Tegestology in simple words

Have you ever wondered what people collect as a hobby? Some collect stamps or coins, while others collect rare books or vintage toys. But have you ever heard of tegestology? Tegestology is the hobby of collecting beer mats, also known as coasters.

Beer mats are small pieces of cardboard or paper that are placed under a glass or a bottle to protect the surface underneath. They often display the logo or design of a brewery or a beer brand. While they might seem like insignificant objects, tegestologists see them as works of art and historical artifacts.

One of the reasons why people collect beer mats is because they can be a representation of a particular time and place. Each beer mat tells a story about the brewery it came from, the beer it advertised, and the cultural context in which it was produced. They can also be a way to document the history of local breweries or to preserve the artwork of a specific era.

Tegestology can be a fascinating hobby for those interested in beer, history, and design. It allows collectors to delve into the world of breweries, learn about different beer brands, and appreciate the creativity and variety of beer mat designs. So, the next time you come across a beer mat, take a moment to admire it and consider the hidden stories it might hold.

What is Tegestology?

Tegestology is the study and collecting of beer coasters, also known as beer mats. It is a hobby that has gained popularity around the world, with collectors actively seeking out unique and rare coasters to add to their collections.

Beer coasters have been used for centuries as a way to protect tables and surfaces from condensation and spills. They typically feature designs and logos related to breweries, beer brands, or specific events. Some collectors focus on acquiring coasters from a particular region or time period, while others seek out coasters featuring specific themes or designs.

The hobby of tegestology involves more than just collecting coasters, however. It also includes research and documenting the history, production, and marketing behind each coaster. Collectors may attend beer festivals, visit breweries, or connect with other enthusiasts to learn more about the coasters in their collection.

Why Do People Collect Beer Coasters?

There are many reasons why people are drawn to the hobby of tegestology. Some collectors have a passion for beer and breweries, and collecting coasters allows them to combine their love of beer with a tangible and visually appealing collection. Others enjoy the thrill of the hunt, searching for unique or valuable coasters to add to their collection.

Collecting beer coasters can also be a social activity. Many collectors join tegestology clubs or participate in online communities where they can connect with other collectors, trade coasters, and share their knowledge and experiences. The hobby provides a sense of community and allows collectors to learn from one another.


Tegestology is an intriguing and diverse hobby that taps into the world of beer culture. Whether you are a beer enthusiast, a design aficionado, or simply interested in learning about the history and marketing of breweries, collecting beer coasters can be a fascinating and rewarding pastime.

The Origin and Definition

Tegestology, also known as coaster collecting, is a hobby that involves collecting and studying beverage coasters, commonly known as beer mats. The word “tegestology” is derived from the Latin word “tegestum,” which means a covering or protection. It was first coined by Marjorie S. Evans, an American collector, in 1952.

Coasters have been used for centuries to protect surfaces from the condensation and drips that occur when drinking beverages. While initially made from simple materials like cardboard or paper, coasters have evolved over time to include a wide range of materials such as wood, ceramic, cork, and metal.

The definition of tegestology has expanded beyond just collecting coasters to include the study of their design, history, and cultural significance. Tegestologists often categorize and organize their collections based on various criteria, such as brewery, country of origin, or design theme.

Coasters have become highly collectible items, with dedicated collectors often traveling far and wide to obtain rare and unique pieces for their collections. Tegestology has gained popularity around the world, with enthusiast clubs and societies established to promote the hobby and exchange information.

Types of Coasters

There is a wide variety of coaster types available for collectors to explore, each with its own unique characteristics. Some common types of coasters include:

Material Description
Paper Simple and inexpensive coasters made from paper or cardboard.
Wood Coasters made from wood, often with intricate designs or engravings.
Cork Natural cork coasters that are absorbent and environmentally friendly.
Metal Coasters made from metals like brass or stainless steel, often with embossed designs.
Ceramic Coasters made from ceramic or porcelain, commonly featuring colorful artwork or patterns.

The Significance of Coasters

Coasters not only serve a practical purpose by protecting surfaces, but they also hold cultural and historical significance. They often feature logos, slogans, and artwork that reflect the time period, advertising trends, and popular culture of the brewery or establishment they originate from.

By studying coasters, tegestologists can gain insights into various aspects of history, such as changes in graphic design styles, technological advancements in coaster production, and the social and economic impact of breweries and beverage companies.

Overall, tegestology provides a unique way to appreciate the artistry and historical context of beverage coasters, making it a fascinating hobby for collectors and enthusiasts alike.


What is tegestology?

Tegestology is the practice of collecting beer mats or coasters. It is a hobby that involves gathering, organizing, and studying different types of beer mats from around the world.

How did tegestology start?

Tegestology started in the late 19th century when beer mats were first introduced. They were initially used as a functional tool to protect bar surfaces from moisture and spills. Over time, people began to appreciate the artwork and uniqueness of beer mats, leading to the emergence of tegestology as a hobby.

What are some common types of beer mats?

Common types of beer mats include cardboard coasters, cork-backed coasters, and metal coasters. Each type has its own unique characteristics and design elements.

Are there any famous collectors in the tegestology community?

Yes, there are several famous collectors in the tegestology community, known for their extensive collections and knowledge. One notable collector is John Petrie, who has been collecting beer mats for over 30 years and has amassed a collection of over 10,000 coasters.

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