What did the thirteen dwarves, Gandalf, and Mr. Bilbo Baggins drink in The Hobbit? Here are the references to beer, ale, porter, mead and wine. I am seeing ever more searches online for this information – I hope a lot are from home brewers – but be forewarned, there isn’t much information on what kind of beer or ale or mead or wine!
Bilbo had wine, ale and porter on hand for his guests when the Dwarves came calling. The trolls drank beer and ale. Beorn served mead (not surprising for someone who was sometimes a bear). The Lake Men drank wine. On this adventure, Gandalf had red wine and mead.
“Come along in, and have some tea!” he [Bilbo] managed to say after taking a deep breath.
“A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir.” Said Balin with the white beard. “But I don’t mind some cake – seed-cake, if you have any.”
…He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again.
He got up trembling. He had less than half a mind to fetch the lamp, and more than half a mind to pretend to, and go and hide behind the beer-barrels in the cellar, and not come out again until all the dwarves had gone away.
“What I say,” said Bilbo gasping. “And please don’t cook me, kind sirs! I am a good cook myself, and cook better than I cook, if you see what I mean. I’ll cook beautifully for you, a perfectly beautiful breakfast for you, if only you won’t have me for supper.”
“Poor little blighter.” Said William. He had already had as much supper as he could hold; also he had had lots of beer. “Poor little blighter! Let him go!”
…A really first-class and legendary burglar would at this point have picked the trolls’ pockets – it is nearly always worth while, if you can manage it – , pinched the very mutton off the spits, purloined the beer, and walked off without their noticing him….
“Let’s get out of this horrible smell!” said Fili. So they carried out the pots of coins, and such food as was untouched and looked fit to eat, also one barrel of ale which was still full. By that time they felt like breakfast, and being very hungry they did not turn their noses up at what they had got from the trolls’ larder. Their own provisions were very scanty. Now they had bread and cheese, and plenty of ale, and bacon to toast in the embers of the fire.
Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, and Gloin were their names, and very soon two purple hoods, a grey one, a brown hood, and a white hood were hanging on the pegs, and off they marched with their broad hands stuck in their gold and silver belts to join the others. Already it had almost become a throng. Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes; so the hobbit was kept very busy for a while.
“Gandalf, dwarves and Mr. Baggins! We are met together in the house of our friend and fellow conspirator, this most excellent and audacious hobbit – may the hair on his toes never fall out! All praise to his wine and ale! –“
There stood barrels, and barrels, and barrels; for the Wood-elves, and especially their King, were very fond of wine, though no vines grew in those parts. The wine, and other goods, were brought from far away, from their kinsfolk in the South, from from the vineyards of Men in distant lands.
Hiding behind one of the largest barrels Bilbo discovered the trapdoors and their use, and lurking there, listening to the talk of the king’s servants, he learned how the wine and other goods came up the rivers, or over land, to the Long Lake…
“Now come with me,” he said, “and taste the new wine that has just come in. I shall be hard at work tonight clearing the cellars of the empty wood, so let us have a drink first to help the labour.”
Luck of an unusual kind was with Bilbo then. It must be potent wine to make a wood-elf drowsy; but this wine, it would seem, was the heady vintage of the great gardens of Dorwinion, not meant for his soldiers or his servants, but for the king’s feasts only, and for smaller bowls not for the butler’s great flagons.
But the dwarves only started to sing:
Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That’s what Bilbo Baggins Hates –
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!
Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!
Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!
Splash the wine on every door!
Drop the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you’ve finished, if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!
So, carefully! Carefully with the plates!
“Now we are all here!” said Gandalf, looking at the row of thirteen hoods – the best detachable part
y hoods – and his own hat hanging on the pegs. “Quite a merry gathering! I hope there is something left for the late-comers to eat and drink! What’s that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think for me.”
“And more cakes – and ale – and coffee, if you don’t mind,” called the other dwarves through the door.
“Very well, very well,” they answered, rolling the barrels to the opening. “On your head be it, if the king’s full buttertubs and his best wine is pushed into the river for the Lake-men to feast on for nothing!”
They sat long at the table with their wooden drinking-bowls filled with mead. The dark night came on outside.
At last Gandalf pushed away his plate and jug – he had eaten two whole loaves (with masses of butter and honey and clotted cream) and drunk at least a quart of mead – and he took out his pipe. “I will answer the second question first,” he said “- but bless me! This is a splendid place for smoke rings!”