Can the Beer Coaster Be Improved Upon?

November 11th, 2008 | Posted by Jay Brooks

A pair of bartenders are banking that they can, and have a patent pending on The Seat Saver, a new twist on an old design. Whether round …

Square Coaster

Square, …

Round Coaster

or oddly shaped …

Odd Coaster

It’s a pretty simple but ultimately very useful piece of cardboard, the mainstay of bars since at least 1880, when they first appeared in Weisenbach, Germany. By 1893, the paper pulp variety we’re familiar with today was patented in Dresden Germany. A few years later, breweries started adorning them with their brand logos. By 1918, they began appearing in England. Their official name is not beer coaster, actually, but “beer mat.” Believe it or not, more than 20,000 different styles have been produced, Guinness alone having made over 1,000. Collecting them is called “Tegestology,” with collectors known as tegestologists.

Seat Saver Coaster

Now comes the newest version of the humble beer mat, the Seat Saver, invented by two bartenders. The innovation is simple enough, adding a small hole in one corner.

Seat Saver Coaster

This allows you to place the seat saver over your bottle while you’re outside having a smoke, answering the phone or making room for more beer.

Seat Saver Coaster

The new coasters can be printed like any other coaster, and several beer and spirits companies are already ordering them to advertise their brands, so you should start seeing these in a bar near you soon.

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9 Responses to “Can the Beer Coaster Be Improved Upon?”

  1. Andy Says:

    This is very similar to what Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA has been doing at their brewpub for a while. The reverse of the coaster says ‘Gone to Pee’ on it, and patrons regularly place them on top their glass to save their seat.

  2. Banjo Says:

    I’d like to have seen that patent application.
    “You see what makes ours better is the hole right here…”

  3. griff Says:

    I thought it was customary to put the coaster over your glass when getting up from the bar/table. Maybe it’s a regional thing… I also don’t understand why you’re being served a beer in a bottle whilst sitting at a bar. Good beer deserves a proper glass!

  4. dizo Says:

    griff, agreed. who drinks out of a bottle? babies?

  5. The Daily Eudemon Says:

    [...] I think I like it. Then again, is it an invitation for some rogue to spit in my beer? The seat saver. [...]

  6. jordan Says:

    pretty cool. saw these in Philadelphia – works under the drink too. when i went to the bathroom i just put it on top of my empty drink (sorry beer spitters) and no one took my seat :)

  7. Super Beer Guy Says:

    I was a bit of a skeptic until I saw them at a bar (in Seattle)… I wish I thought of this one!

  8. kendra Says:

    I’m one of those people who think that unless you’re leaving a friend behind at the bar while you go do whatever it is you have to do, you SHOULD lose your seat if the place is crowded… or “give it up” to someone standing around who wants to sit… HOWEVER, I like this idea because the bartenders know you’re coming back and want to finish up. It clarifies the LEFT FOR DEADs and the BE RIGHT BACKs.

  9. Marlboro Man Says:

    Came across these over the summer in NYC. Worked much better on my drink than the old napkin trick.