(by Gregory Witul) I was recently informed that I have been using coasters “backwards” my entire life. This according to a slightly inebriated man at a local Lovejoy watering hole a few friends and I were visiting. Curious as to his reasoning, I asked him to explain. When the beer coaster was invented by the Germans in the 1880s, it was meant to be placed over the top of the mug to prevent bugs and other debris from getting into the beer. They were essentially a poor man’s tankard top.
Shortly after their invention, some bartender realized that if he put them under the beer, he would have less work to do cleaning up the condensation. Now while I was amenable to the man’s state, I know of a few places that would have heaved him out on his keister, including the Casimir Pulaski Post 1897 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.