You are what you eat & drink

Do they have Beer in…

Middle Earth?

That’s the land of Tolkein’s Hobbits. You know the Lord of the Rings films that have been filmed in New Zealand.

Beer to quench a Hobbit’s thirst

JR R Tolkien famously said, “I’m very fond of a beer”, and the hobbits he created inherited his love of ale, usually drunk in a pub and accompanied by plentiful but simple food.

Beer plays a central role in the beginning of The Hobbit. Balin, the second dwarf to arrive at Mr Baggins’ hobbit-hole, declines Bilbo’s offer of tea, saying: “A little beer would suit me better”.

A GOOD DROP: Hobbits Pippin, left, and Merry sup ale in a film from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

As more dwarfs come through the perfectly round green door, “some called for ale and some for porter”, although the great wizard, Gandalf, takes only a little red wine. Fortunately, Bag End has cellars for storing beer barrels, as well as numerous pantries for bread and pies.

Beer is considered the most popular beverage in the Middle Earth world. Even the rather stupid trolls in the forest clearing wash down their roast mutton with beer drunk from enormous jugs. After the trolls are defeated, the company takes their gold coins, unsullied food, two jewelled swords and “one barrel of ale which was still full”.

While Hobbits drink mead, wine and stronger spirits, their first love remains beer.

In The Fellowship of the Ring film, few will forget the look of pure joy on Merry’s face when Pippin demonstrates that beer can indeed be served in pints.

In the three The Lord of the Rings movies, the beer usually drunk on camera was Sobering Thought, a 1 per cent dark stout created specially by Harrington’s Brewery in Nelson.

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So, yes, they have beer in Middle Earth

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