The Humble Beer Mat Gets Classy

While I’m traveling, I am always interested in the simple things. I love discovering those items or spaces so thoughtfully designed or naturally occurring that they work well with less. Less waste, less energy, less effort. There’s plenty of examples to learn from within different cultures, histories, and landscapes.

Today, I’m beginning a catalog of these clever items that I think are worth remembering, worth considering, and worth taking back home, wherever home may be. I hope these act as an inspiration to see and seek simplicity in everyday objects.

Prague Old Town Square
Prague Old Town Square

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Space:  Restaurace Kolonial, a sleek yet bicycle-themed bar near the Old Town Square

Simplified Item: the beer coaster

Prague beer coaster

Here, the humble beer coaster receives a classic, ceramic twist. It collects the cold brew condensation and saves the table. It performs its function while being entirely and continually reusable. Brilliant.

I know it’s nor for every bar table. It’s a more delicate than the traditional cardboard coaster, and could come to a sad end. But, in any bar, broken glass is a standard. Broken ceramic is safer, if anything.

Having worked in an Irish bar, I know cardboard beer mats can be reused. They can also be a record of some very interesting bar conversations and ‘secret’ messages. Yet, I also know they will all eventually end up in the garbage bin (and no, likely not in recycling).

This simple ceramic beer mat is simple, reusable and an improvement for an everyday item.

And yes, of course, I was enjoying a Pilsner Urquell. The home of that brand and the home of the Pilsner style beer (‘sner for you Saskatchewanians) is only 50 kilometers from Prague. Pilzen (or Plzeň) is still high on my foodie travel list.