Hobbits be Drinking (Part 1)

Our monthly feature of Hobbits be Drinking explores in more depth the use of beer and other alcohol in Tolkien’s works. Passages are taken largely out of LotR

If I were to take every beer reference out of the entire Tolkien legendarium, I would assume most would be from Fellowship. They are rife with references to good ales and aged wines. Why so many in The Fellowship in particular? Certainly, what plays a factor is the fact that the quest is only just starting and not yet as perilous, leading to more merriment. But I think it’s even more simple than that. The first half of the book only has hobbits. Which leads me to my main point:

Hobbits be drinking.

Hobbits are like a bunch of 21 year old LA hipsters; fueled by alcohol, they come from the South…ern California, and gentrify good land, singing loudly and opening brunch spots (uh… “second breakfast”? We know what that really is). But did you know they also have craft breweries too? At least that’s what I imagine when I picture The Golden Perch.

‘All right!’ said Pippin. ‘I will follow you into every bog and ditch. But it is hard! I had counted on passing The Golden Perch at Stock before sundown. The best beer in the Eastfarthing, or used to be: it is a long time since I tasted it.’ 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, “A Shortcut to Mushrooms”

Seriously, is that not something you would here from your 23 year old intern at work? Unfortnately, Pippin never makes it to The Golden Perch (he whines about it a few more times). We don’t see it ever mentioned again, and this is the type of stuff that keeps me up at night. The best beer? I swear, if they advertise that and they arrive only to find out its a Hazy IPA, I’d throw the book out the window.

Fun fact: a New Zealand brewery by the name of The Yeastie Boys (no comment) made an interpretation of a Golden Ale, and I must admit I’m rather jealous.

Courtesy of an Untappd review at The Yeastie Boys brewery.

Zwickelpig – Morgan Territory Review #1

With my first review, I’ve decided to choose a more local brewery based out of Livermore, CA. When I first saw Morgan Territory at a bar, I was in Lake Tahoe on my honeymoon. We were at a really cool taproom right off Lake Tahoe Boulevard with some incredible selections. But one stood out to me based on name alone. Who wouldn’t want to try something called Zwickelpig? Basic google search tells me it’s named after a certain valve in a fermentor shaped as a pigtail. Maybe it’s because I’ve had so many good experiences with pig-related alcohols (WhistlePig anyone?).

When I actually tried it, I was surprised: it tasted as amazing as it sounds! Like a lot of Hazy Double IPA’s, the taste is going to be different when on tap than canned. Zwickelpig was as cloudy as a Hazy DIPA in appearance. In taste, it comes off more like a Denogginizer: abundance of hops, and your typical West Coast style. Lot of stonefruit, grapefruit notes. For balance alone this is a fantastic interpretation of a Hazy DIPA, though it does stick to the script and leaves more to be desired.

Rating: 8.4

a note on my rating system: a standard 0 – 10 scale with a midterm average TBD once I have more content of reviews. Top Box is aimed to be 9-10, again more content will be needed

Aroma Coma is back!

Aroma Coma returns, and is now being canned and widely distributed per Drakes’ blog. My thoughts on canned beer will probably be made into a post one day, but to summarize, it’s not always a good thing, and in fact canning can diminish even a great beer. More often than not it’s a cash grab. But because it’s one of my favorite beers of all time, I can’t help but be freaking juiced about this!


The next time I am walking in Safeway and spot this, I will probably sigh deeply. But I’ll leave with a 6-pack in hand!

Welcome welcome, one and all!

Welcome to Tolkien and Brews. As I learn more and more about website building, coding, and running a blog, my hope is this will grow as a place of commerce of both LoTR and beer enthusiasts. Or some sort of healthy medium. After all, many of Tolkien’s ideas he ran through with his friends (The Inklings – a group of scholars we can get into on another post) were shared over copious amounts of beers and cigars at the local pub. Undoubtedly, this outlet propelled Tolkien to expand the legendarium of Middle-Earth and bounce ideas off of some of the greatest fantasy writers ever. Yet I’m not sure that was always the goal!

Tolkien compared himself to that of a hobbit, and a hobbit loves nothing more than sharing stories over a pint, with good company. Beer plays a prominent role in the social life of a hobbit – which could be as lively as a night at the Prancing Pony or as withdrawn as a pint near the fireplace. There’s freaking songs about it for Iluvatars’ sake!

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the RingsThe Fellowship of the Ring, “A Conspiracy Unmasked”

So as you dive in to our content, which yes is lacking and will be for a bit while I work on creating more and more, I hope you pour yourself a beer and open up for conversation and any questions you may have. I want to build out a beer directory and fair review site, so I could really use some suggestions for beers and breweries to try! I’m really excited to get started. Talk soon ~