started considering beer mats as an essential accessory to improve sales and recognition of their establishment. By the mid-1930s, several recognised British companies had started mass producing their own beer mats and the rest is history!

The Different Uses Of Beer Mats

Now that you know the history of beer mats, you can understand how versatile and functional they have always been. While they’re a main element on the table of every pub and bar, that’s not the only place they can be used. Here are a few other uses of beer mats –

1. Merchandise

Uses of beer mats; A woman serving beer placed on a coaster


Beer Mats can be an important medium in strengthening your bar or pub’s brand identity.

By using them as merchandise, not only can you sell your regulars customised and well-designed beer coasters, but you can also use them in other places like local pop-ups or festivals to improve recognition for your brewery.

Through this, they become a part of your advertising and marketing strategy to boost visibility and sales for your establishment.



2. Wedding Favours

Uses of beer mats; People raising their glasses to a toast in a wedding

Another way you can use beer mats is by giving them away as your wedding favours.

For those looking for something different from the usual chocolate or scented candles, beer mats serve as a great alternative to traditional wedding favour. 

Moreover, with Mosaic, you can get these personalised with a unique design to make them more memorable and fun.


3. Gifts

A person holding a nicely wrapped gift in their hand

Another great way to use beer mats is as a gift for those who love their drinks.

Whether it is for your best mate’s birthday or perhaps for someone moving into a new place, a personalised or custom beer mat can be used as a gift for several different occasions.




Call Mosaic For Incredible Customised Beer Mats

Now that you know all about the history of beer mats and the different ways you can use them, why not consider getting yourself some well-designed beer mats?

At Mosaic, with over 20 years of experience in packaging and printing and producing quality beer mats, we have eye-catching designs that make our custom printed beer coasters unique.

To get your own unique beer mats, get in touch with us today!

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