They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What Happened To The Big Beer Mats?

Whilst clearing out some old stuff from the attic, I took another nostalgic look at my fathers 10,000 plus beer mat collection, and wondered - "When did beer mats become so boring??"

And no, I wasn't thinking that about any of the beer mats I was rummaging through, I thought it about the common beer mat you find in your modern pub.

Where did the huge beer mats disappear to???

Yes that is a big beer mat, not a tray.

I think beer mats today have lost quite a bit of their fun appeal, and a lot (if not all) have lost all their imagination in design. It seems everybody is content with sticking the logo for their brewery or beer on a mat and mass producing it, without even giving it a single thought. It's too easy these days, and it seems whenever you walk into a pub, you'll have a beer mat from one brewery with it's logo, plastered on every table in the pub. Create something different. Beer mats from just 40 years ago had much more character, and sometimes they weren't even for beer.

More art than bad drink....

The humble beer mat gets a bit of a beating these days. It gets torn into little bits, ripped up, put in empty pint glasses, stacked at the end of the night and thrown straight in the bin. Seriously where's the love? After all the flak that our beloved beer mat gets, the average beer lover would still prefer it's place to be under our pint pots, and not something to be discarded so easily.

Even some of the bigger brewers used to produce really nice looking beer mats, that more often than not, (if your like my dad) you'd take home at the end of the night and not treat it badly.

It wasn't just limited to the alcohol industry either. The tobacco industry saw the image market potential, and came up with some really fun ideas for the beer mat.

I could name over a dozen new breweries with awesome designs for their branding, beers and bottles, but for me I think you have to be a bit more imaginative when it comes to your beer mats. They deserve a little more respect and consideration, after all they've been holding your beer for a lifetime!

Get designing people. And don't make them square....

P.S. I do notice that the pictured bar mats aren't to the highest standard of design to everyone, but I like them. Besides it would have been a very long post if I'd pictured all the mats in the collection which I thought were interesting, design wise...


  1. Of course so many pubs, especially the more "trendy" ones, don't bother with mats at all now, so the incentive to produce interesting ones may be rather less than it once was.

  2. I don't know about you Mudge, but I look down on a pub, however "trendy" they may or may not be, if they don't have beer mats.

  3. Forget beer mat flipping, you could have a game of pub frisbee with that Whitbread mat.

  4. 10000!? That's amazing. Love the Ind Coope one.

  5. Dude that Babycham one is lush. Love it.

  6. Fantastic! I never knew beer mats came so big! That Babycham is a little work of art.

  7. shit - you're a beer mat collector. I knew you were trying to give me a secret handshake the other day...

    Keep it tidy, don't tell anyone...

  8. Beer Mat Hunter – the web search engine that helps you find beer mat collectors and their collections on the World Wide Web.