As the warmer weather slowly makes its way here again the daylight lasts a bit longer,  beergartens start to reopen and ecke kneipen all set up their portable beer tables and benches out front to bask in the sunny days of summer. Germany and its neighbors all emerge from their sleepy winters and slowly retake the great out doors to enjoy a frosty cold beer alfresco style. Even outside, tradition reigns. The Kellner should always place your beer on a fresh bierdeckel or coaster – thats just how it is done, with more than a century of tradition in European beer culture hospitality. 

Picture this – Dresden 1892, the first beer coasters made of wood pulp were introduced by the German printing company Robert Sputh.  To this very day a coaster company based in Wiesenbach, Germany, produces most of the billions beer coasters used around the world – WOW that‘s a LOT of coasters!

Beer coasters most commonly have the logo of a particular brand of beer or they can be used to promote your favorite drinking establishment, sports teams, businesses or events, we have seen them all, but wait …

The Czech graphic artist and designer DannyBoy decided to use this oh so traditional and readily available medium to get the messsage out there on the topic of HIV and safe sex in the gay communities of his homeland, the Czech Republic – a place also known for its premium beers and long held traditions of beer culture.

He starts with medievial flags or a coat of arms from a specific duchy or city and promisciously redesigns them into some of the most creative repurposed emblems I have ever laid my eyes upon. Keeping most of the traditional colors and imagery but adding rainbow flags, disco balls and fun sexual imagery to catch the attention of the local tribes of beer drinkers at gay pubs and events throughout The Czech Republic.  The back side is printed with the contact information of the local group which offers mobile HIV testing and counseling to the community. DannyBoy plans to soon expand this project to include condoms and awareness posters with his designs.

His novel idea cleverly combines a very serious and important community service message, a bit of tradition and history with a healthy side of humor. Congratulations on your initiative and wishing you much success with this unique and positive project!

Black Boot for Boner Magazine

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