Mar 02 2011
Any fan of JRR Tolkien knows that Hobbits are jolly people who like their food and drink. In both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings beer is no doubt severed at the ‘unexpected’ and ‘expected’ parties. A little while after Bilbo’s disappearance, Sam Gamgee enjoys what will be his last pot in The Green Dragon for a very long time, blissfully unaware of his own impending adventure.
At no point does the reader get a description of the tipple favored by Hobbits and the various other inhabitants of Middle Earth. Sam Gamgee certainly likes an odd pot or two, and one has the feeling that the Inns around The Shire probably serve hearty ale pulled straight from the cask similar to brews found in small country pubs.
With a little imagination and lateral thinking, it seems likely that each race would have its own local brew. The Orcs might be fearsome, but it’s not likely they dictate what everybody drinks, plus the chance of growing crops near Mordor seems slim. The mountains around Gondor might not suit hops and barley either, so possibly they would have to have barrels sent from Rohan; when you are under siege you need a good supply on hand.
The Elvish beer would probably be light, golden and full of warm honey flavors. Not a lager, still ale, but one that delights the palette and refreshes the soul. While not magical, it would have restorative properties for weary travelers pausing for rest in Rivendell. Bilbo no doubt partook of a few mugs during his stay.
The Dwarves require a more robust drink; dark, sweet – almost a stout or barley wine. Wielding a battle-axe or a digging mine saps the strength, so their ale needs to be dark and nourishing. In the world of mortals it might be served as a ‘winter warmer’ to ward off the cold in the depths of winter.
While Tolkien doesn’t give us a lot of information about the various ales around Middle Earth, there are certainly inns and taverns where the members of the Fellowship relax over a jug for a short while. While the travelers enjoy the respite, the reader can only imagine how the ale tastes.
Real ales are enjoying a renewed popularity around the world. Micro breweries are springing up all over the States, the Italians are importing it from England and British brewers are going back to old recipes and marketing traditional beers. With so much brewing and so many different varieties, there must be some Lord of the Rings beer out there somewhere.
Looking to find the definitive source of information on Lord of the Rings beer ?