Beer in Literature: A Guide

Posted by Sandra Woolf

Photo by radovan on Unsplash

Beer goes by many names: draft, libation, brewskie, and the list goes on. This beverage is so delicious that even fictional characters in literature can’t help but pour a cold one! Here’s our guide to the hoppiest and palest ales in books.


Treasure Island – Ale

It comes as no surprise that pirates love to drink. And when they have run out of rum, the next best choice is ale! In Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale Treasure Island, the nefarious crew is often seen drinking a quart of ale. When they’re not sinking ships and looking for buried treasure, that is. Being a buccaneer is thirsty work!


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Pilsner Lager

According to Haruki Murakami, “a cold beer at the end of the day is the best thing life has to offer.” We'd like to think he's drinking a Pilsner Lager. Pilsners can range in taste from bitter and earthy to slightly sweet. Move over sake, there’s a new beverage in town.


Ulysses – Irish Dry Stout

Enough with the light beers. Let’s go dark! James Joyce was especially a fan of dry stouts, referencing the popular Guinness in his literary classic Ulysses. He went so far as to call the creators of the beer “lords of the vat.” Stouts are often bitter, with hints of chocolate or coffee. Sláinte!


The Way of Kings – Mudbeer (Porter)

Technically, Mudbeer is not real beer—it was created by Bandon Sanderson for his fantasy series The Stormlight Archive. But for the sake of this list, we are labeling it as a Porter-style beer, since it's described as being dark and hoppy, similar to a Porter. Popular to drink during Roshar’s winter, Mudbeer is also used to quell disputes, with the loser being too drunk to argue.

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf lives in the PNW where she haunts bookshops and library sales. Freelancer by day, horror movie lover by night. Writing inquires can go to what lovely books at gmail or just to ask her how her hairy is so bouncy.