Sunday, 15 May 2011

Wot no mats?

Something that has baffled me for years is why a growing number of pubs refuse to provide beermats. Especially with the now-universal adoption of brim measure glasses, they perform a useful role in soaking up spilt and overflowing beer, stopping it staining tables and running off the edge to spoil your clothes. I’m convinced it comes from the same misguided school of “trying not to look like an old-fashioned boozer” that has led to the widespread ripping out of bench seating. It goes without saying that Wetherspoons don’t have mats.

I was surprised and disappointed today to walk into one of my favourite local pubs - which in many respects is very traditional - and find they had decided to scrap the beer mats. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s another niggly reason to feel it’s less than ideal.


  1. My local Wetherspoons have beermats on the bar with the straws so you can have one if you remember to pick it up.

    Personally I prefer beer mats on the table for the reasons you give.

  2. Believe it or not all our local pubs (Ickenham) remove the mats cos they might be used for drugs. Roaches for dope and tubes for coke. Oh well, I'll stick to the beer.

  3. Many pubs don't have beer mats because breweries don't give them out any more.

  4. There are still plenty of commercial organisations and campaigns of various kinds that produce promotional beermats - and if a pub thought mats were worthwhile it wouldn't be a huge expense to produce their own.

    It's a matter of deliberate policy, not a question of being unable to get hold of any.

  5. As Owen said, the main reason pubs don't routinely use them any more is because the big breweries now charge for them. Yes there are promotional ones, but they are relatively scarce.

    Was speaking to manager in one Spoons recently who said he's not allowed to order mats because of the cost, but if a load come with a meet the brewer night or anything like that he grabs them & they go on the bar.

  6. £95 for 1000 - not exactly going to break the bank, is it?

    Would a restaurant decline to provide napkins on cost grounds?

  7. £95 a 1000 is 10p on your pint. You happy to accept that?

  8. "£95 a 1000 is 10p on your pint. You happy to accept that?"

    I've yet to come across a pub that gives out a fresh mat with each pint served and then throws it away. Have you?

    On average, I'd expect a mat to last at least a week, so the average cost would be well below 1p a pint. If you buy more at once they cost even less.

  9. To be fair, the pub in question has now decided to reinstate beermats, so well done. Perhaps they read my Opening Times column.


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