A blog all about ‘Beer Mats’

All about beermats, dripmats and coasters!

Pre-Printed Beer Mats available online – Beer Mat Inn

Beer mat enthusiasts that are not in a position to order bespoke mats should consider buying pre-printed beer mats.

The Beer Mat Inn is an online retailer of pre-printed beer mats offering a range of themes. These include beer mats suitable for weddings, Birthdays, Christmas, Twitter addresses as well as themed mats such as fruit, animals, birds, cats and dogs. They also provide national flags and even their own range of unique Smile Face beer mats. The Beer Mat Inn is adding to their range every week.

Because beer mats are supposed to be functional as well as visually pleasing, the mats provided by The Beer Mat Inn are genuine, made with a pulpwood substrate and the designs are litho-printed directly onto the board. In fact, the mats are made by a UK based beer mat manufacturer. All too often, consumers are offered cheap alternatives, which are typically designs printed on paper and then mounted (glued) onto a substrate which may or may not be pulpwood. However, whilst these “beer mats” may look good out of the box, in does not take Einstein to work out what happens when you place this type of may anywhere near liquid!

So, if you are looking for an inexpensive way of owning your very own beer mats, without breaking the bank, take a look at The Beer Mat Inn. They also offer blank (plain) beer mats for art workers and other crafts.

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4 November, 2013 Posted by | General, News | , , , | Leave a comment

Beermat manufacturer, sorry, supplier Zyan buy beermat domains

The latest beer mat news is that Solent Media Limited trading as Zyan Design & Print has just purchased two .com beermat domains to “facilitate expansion”, at a cost of $10,000. The intention is laudable, but purists may claim that their money would have been better spent toward a deposit for the purchase of a print press, rather than a domain or two. There is nothing wrong with selling beermats, many print brokers, dealers, agencies, promotional houses, print suppliers and advertising houses do, but there is no evidence that these companies claim to be a beermat manufacturer in the process.

So, can you claim to be a manufacturer if you are not? The short answer is you can claim to be virtually anything, but it doesn’t mean you are, perhaps only that you simply aspire to be something else. Who knows, but here is the actual definition of a ‘manufacturer’: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”.  So, if you advertise and take orders for beermats, then place that order on a beermat manufacturing company, who then go on to manufacture the beermats, are you a beermat manufacturer? I think not!

This is the ‘title’ on Zyan’s beermats page as of today’s date: Beer mats, drip mats printer and manufacturer – Zyan Design & Print. Of course they are not alone, there is another Beermat Company using Google Advertising in which they claim that there is “no middleman”. Right, so this particular Beermat Company, doesn’t print their own beermats, but they claim in their advertising that there is no middleman. They also, by the way, claim to be a beermat manufacturer. What is the world coming to? Perhaps it is the Internet that facilitates or allows claims that are difficult for casual observers to substantiate? I know for example, that I would like to be 6′ 2″ tall, but if anyone was to meet me, they would quickly work out that I am a good 4″ shorter. But, if I made this claim on the Internet, who would know?

So what’s my beef? Well, there are dozens of highly professional companies out there that are actively selling printed beermats, but do not feel the necessity to claim to be the manufacturer. They offer a service, but they are not on a level playing field, because there is an implication, or perhaps a perception that, by dealing with a manufacturer the price will be cheaper, there is more control over the manufacturing process or maybe the service will be faster. Arguably, if there was no sales or commercial advantage, why would anyone claim to be a manufacturer when they don’t own a press?

There is NO reason why any individual or company should not buy their beermats through an intermediary, in fact, many choose to do so. But, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for any business to claim to be a manufacturer, when in reality they are an intermediary. If you offer a good service, your prices are competitive and you deliver on your promises, it is possible to be successful and candid.

4 February, 2009 Posted by | General, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Thirstys reject claim from small beermat supplier

Thirstys.co.uk Limited a well established, UK based manufacturer of beermats, has rejected, what they argue amounts to a spurious and unfounded a claim by The Beermat Corporation Limited, over the use of the generic term ‘the beer mat company’.

UK registered, but Dutch controlled beer mat supplier, The Beermat Corporation Limited (“TBCL”), has attempted to claim a monopoly right to the generic term ‘the beer mat company’, insisting that Thirstys.co.uk Limited (Thirstys) use of the domain beermatcompany.co.uk, amounted to a case of ‘passing off’. In doing so, solicitors acting on behalf of TBCL, have attempted to secure assurances and claim rights to the domain’s; www.beermatcompany.com and www.beermatcompany.eu, which have been registered to Thirstys since April 2006.

A spokesperson for Thirstys.co.uk Limited said, “Quite apart from the fact that we do not use the term ‘the beer mat company’ in any of our advertising, we find it incomprehensible that any company should be so aggorant as to try and claim monopoly rights over the term ‘beer mat company’ in what is quite clearly a generic term used by many companies to describe their activities within the beermat market. ”

Thirstys also flatly rejected a claim by TBCL that the use of domain names which include the words “beermatcompany” amounts to passing off. The Thirstys spokesperson added, “The temerity of the principals at The Beermat Corporation astounds us. To claim that Thirstys could be guilty of passing off is simply ridiculous, not least because we, quite clearly, would not try and pass ourselves off as a company that is a foreign controlled beer mat supplier, when we are actually a UK based, and controlled, manufacturer of beer mats. Quite apart from the obvious, our sites clearly include the well known Thirstys logo and repeatedly make reference to our company name. ”

Thirstys have been angered by the actions and claims of TBCL, which they see as offering up a weak, ill conceived, baseless and retaliatory response to Thirstys warning to TBCL, over their blatant use of the term “Thirsty” in their Google Adword advertising. Thirstys argue strongly that they have built up substantial value in the term Thirstys and the use of this term, is being used to target Thirstys customers, given, unlike The Beermat Corportation Limited, Thirstys.co.uk Limited is a UK controlled, uk based, manufacturer of beermats, whereasThe Beermat Corporation Limited, whilst being registered in the UK and claiming to be a manufacturer, is in fact operating from an accommodation address, has no manufacturing or print plant and is controlled from Holland.

A defiant Thirstys has made clear that, whilst they completely understand why a company may want to be associated with a well established and genuine UK based manufacturer of beermats, they cannot, nor will they stand idly by whilst any organisation attempts to capitalise on this by claiming exclusive rights to the term ‘beermat company’.

There are in fact just 4 manufacturers of genuine beermats in the UK, these organisation have UK based employees and at least one printing press, this list does not include The Beermat Corporation Limited, which is believed to use one of the UK beermat manufacturers to print its beermats.

Thirstys believe that the use, by The Beermat Corporation Limited of the website description, ‘The Beer MatCorporation Ltd are a[sic] manufacturers[sic] and printer [sic] of customised beer mats, drinks coasters and drip mats Based in Lancashire, UK’. is in itself misleading.  This is because, firstly, the generally accepted definition of a manufacturer is “a person or company in the business of manufacturing’ esp., a factory owner“. Whereas The Beermat Corporation Limited do not appear to own any print press in the UK and in fact, are understood to outsource the printing to one of the 4 UK manufacturers. Secondly, the suggestion that the company is based in Lancashire, whilst technically true, it is open to interpretation, because, whilst it may be registered in Manchester (not Lancashire), Thirstys understand that the business is actually using an accommodation address which is believed to be shared by up to 200 other companies. In addition, Thirstys has been unable to establish that there are any UK based employees of The Beermat Corporation Limited, though is says that it is prepared to correct this statement if this turns our to be incorrect.

The Thirstys spokesperson closed by saying “There are many genuine, UK based beermat companies in the UK and the vast majority offer an excellent service and do not find it necessary to describe themselves as beermat manufactuer. We welcome competition in the market, which helps create a larger market for beermats and ensures that we all kept on our toes. That said, we firmly draw the line on anyone attempting to claim an automatic right to domain names that use a generic term and we will, as always, protect our position”.

26 September, 2008 Posted by | General, News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thirstys, UK based beermat company issue an advisory

UK based beermat manufacturer, Thirstys.co.uk Limited have taken the unusual step of advising their existing and potential customers of an advertisement currently running with Google Adwords is using the term ‘Thirsty?’. The company believe the use of this word is likely to cause confusion in the market given Thirstys is a well know brand in the UK and the name is synonymous with beermat manufacturing.

A company spokesperson said “We have had a number of customers indicate that they believed this advertisment was for our company and they have responded in accordance with this belief. The principle issue here, is that it is very clearly not difficult to confuse the term ‘Thirsty?’ with our own trademark ‘Thirstys’.

Added to which, because the website uses a generic name ‘beermatcompany.com, the casual browser is given no clue that this website has nothing to do with Thirstys until they reach the site. From what we can ascertain, whilst describing themselves as a manufacturer, this organisation does not actually own a print press. In addition, despite the fact that it publishes a UK address (which is shared by as many as 200 other companies), try as we might, we have been unable to identify any UK based employees, only a director based in Holland. For the record we wish to state that Thirstys.co.uk Limited have no association with The Beermat Company or The Beermat Corporation Limited and we shall be seeking guidance from our legal advisors legal advisors in relation to the form of this particular advertisement.”

In the meantime, Thirstys have asked that any individual or company that may have experienced similar confusion as a consequence of this advertisement to get in touch with them.

18 July, 2008 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be seduced into buying fake beermats

Ask any landlord, industry player or beermat collector and they will instantly tell you that a genuine beermat is made from wood-pulp and there is a very simple reason for that, it is the pulp that provides the beermat with it’s absorbency qualities.

 

The fact that for decade’s beermats have been made from pulp-wood for very good reason, there has recently been a plethora of companies offering ‘fake’ beermats, in other words, beermats that are not made from pulp. Why does it really matter? Well these beermats are quaintly described as ‘constructed beermats’ that is to say they are typically made by gluing printed paper onto the top and bottom of board to create the “beermat”. Whilst this may look pretty and may even justify the description of a beermat, there the similarities remain.

 

Constructed beermats, or as the experts might argue, fake beermats, may act as an advertising medium, but because the print is onto paper, thee beermats are simply unable to absorb liquid without coming apart. Typically as the constructed beermats come into touch with water, the paper simply comes away or curls from the board, leaving an unsightly mess. In addition, when water liquid comes into touch with printed paper, most people already know the outcome, streaks of wet print!

 

So why do people offer fake, constructed beermats? For the most part, it is based on price, in the past it has been easier and cheaper to print short runs on coasted paper and then construct the beermat. This is because beermat board has to be printed on specialized print presses which can deal with the thickness of the board, whilst constructed beermats can be printed on virtually any press. However, some of the beermat companies have introduced printing practices that allow short runs of pulp-wood beermats, yes litho printed, full colour runs on pulp-wood board….in fact one UK company offers runs starting at just 25 beermats!

 

Why are fake beermats still offered? Well given they are considerable less useful that a genuine beermats and that there is a real and practicable alternative, perhaps it is profit, the only way to be certain is to ask the people that continue to push these constructed beermats.

 

Whilst in the past there may have been some justification in offering constructed beermats, in spite of the fact that these mats had few, if any of the properties of a genuine pulp-wood beermats, it does seem difficult to justify now!

 

9 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to design a beermat

Because different manufacturers may have variations, it is always worth checking first, but as a general guide the following would apply to designing a beermat.

Most beermats are printed square with rounded corners or less commonly, are round. Beermats are normally 94mm square or 94mm diameter. However, the beermats have to be printed and cut, therefore it is not acceptable to simply provide artwork which is 94mm. The following guidelines relate to a ‘square’ beermats with rounded corners, but the general principles would apply equally to a 94mm diameter beermat.

Artwork should be provided 100mm x 100mm. This allows for a 4mm guide, the cut edge and a bleed area. Edge borders should be a minimum of 7mm (4mm plus bleed). The beermat itself is 94mm x 94mm and the corner radius is 6.35mm. Because of the absorbent nature of genuine beermat board, the design process must always be treated differently to normal paper stock. For example, fonts must be a minimum of 7 point and for ‘reversed out’ text, a minimum of 9 point. Gold, silver and florescent’s are not accepted colours, although they can normally be provided as a ‘spot colour’ but this can add considerably to any price quoted.

Although beermats are typically litho-printed using the industry standard CMYK, because the board is manufactured using a particularly absorbent substrate, colour variances are inevitable, therefore if anyone has a particular pantone in mind for their company logo, they should stick with coated paper!

Most beermat manufacturers now insist on a high resolution PDF of the design, those that do not will normally insist that the image is converted to process colours and saved at a minimum of 300 dpi. Some of the more ‘switched on’ beermat manufacturer will offer an in-house design service, more often than not, at favourable rates, so it is always worth enquiring. If you want to deal with the manufacturer direct, it is best to ask a few pertinent questions, because some company’s lay claim to be a manufacturer when they are not and others may not even be based in the country you are from…relying instead on a ‘virtual office’ address!

8 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American companies turn to UK beer coaster manufacturers

Companies in America seeking to purchase smaller volumes of beer coasters can now turn to UK manufacturers to fulfill their orders. With UK companies launching new volume breaks, American businesses can now purchase as few as 25 full colour, litho-printed beer coasters to print their advertising, branding or sales messages.

Traditionally, beer coaster manufacturers have insisted on much higher volumes in order to make the purchase of beer coaster financially viable. However, the UK manufacturers have introduced new processes which allow purchasers to opt for much lower volumes, without significant price hikes.

Few USA organizations will accept that they must buy 5,000 or more beer coasters and thow away 80% if they only need 1,000. Even though genuine beer coasters are 100% recyclable, no-one wants to see such waste. Recognizing this fact, one or two UK beer coaster manufacturers have introduced new volume breaks, of less than 1,000, for example, one company is offering 25, 100, 250, 500, and 750.

Even allowing for packaging and delivery, small volume beer coaster orders can be delivered to the United States quickly and inexpensively, allowing American companies to enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in Europe.

7 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the beermat we trust

When the Roman Catholic Church recognised that there had been a sharp decline in the number of priests, they decided to use beermats as part of the recruitment campaign. With many parishes having to cope without a priest, the church recognised that they needed a powerful, meaningful and innovative method of recruiting priest to the church. They opted for the powerful force of the beermat.

 

The beermats were distributed around pubs in the London area and supported with a poster campaign in the London underground. With an expectation that the number of priests would continue to decline, the campaign had to be innovative to succeed.

 

Once again beermats are proven to be an excellent medium for delivering messages to a targeted audience. There are several manufacturers of beermats in the UK who can design, manufacture and print bespoke campaign messages.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Students, Meningitis awareness and the Beer Mat

As far back as 2003, The Meningitis Trust together with the Union of Students in Ireland opted to use beermats to highlight awareness amongst students of meningitis B and also to remind students that there was a vaccine against meningitis C.

 

As part of the Student B Aware campaign, eye catching beer mats, supported by a poster campaign, were placed in one of the most popular places for students, the bar! Some 15,000 beermats were printed to deliver this very important message to the 18-23 year age group.

 

Once again, this is tangible proof of the benefits of utilising beermats as a campaign tool for delivering essential messages in a place where they will be read! In recent years, some beermat printers have introduced new printing methods allowing them to accept orders for much smaller quantities; in fact one is actually offering 1000 full colour, genuine pulp board beermats for just £95.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up in smoke? UKIP use beermats to campaign

Beermats are often used in campaigns given, it is suggested though independent research, that they are read some 10 times before being discarded. Perhaps aware of this fact, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom launched a beer mat campaign aimed at rousing public opinion to have the blanket smoking ban in pubs overturned.

 

Clearly the beleaguered landlords of the UK’s public houses were for the most part, supportive of this initiative, given many want to provide their customers with the choice, rather than having blanket bans imposed by government.

 

Not for the first time, UKIP utilised beer mats to re-enforce their message, allowing the beermat to do the talking. Beer mats can now be ordered in smaller quantities making them ideal for smaller campaigns, targeted campaigns, promotions or brand building. Some beermat manufacturers will offer 1000 genuine pulp board beermats, printed in full colour both sides, for the princely sum of less than £100. This really places the beer mat in reach of the vast majority of small and medium sized business in the UK.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment