- "Enjoy a foaming mug of this popular wizarding beverage."
- — Description of Butterbeer[src]
Butterbeer was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch". It was served at numerous locations in the wizarding world and had a very slight alcoholic content. Students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would often buy it when visiting Hogsmeade.
Butterbeer was served cold in bottles and hot in "foaming tankards". In Hogsmeade, it's sold at the Three Broomsticks Inn and the Hog's Head Inn, although the fact that the latter pub's stock was described as "very dusty" suggested that it was not sold there very often. In Diagon Alley, the drink had been known to be sold at the Leaky Cauldron. It was made out of butterscotch, sugar and water.
At the Hog's Head, customers were charged two sickles per Butterbeer (£0.60 approximately), but it was not certain whether this was a universal price for the drink, or if the price of the drink varied from location to location.
An extra sweet variant was brewed by Madam Rosmerta. At least some of the ingredients she uses include Sugar Shrub, Mallowsweet, and Moondew. It is unclear if these ingredients are required only for the 'Extra Sweet' version, or if these are standard ingredients in normal Butterbeer. Another variant of Butterbeer was named Butterbeer 1707, which was considered very rare and could be ordered for delivery.
- Dobby: "Winky is getting through six bottles a day now."
- Harry Potter: "Well, it's not strong, that stuff."
- Dobby: "Tis strong for a house-elf, sir."
- — Butterbeer's slight alcoholic content has a strong effect on house-elves[src]
Butterbeer may have had a very slight alcohol content, which could get house-elves in a drunk-like state, though an antidote to this existed. This is likely due to house-elves having both significantly smaller bodies as well as a slightly different body chemistry than humans, thus increasing their vulnerability to the effects of alcohol in any volume. It seemed to have a less pronounced effect on humans than smaller creatures such as house-elves, but humans could still fall "under the influence" of it.
In 1996, Harry Potter wondered what Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger might do at Professor Horace Slughorn's Christmas Party "under the influence of Butterbeer", which indicated that it could lower inhibitions, perhaps like alcohol. Winky, a house-elf, took to getting a drunk-like state off of Butterbeer after losing her job with the Crouch family — an addiction from which she never fully recovered.
In the 1985–1986 school year, the Three Broomsticks Inn created a very sweet version of Butterbeer, which was very well-received by drinkers. By the 1986–1987 school year, the Butterbeer 1707 was a variant of Butterbeer which could be ordered and purchased in the Three Broomsticks Inn. It was a very rare vintage beverage kept in a barrel in the back room of the Inn.
During the 1990–1991 school year, a wizard in Great Britain who wished to sell his own brand of Butterbeer sneaked into the cellars of several wizarding pubs to poison the Butterbeer supplies, which caused the affected drinkers to be admitted to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. He was later caught by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and taken into custody.
House-elves could get drunk off Butterbeer, as Winky often did. During Harry Potter's fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Winky was often found drunk within the kitchens after she was sacked by Barty Crouch Snr. For a house-elf, the drink was much stronger and Dobby would take her to the Room of Requirement to find an antidote there. It was considered shameful for an elf to consume such large quantities of Butterbeer.
Lupin was surprised that Harry had tasted Butterbeer when, as far as the professor knew, Harry had never been to Hogsmeade. This was untrue as Harry had been to Hogsmeade previously when he sneaked in and had tried Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks. This suggests that Butterbeer was not readily available in Hogwarts castle; Harry lied that Ron and Hermione brought some back from Hogsmeade for him.
Luna Lovegood often wore a necklace of Butterbeer corks throughout her time at Hogwarts, and many of the other students in attendance found it to be strange and would often laugh in regards to it.
Behind the scenes
- Michael Gambon, the actor who had portrayed Albus Dumbledore since the third film, once said that the first thing he would do when he got to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park was to order eight pints of Butterbeer. He stated: "...it is not alcoholic, and it is refreshing."
- Executive Chef of Universal Parks and Resorts, Steve Jayson commented that Butterbeer is "real comforting and nice and smooth going down".
- Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter could be served either cold with a taste similar to cream soda or frozen as a slush with a butterscotch-like foam on top. One may also purchase it either in a regular plastic cup or in a collectable mug. As of 12 December 2012, over five million glasses of Butterbeer were served at the park, an event that was commemorated by the park giving away free Butterbeers to one thousand guests that day. Butterbeer was also served at The Making of Harry Potter.
- "A tankard of Butterbeer" was one out of the thirty-two options generated by an old feature on Pottermore, "Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator", which was about things that could cast away the Blue Monday blues.
- The description was "a warming glass of Butterbeer is exactly what you need to thwart your winter blues".
- Butterbeer may be based on Buttered Beer, which was a real drink. The earliest reference to Buttered Beer was from, The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin published in London in 1588 A.D., made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter back in Tudor times. Another old recipe for Buttered Beer, published by Robert May in 1664 A.D., from his recipe book, The Accomplisht Cook called for liquorice root and aniseeds to be added. British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal recreated it for his Tudor Feast.
- Butterbeer remains a popular drink with Harry Potter fans. Several fan-created recipes can be found online. These recipes vary between being non-alcoholic for children and teetotallers and being highly alcoholic in their composition.
Real world interpretations
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sells bottled non-alcoholic Butterbeer.
- The Making of Harry Potter exhibition serves Butterbeer either in plastic cups, or in souvenir tankards. They also sell Butterbeer ice cream in cornets or in a souvenir cup.
- Reed's Inc produces Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer.
- The Starbucks secret menu boasts a "Butterbeer Frappuccino" which is a Creme Frappuccino with 3 pumps each of caramel and toffee nut syrup and caramel drizzle on top.
- In March of 2017, Yuengling's Ice Cream debuted a flavour inspired by Butterbeer. The ice cream is made from half buttercream ice cream, half butterscotch ice cream, and twisted with a butterscotch swirl.
- There are many alcoholic recipes available online, most include butterscotch sauce and rum.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Mentioned only) (PS1 version only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (GBC and console versions only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: Movie Magic
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
- Bon Appetit magazine interview
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 3 (Three Broomsticks)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 6 (The Letter from No One)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, however, Hermione Granger appears to act slightly tipsy after a visit to the Three Broomsticks Inn where she was shown drinking some; this can be seen just before the discovery of Katie Bell.
- 2004 World Book Day chat
- Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 7 (Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 24 (In the Thickey of It) - Assignment "Butterbeer Blight"
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32 (Out of the Fire)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 10 (Luna Lovegood)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 19 (Elf Tails)
- Chocolate Frog Cards
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) DVD 2nd-Disc Special Feature: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Sneak Peak
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter celebrates 5 millionth Butterbeer served at Orlando - snitchseeker.com
- Features: "Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator" at Pottermore (archived)
- "Introducing our 'Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator', which is ready and waiting to cast away those #BlueMonday blues. Click here to receive your very own piece of wizarding world happiness, and let us know what you got… pottermo.re/Happiness" - @pottermore on Twitter and Facebook
- Image by @MakyFarias on Twitter
- Butterbeer | Yuengling's Ice Cream Corp.