Bierdeckel Blues!

In the past 2 weeks, I can specifically recall 3 instances when I ordered a beer and didn’t get a beer mat under my glass when it came to the table. I thought it was strange because, although it is not a travesty to go without a beer mat, it’s considered “good form” for the wait staff to set one under the glass when bringing you your beer.

I wonder if it has anything to do with this…

But now the economic crisis is threatening the beer mat — and unnerving its fans. The world’s biggest beer mat company, Katz Group, has declared itself bankrupt. Tucked away in Weisenbach in the south-west of Germany, Katz Group, which was founded as a sawmill in 1716, had been in the beer mat business since 1903. Katz International Coasters controlled around two-thirds of the European market and 97 percent of the US market.

More at Der Spiegel.