The coaster is known by different names, a drink coaster, a beverage coaster or even a beermat. Just don’t mistake it for the roller coaster, because that’s a different animal altogether. You can find them just about anywhere these days, especially the Canadian coasters found in tourist shops across Canada.
But have you ever wondered about its history?
We’re not sure when the first Canadian coaster was made, but the first cardboard coaster was made in 1880 by a German printing company called Friedrich Horn. Soon after, the coaster became somewhat of a common thing to have under beer glasses across Germany. This is a good thing for bar keepers because the coasters help protect their tables from condensation. They also didn’t need to be washed and were free. The cost came out of the pockets of advertisers whose brand were on each of the coasters. It was their way of trying to reach new customers.
One of the biggest beer coaster printing press in the world developed its first automatic coaster printing machine in 1928. And the production increased over the next few decades, prompting them to invent yet another machine that enabled them to print one million coasters per day.
Early coasters had the names of the company who printed them on them. But soon breweries, specifically brewery marketers, began to see that coasters can be used to promote their products.
Nowadays, the prints on coasters are either for decorative purposes or for a different type of marketing altogether. Though there are still coasters with brewery logos printed on them, coasters in the United States, for example, have deals advertised on them. And they don’t just belong in bars anymore, either. Restaurants use coasters, too. And they also use these to promote their own deals.
But coasters aren’t just used for marketing. They now serve a decorative purpose as well, with decorating enthusiasts posting pictures on their social media pages.
Perhaps the most unique use of a coaster came in the form of a Canadian coaster. We’re calling it so because the maker just happens to be Molson, who came up with a seed-infused coaster that will grow into trees when planted back in 2012.