The Informed Beer Mat

The lowly beer mat is often overlooked and underappreciated.  It is known by many names – coaster, drop catcher, or pub mat – and comes in many, many varieties.  It is flung about carelessly by bartenders yet sought after by collectors.  And can be made of paper, cardboard, wood, or stone.

When pausing to consider, the beer mat becomes integral to any evening in a local public house or tavern: placing it atop one’s glass protects your drink from greedy interlopers; stashing one in a pocket is an easy way to remember a new favorite haunt; and provided one has a pen handy, a simple device on which to record a telephone number.

Thoughts on such an unlikely object were inspired by an equally unlikely source – The Economist.  The weekly London-based newspaper has, over the last short while, been attaching a thick subscription advertisement to its publication’s cover.  Included on this advertisement are four square paper coasters, perforated for easy removal, and neatly labeled with the paper’s distinct rectangular red logo.

Clever wording aside (which implores its potential readers to ‘think responsibly’), the idea of using barware is classically British, and quite interesting: how better to highlight one’s sophistication as a reader and drinker than with an Economist coaster under your martini?  Strategic placement of such an item would, no doubt, impress any date over for a drink before dinner.

Who knows whether this was the subscription department’s intent? (I’m guessing so.)  But employing an often-overlooked and commonplace item highlights its ubiquity and utility.  So subscribers, maybe you’ll slide one under your drink next time you order a pint; and perhaps a beautiful, highly-educated, and world-traveling woman will request the pleasure of your company.  Perhaps.

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Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm  Comments Off on The Informed Beer Mat  
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