Beer coasters become works of art

McAuslan bar mats feature efforts of local artists

Dec 9, 1999 - The McAuslan Brewery has commissioned four original works of art by contemporary Quebec artists to appear on McAuslan beer coasters.


Elisabeth Liston of IDEM Edition approached the Montreal brewery with the idea because she is intent on taking art beyond galleries. In France, beer coasters (also known as beer mats) often feature original art and are highly collectible.

"It just struck me as a neat idea," said Peter McAuslan. "It seemed like a concept that would go over well with our target market and a great way to promote emerging artists to a larger public."

McAuslan chose four pieces of art from a stble of artists IDEm represents. He purchased three of the original works, which have now been added to the brewery's art collection. The brewery has ordered 50,000 copies of each coaster. They will be distributed to bars around Montreal. It is a one-time venture, McAuslan said.

"You'll never see a hockey player on one of our beer mats. I can promise you that," McAuslan added.

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