There is a fascinating true story about where that beer coaster you’re using is most likely from
We usually don’t think about where the random items in our house come from. This isn’t just thoughtlessness on our parts. If we spent the time trying to figure out the detailed origin story of every last thing we owned, we’d probably never get out of the house on time. Still, every once in a while, it’s nice to stop and learn a little more about the things we own. Today, we’re going to learn where your beer coaster (almost certainly) came from.
As Eater reports, most of the beer coasters of the world come from the tiny town of Weisenbach (like, pop. 2500 tiny) in Germany’s Black Forest. The town may be tiny, but it houses the world’s largest beer coaster factory. The Katz Group, which was founded at the beginning of the 20th century, now produces five to seven million coasters a day.
The Katz Group manufactures a whopping 75% of the world’s beer coasters, and the company makes a super-whopping 95% of America’s beer coasters.
So you live in the United States? You regularly use a coaster to keep your coffee table looking flawless? Chances are you have this one German beer coaster company to thank.
As a Katz Group rep told Eater that a reason they do big business with the United States is that American restaurants use coasters as advertising. In the rep’s own words:
"Every [American] restaurant wants its own coaster."
And it turns out, the people who work at the Katz Group do play favorites when it comes to coasters. When Eater asked print manager Ralph Korz what his favorite coaster the group makes is, Korz told him it was the coasters for Salitos tequila-flavored beer. The coaster has the works, sugar skulls, foil inlay, no wonder it’s a favorite.
Next time you’re slipping a coaster under your beverage, take a second to appreciate that tiny German town. Without them, where would we get our awesome coasters?