We've got one of those couches from Freedom, I don't know, are they called "Modular"? Anyhow, they're the ones that people can perch on the arm kind of awkwardly pretending like they're comfortable; cats can stretch out and survey their apartment manor. My cat does anyway.
The other day I was about to put my beer glass (full of Mornington Peninsula's delightful Nitro Dogs Bollocks) down on said arm, when I saw a gross pattern of beer glass-soaked stains.
"Sheesh! Where are my coasters? Why aren't we using coasters on our precious Modular couch?!" I opened the cupboard, the cupboard where I keep my collection of coasters. Coasters fell out. Many, many, many coasters. Little Creatures. Corona. Mountain Goat. Blackhearts & Sparrows. BeerDeluxe. It was like that clown car where all those clowns you know can't possibly fit in that small tiny space somehow fit and spill out when the door opens.
My couch will now survive undamaged through to its interest-free purchase period, thanks to the Local Taphouse beer coaster that has perched on the arm since that fateful, stained evening. I had seven Local Taphouse coasters fall out of the cupboard so I was happy to sacrifice one.
Seven Local Taphouse coasters. Hmm. How had I acquired such a massive beer coaster collection?
Oh yeah, that's right. In every pub/hotel/dive bar I visit, it seems I have subtly placed one of the "free" beer coasters from the table into my bag/jacket/jean pocket. It has become a habit. Some of them are just so beautifully designed. Or contain useful information. Like the actual name of the beer I am drinking, or pub I am drinking in, so I can remember in the morning. They're kinda like a brewery business card.
There are some, however, that I have no idea why or how they made it to my beer coaster shelf. For example, why do I have an "UltraTune Auto Service Centres: Mordialloc" pristine, non-beer soaked coaster? I don't even drive. Also, how many Carlton Draught-related coasters does one really need to collect?
There is quite a large quantity of German branded beer coasters. Germany does make some scrumptious beers, many of which are available in my residence of Melbourne. These all can't all be from Hofbräuhaus though, can they?!
Ohhh yeah. I remember. I once collected a number of beautifully illustrated König Ludwig Dunkel coasters from all the tables at Oktoberfest in Munich on my first post-school overseas adventure. I recall pilfering them as we were being shooed out of the beer hall at the end of the night. I wanted a memento of a great evening with my fellow travellers. This is probably when my collection began.
My Australian Heritage Hotel coaster reminds me of a delightful afternoon tourist watching in the sun at The Rocks in Sydney. We drank some equally delightful craft beers from their fridge; Holgate Brewery's Roadtrip was a favourite - a homage to our travels up to Sydney for that particular long weekend.
Only the other night, my Moon Dog coaster – the one with the hilarious barman/termite joke on the reverse - became a sweet reminder of the laughter with friends at The Catfish as we slowly sipped the pony's of Moon Dog Rantallion's Restorative in front of us. Its cognac barrel-aged 10.6% sweetness is a taste that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
I continue to hoard my cardboard beauties for the memories they keep, of delicious beers and fun times with friends. While it may sometimes seem like I'm an alcoholic hoarder, maybe I am just collecting knowledge of delicious ales. Also, more importantly, maybe I'm collecting cherished memories with loved ones, even if there are times we are only drinking a beer that you can find in nearly every bar in Australia. Less importantly, maybe sometimes I just need to know the best place to get my car repaired in Mordialloc, despite the fact that I don't even drive. And those König Ludwig Dunkel coasters are currently selling for $2.62 on eBay. This collection could pay off one day!