With the release of The Battle of the Five Armies, the last in the trilogy of Hobbit films, it's time to figure out what hobbits like to drink. The answer is ale, wine and mead.

By Ray Isle
Updated May 23, 2017

With the opening of the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy of films, it seems natural to wonder what hobbits drink—I mean, when they aren’t haring off on adventures with roving troops of dwarves, crawling atop mounds of treasure guarded by dragons and whatnot.

The answer’s pretty clear: They like ale. And, if you go back to the Lord of the Rings, they also like wine (“Old Winyards: a strong red wine from Southfarthing, and now quite mature, as it had been laid down by Bilbo’s father”). And there are also some mentions of mead (fermented honey).

Well. Having set off down the path of total Tolkien geekery, I might as well make some suggestions, too. Yeastie Boys, a New Zealand brewery, came up with Golden Perch Ale last year in honor of the last movie—the Golden Perch being an inn with reputedly the best beer in the Eastfarthing. Forget about finding it in the US, but under the assumption that hobbits at least like beer in that style—golden/blonde ale—some other Halfling-appropriate choices might be Leffe Blonde Ale, Goose Island Honkers Ale or Deschutes River Ale.

As for a strong red wine, quite mature, how about Rioja? I can’t imagine a hobbit that wouldn’t be thrilled with a glass of Rioja. The fact that it’s from Spain might throw them for a loop—“Spain? What’s Spain? Is that near Mordor?”—but if you want emphatic red wine that is aged before being released, Rioja’s your go-to. The 2007 Viña Albina Reserva ($22) from Bodegas Riojanas is a great choice; ditto the 2007 Dinastía Vivanco Reserva ($23). For an even more mature bottle, look for the 2005 Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva ($25) from Bodega Franco Españolas.

And mead? Hm. My experience is that most mead is revolting, regardless of whether hobbits like it. One exception is Bee d’Vine Demi-Sec Honey Wine ($24/375ml), which I actually thought was superb. It’s lightly sweet, made with organic honey from California, and walks a fascinating line between t’ej, the traditional Ethiopian honey wine, and regular made-from-grapes wine. And it’s golden in color, so undoubtedly dragons would like it, too.