Monday, December 10, 2012

Beer O'Clock: Is This What Hobbits Drink?

Just nipping out for a pint.
For me, it's the most-anticipated movie since the first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even then, in 2001, when The Fellowship of the Ring came out, I thought that it would be nice if someone like Peter Jackson would make a decent movie out of J.R.R. Tolkien's first middle-Earth novel, The Hobbit.

When Jackson chose his home of New Zealand for the setting of Middle Earth, I thought it was perfect. The landscape lent itself well to the Misty Mountains—one can imagine travelling there now (to New Zealand) and running into a hobbit or two. And if one ran into a hobbit in twenty-first-century New Zealand, what would a hobbit be drinking?

 As we all know, hobbits like their food and drink. They like their tea and cake, but they also like a good ale. And liking good ale, I'm sure that they'd like stout. It's a good thing that New Zealand has a good stout.
Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Renaissance Brewing Company
Marlborough, New Zealand
LCBO: $5.95, 500 ml; 4.9% ABV
My rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
Dark, walnut-brown in colour with a creamy-brown head—and I mean loads of head: halfway into my pour, it overflowed in my glass—this is a lovely stout with plenty of dark chocolate in the nose. On the palate, it had plenty of rich toffee and coffee flavours, mixed with roasted malts that led to an unsweetened cocoa and vanilla finish.

This is a hearty stout that is a great beer to have on a cold winter's day. I enjoyed my first bottle after a day out past North Gower, where we felled our Christmas tree. The stout went well with a beefy chili con carne—I'm sure hobbits would like a good stew. For my second pint, I had it with dessert, a fresh-baked, triple-chocolate brownie that my wife made.

Again, I don't think a hobbit would complain.

On its own, I found this stout to be a little overpowering on the roasted end. There's an astringency that makes me pucker. But with food, it all balanced out and I found the ale to be quite enjoyable.

Which is perfect for hobbits: a stout that goes well with foods, both savory and sweet.



  1. I knew I liked you and your blog for another reason...I am SO excited for The Hobbit and even MORE excited that it was done by Mr. Jackson.

    And add a great beer to this? Brilliant, indeed.

    1. Ah, you're a woman after my own heart! Great minds think alike.