In one of my favorite Curb Your Enthusiasm scenes, Julia Louis Dreyfus confronts Larry David about leaving a ring stain on a prized table. Larry denies any wrongdoing; of course, anyone who really respects wood would simply use a coaster.
If you’re a fellow Curb fan, you could grab yourself a set of “Do You Respect Wood?” Larry David coasters, but there are certainly other options. Although the form and function of the coaster is relatively static, the art on the surface is fantastically varied, and it must be noted that objet d’art like Parra’s Walking Pear coaster challenge the idea that all coasters must be square, flat, and four inches in diameter.
Best for the Music Lover
Retro Vinyl Coasters
Nothing screams music more than a tiny record. Just like an actual record, these vinyl coasters have a hole in the middle, which makes them easy to store on a post or nail. Each record also includes a play on words across the label. If you like the concept but aren’t a fan of puns, go for these Vinylux vintage coasters, which are made from actual upcycled vinyl.
Best for the Glamorous Hippie
Natural Agate Coasters
If you’re the person in your friend group that’s always giving people rose quartz to help with their relationships, you’ll appreciate these coasters. Made from natural Brazilian agate, these beautiful coasters are backed with felt to keep them from slipping against the table. Available in blue or gold.
Best for the College Graduate
Coasters make a great graduation gift, but there’s not sense in buying an expensive set if they’re going to be complementing IKEA furniture. This set of four Thirstystone Cinnabar Coasters makes a classy gift for any recent grad, and with the way they’re priced, it won’t be a crime if they get phased out for a nicer pair once said recent grad upgrades from Jello shots to single malt.
Best for Your Artsy Friend
Hand-Painted Craft Beer Coasters
In last year’s “Best Coasters” piece, we featured ChimeAfterChimeAndCo, an Etsy store that sold handmade coasters made from recycled six-pack boxes. This year, things get decidedly hipper with a set of coasters that are actually handpainted by Etsy store owner Danielle. Currently, the set of four features The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine, Treehouse Brewing’s Green, and Toppling Goliath’s Morning Delight.
Best for the Fruit Aficionado
If I’m spending my money, it’s with Parra, a Dutch artist known for his post-pop imagery and surreal characters in saturated colors. His website offers three coasters: orange, cherry, and pear. They might be $15 each, but that’s the price you pay to rest your sweating glass on a voluptuous cherry with high heels and blue legs. And hey — you’re supporting art.
Best for Colorful Families
Lily Pad Coasters
Put ‘em on tables! Toss ‘em like throwing stars! We discovered these colorful Lily Pad coasters at Coming Soon, one of our favorite design stores in New York, and they definitely fit the Hop Culture office vibe. When you’re not using them for drinks, they interlock to form little sculptures, and the temperature- and scratch-resistant TPU means they’re great for households with kids.
Best for the Class Clown
Mistaken Lyrics Coasters
“Rock the cat spa/rock the cat spa!” Personally, we always thought it was “cat box,” but Common Deer’s Mistaken Lyrics coasters has that humorous mistake and many others. Each pack comes with six coasters, and each coaster is laser printed with an easily recognizable but very incorrect set of lyrics. Choose from Classic Rock, 80s, 90s, Animals, Pop Divas, Country, Greatest Hits, Oldies, and Hip Hop. “Hold me closer / Tony Danza.”
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