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.
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.