Beer coasters are a bit of fun, practical art under your glass. But did you know that the first beer coasters were invented in 19th century Germany? They were called bierdeckel and were designed to go on top of the glass to keep insects from landing in your ale. Later, breweries from all over the world used them to advertise their products, and to commemorate special events. In 1978 Stella Artois created the Année du village series of sous bock, with images celebrating historic villages around Belgium. I found a few beer coasters from the series, and some others with fun graphics while browsing a flea market in Brussels, and I just had to take a stack home with me. They’re cheap souvenirs, and when I look at them, I remember days well spent walking in the city and yes, drinking some very good beer!