Cheers! Prosit! Sláinte!
I love books and beer, so I love combining the two whenever I get the chance. So when my pal Joe asked me today what I’d pair with Unicorn Meat (sorry I didn’t have a good answer, Joe), I got to thinking. If there’s fictional food out there, surely there’s fictional beverages. Which means fictional beer! Sure enough, some liberal web browsing led me to plenty of lists of beer brands from TV and movies. Unfortunately, novels were few and far between.
In a way, it makes sense. Authors don’t necessarily have clear having a real-world brand of beer in their stories, so there’s less of a need for fictional brews. Similarly, an author can simply say that a character is drinking an ale or a lager and move on, while movies have to actually put something on the screen that looks authentic. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that there haven’t been authors up to the challenge of brewing up some brand new beers.
Here’s a list of a handful of brews I could track down that were unique to their novels. Grab a butterbeer and some unicorn meat and scroll on down.
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Pratchett is no stranger to creatively naming drinks in his Discworld books (Dibbler’s Homeopathic Sipping Whiskey, anyone?), but Turbot’s Really Odd and Winkle’s Old Peculiar were the only beers that I could pull from the series. Though the brews exist on The Disc of Prachett’s books, they have a distinctly English flair, as both are real ales. Both are brewed with water from the River Ankh and both are, one would assume, served at a cellar temperature on cask.
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I can’t recall much about Butterbeer from the Harry Potter fiction, but the wonderful world of devoted Potter fans has compiled tons of information about the butterscotchy beverage. Butterbeer is very slightly alcoholic – not enough to affect the young drinkers in the books, but more than enough to get house elves fershnickered. It’s served hot or cold, and despite the lack of alcohol can still lower inhibitions in humans. It tastes, according to JK Rowling, like “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” And you can’t beat the price – two sickles per Butterbeer, or (more Googling) about 90 cents a pint.
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Yet another of the many holdings of the ubiquitous LexCorp, the Koul-Brau Breweries make beer for the citizens of the DC Universe. Based in Metropolis, the breweries are owned and operated by the Good Foods Group, a subsidiary of Lex Luthor’s corporation. Hopefully their existence, many degrees separate from Luthor’s day-to-day, means that they can make beer for the people of Metropolis in relative peace. I’d love to say that I discovered fictional beers from Gotham, Star City, Central City and the other communities of Earth-0, but Koul-Brau was the only brewery I could find. Until someone points me towards some other breweries, we can assume that Crow is brewed by LexCorp.
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Spunk Beer from Tank Girl
I have no words to describe the “Spunk Beer” that appears in Martin and Hewlett’s seminal (*rim shot*) comic Tank Girl. So, uh, just enjoy this.
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Not actually a beer, but more of an “invigorating drink” brewed from the water of the mountain springs on Methedras. I like hops and malt when I’m drinking, but the Ents (for the uninitiated, those are the big tree dudes from the films) might be on to something with their brew, which smells and tastes like a mountain breeze. Ent-daught is brewed by the Ents and, at least for the Hobbits, has powerful healing properties. After drinking some ent-draught, Merry and Pippin felt “power coursing through their limbs and… the hair on their heads … curling and growing.”
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Rather than try and match one of our all-time great writers, I’ll leave it to Dickens to write about Genuine Stunning Ale. Take it away, Chuckie D;
I was such a child, and so little, that frequently when I went into the bar of a strange public-house for a glass of ale or porter, to moisten what I had had for dinner, they were afraid to give it me. I remember one hot evening I went into the bar of a public-house, and said to the landlord: ‘What is your best – your very best – ale a glass?’ For it was a special occasion. I don’t know what. It may have been my birthday.
‘Twopence-halfpenny,’ says the landlord, ‘is the price of the Genuine Stunning ale.’
‘Then,’ says I, producing the money, ‘just draw me a glass of the Genuine Stunning, if you please, with a good head to it.’
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OF COURSE I found a way to sneak Star Wars onto my books-only list. Y’see, apart from the occasional surreptitious sipper in the Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba’s Palace, there’s really no beer to be found in the three six Star Wars films. There’s definitely nothing mentioned by name. But in the universe of the Star Wars books and comics, authors have created a bunch of beers befitting of any intergalactic tap list. Kudos to Halagad, who compiled the truly comprehensive list on the other side of the link above.
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What’d I miss? Surely there are more fictional brands out there in the literary universe. Pour me some made-up pints in the comments.
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