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 Beverage coaster Griesedieck Brothers
Beermat, drink coaster, beverage coaster, or bierdeckel, is used to rest beverages upon. The main purpose is to protect the surface of a table or any other surface where the user might place their beverage. Go to the "Menu" to see an example  →
Public houses usually will have them spread out across the tables. They are used not just to protect the surface of the table, but, as they are usually made of paper, they can also be used to absorb condensation dripping along the glass or serve as an ad-hoc notepad. Beermats are often branded with alcohol advertising. Beermats are not to be confused with bar mats, rectangular pieces of rubber or absorbent material used to protect the counter top and soak up spilled drinks in a bar or pub. 
In 1880, the first beermats made of cardboard were introduced by the German printing company, Friedrich Horn. In 1892, Robert Sputh of Dresden manufactured the first beermat made of wood pulp. Watney brewery introduced them to the United Kingdom in 1920 to advertise their pale ale. The packaging company Quarmby Promotions, established in 1872, began manufacturing beermats in Milnsbridge in 1931. After it was taken over by the Katz Group, it moved production to Brighouse and in 2006 to Morley, West Yorkshire, before closing its production in 2009. In 1978, American Coaster Company introduced the United States to the beverage coaster. In 2007, American Coaster Company acquired its competitor, AD-Mat International Coasters USA, Inc. creating the short lived, American Coaster Ad-Mat, Inc. In 2007, The KATZ Group purchased the assets of American Coaster. In 2009, The KATZ Group was purchased by the Koehler Paper Group, the premier paper producer for carbonless and thermal paper needs, also located in Germany.
Saucers were also long used in Europe for much the same purpose. When drinking tea, it was customary to use a cup and saucer set. By the mid-twentieth century, beverage coasters made in many materials and styles. Beermats are usually adorned with a customized image—usually mentioning or advertising a brand of beer, although they can also be used to promote a drinking establishment, sports franchise, businesses or special events. Recently, they have also been used to advertise political messages and parties, such as the UKIP beermats during the 2004 European Elections.  
Some coasters are collectible items. Tegestology is a Latin term defined as the practice of collecting beermats or coasters, with practitioners known as tegestologists. A 1960 British Pathe News short shows comedy duo Morecambe and Wise as tegestologists.               
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