Beer mat or coaster?

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ArmadilloAbcd

Senior Member
Italian
Hello,

I was wondering which between "beer mat" and "coaster" is the word you are more likely to use in an English pub for referring to the small piece of cardboad to be put under a mug in order to protect the table.

I thank you all in advance. :)
 
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    I've never been to England, but I'll bet coaster is a coaster. Mat sounds wrong. Let a Brit answer that one. My bet is on coaster.

    I am wrong! In pubs they are called beermats,
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    My experience tells me that coasters are not "single use" while beer mats are typically disposable after one (evening's) use. Beer mats can be found in the US but coasters are not common in pubs :)
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I used to work in a (UK) pub: they're only ever called "beer mats".

    You can re-use them as long as no-one's drawn rude pictures on them or ripped bits off. :)
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    They may be called beer mats in the pub, but the ones I have at home are coasters because they serve under hot coffee and cold coca cola far more often than they ever see beer. :D
    .
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would never dream of referring to a beermat as a coaster. Beermats are made of cardboard to soak up the spilt beer. I suppose they could be made from other things, but cardboard is all I ever recall seeing. They vary enormously in shape and size, depending on what they are advertising (beer, usually).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    They may be called beer mats in the pub, but the ones I have at home are coasters because they serve under hot coffee and cold coca cola far more often than they ever see beer. :D
    .
    Are they made of cardboard, has anyone spilt coffee or Coke on them and would you use a "used" one for guests?

    It is quite common in the US to be given a small napkin/piece of paper to put your glass on (see bev nap or coaster ) but it's not called a coaster :D
    You can re-use them as long as no-one's drawn rude pictures on them or ripped bits off. :)
    I suppose it would be a management decision on whether to re-use one that was stained or ( :eek: ) soggy :)
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Are they made of cardboard, has anyone spilt coffee or Coke on them and would you use a "used" one for guests?
    They are made of cork, whether genuine or an imitation I don't know, but they look like the sort of thing I used to see in pubs some years ago, except that they have pictures of ships on them.
    Yes, people have spilt various liquids on them at different times, but they are easily cleaned; and yes, I've been using the same set for guests and family for a few years.
    I'm not as fancy as my mother, who has silver ones -- great for preventing condensation rings on the piano, but I wouldn't rely on them for thermal insulation. :eek: ;)
    .
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I just Googled "beer mats" [images] and the images are identical to the items that we refer to "coasters" in the USA. The ones I see in bars almost aways are decorated with advertisements. The ones for home use are typically not decorated with advertisements, but with other images.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    They are made of cork, whether genuine or an imitation I don't know, but they look like the sort of thing I used to see in pubs some years ago, except that they have pictures of ships on them.
    Yes, people have spilt various liquids on them at different times, but they are easily cleaned; and yes, I've been using the same set for guests and family for a few years.
    I'm not as fancy as my mother, who has silver ones -- great for preventing condensation rings on the piano, but I wouldn't rely on them for thermal insulation. :eek: ;)
    .
    For me, the ones made of cork are coasters - a beer mat has always been made of (rather low grade and low cost for sigle or limited use) cardoard and has the (or these days a) brewery's name/logo etc on it. Those from our most famous local brewery (Lagunitas) extend their humour from their labels to their beer mats (the reverse of my favourite one reads "Gone to pee" :D

    I recall beer mat flipping fondly - however, I don't recall how many I could ever do in one stack :)
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I remember when beer mat flipping was a thing. I wonder if the youth of today still do it?
    Just tried it with a plastic-backed shoeshine sponge and managed at least five turns before I caught it.:cool:

    I have a colleague who tried something similar with his mobile phone once. He managed about six turns. But he didn't catch it.
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    They are made of cork, whether genuine or an imitation I don't know, but they look like the sort of thing I used to see in pubs some years ago, except that they have pictures of ships on them.
    Yes, people have spilt various liquids on them at different times, but they are easily cleaned; and yes, I've been using the same set for guests and family for a few years.
    I'm not as fancy as my mother, who has silver ones -- great for preventing condensation rings on the piano, but I wouldn't rely on them for thermal insulation. :eek: ;)
    .
    But cork (let alone silver) doesn't soak up beer. That is one of the primary functions of a beermat, to soak up the slops of beer unavoidably spilt from pint to rim glasses, so that you don't get sticky puddles on the table. They don't need to be easily cleaned; you can throw them away if they get too untidy (or sodden).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    But cork (let alone silver) doesn't soak up beer. That is one of the primary functions of a beermat, to soak up the slops of beer unavoidably spilt from pint to rim glasses, so that you don't get sticky puddles on the table. They don't need to be easily cleaned; you can throw them away if they get too untidy (or sodden).
    Rival was describing coasters in that post.

    (See post #15 - I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused:))
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I googled, too, and I would call all those coasters. Those, specifically, I would call disposable - but still another form of coaster.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I googled, too, and I would call all those coasters. Those, specifically, I would call disposable - but still another form of coaster.
    Yup - Google presented me with mostly coasters (when I asked for beer mats) but did show a few cardboard disposable ones - those are only called beer mats in the UK.
     
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