Beer has existed in most cultures from a very early age. It is an established fixture in most fantasy settings, but it rarely seems to be more than just a sideline. Just as there are master brewers in the real world, who take beer very seriously, wouldn’t there be similar people in a world of magic? And if so, where would they direct their efforts?
Conventions / Traditions
Firstly, it is considered improper to actually create beer from nothing through the use of magic. Though possible, such a brew lacks any subtleties, and is about as boring a drink as you could have, and is usually only consumed by those trying to get drunk cheap.
Second, it is VERY impolite to change through magic the beverage served to you, though this generally only applies when the drink is served by a Zythumancer. Such an action is considered an insult to his abilities. If a brew is so truly disgusting that it must be changed, it is possible to attempt to conceal the casting.
Finally, it is bad form to compare liquors brewed through traditional means and through magic. The magic ones will almost invariably be a less satisfying drink, and only in the cases of master brewers (or Dwarves) can a traditional drink come close.
There are a number of spells unique to the craft of brewing, and though a few of them have found application outside of the brewery most lose their use in field applications.
1. Oleander’s Overflowing Mug
A simple enough spell, it replicates the exact kind of alcohol that one already has a sample of. The largest quantity it can create per casting is usually around 3-4 liters, though less can be created if chosen. The spell gained its name from the little-known Zythumancer Oleander, who had a habit of overestimating how much his mug could hold. It didn’t help matters that he often ‘did people a kindness’ and refill their drinks for them, half of it generally cascading onto their lap.
2. Seal Stench
It’s commonly accepted that the smell of hops is generally pretty bad. People who live near a brewery often get rather put off by it, and it can make the entire neighborhood much less desirable to live in. In an attempt to placate neighbors everywhere, this spell was developed. When cast on a vat of liquid, it seals in the scent for a full day. A large brewery likely needs to have this cast several times, while the smaller ones can manage just fine on a single cast per day.
3. Adjust Flavor
Cast on a single container of liquid, this spell brings faint flavors to the front and can greatly reduce the presence of the less palatable ones. Each casting can only affect a certain flavor, so depending on the quality of the brew a good deal of ‘fine tuning’ may be required.
4. Reconstitute Brew
It’s unavoidable. If one opens a bottle or barrel of a particularly fine brew, it is almost guaranteed that some will spill, often at the least convenient time. If cast quickly, the spell can actually pull the liquid fully out of the material it landed on and back into the cup that originally held it. If the container broke, then it can be directed to another vessel, or if one is particularly deft of hand, into one’s mouth.
This spell has occasionally been used for darker purposes, for if anything dissolves into the drink it will be brought back to the container as well. some unscrupulous folks have thus laced their garment with poison and then ‘accidentally’ bump into their mark. After an apology (that takes just long enough for the poison to dissolve), they reconstitute the drink and calmly take their leave.
5. Conjure Vessel
Sometimes, one finds themselves without a proper beverage container. This simple spell conjures a mug, glass or stein in whatever fashion that the caster desires. The duration of this spell is in the hours, dependent on the caster’s power. More than a single container can be created, though in such a case the duration is divided evenly between them. The caster can choose to dispel the container if they choose.
6. Delay Hangover
Though hangovers can be cured through arcane means, the spell required is rather complex. As a stopgap measure, novice Zythumancers often turn to this simple spell. Though it doesn’t actually remove a hangover, it can delay it for a few hours, often long enough for the caster to clean themselves up and make a dignified exit from wherever they chanced to awake.
If there’s an ale-crazed Dwarf with a stack of adventuring money and a peculiar concept for a magic item involving liquor, you can bet that there will be a down-on-his-luck mage somewhere happy to craft it.
1. Evercold Mugs
Appearing to be a normal mug, there is actually a small chunk of elemental ice worked into the base. This keeps the drink inside at a nice cool temperature, regardless of the actual heat.
2. Bottomless Steins
These large clay mugs are crafted as a set, and linked to a large keg (often one Hogshead, or 250 liters). As long as there is liquid remaining in the keg, the linked steins will remain full. They will only empty when the keg itself has run dry. This is often used for parties, so as to avoid people constantly waiting for a refill. The one problem is that if one tips over an isn’t corrected, the entire contents of the keg will pour out, given enough time.
3. Elemental Boiler
An integral part of brewing is the boiling process. This is the part where the hops is actually added, and if done improperly some of the brew can actually caramelize where the flame meets the kettle.
It was for this purpose that the Elemental Boiler was created. A large vat perched above a bronze and copper lattice, it uses a bound fire elemental to carefully and evenly heat the kettle. The more powerful the bound elemental, the bigger vat it can heat, and the more can be produced per brewing.
That aside, it can be tricky in unconventional ways to operate the elemental boiler. If kept appeased, the elemental can keep the kettle at a precise temperature for an indefinite period of time. However, should the elemental become offended or otherwise displeased, it can boil the kettle dry in a very short period of time, leaving only baked on residue. It is for this reason that such kettles are usually only used by smaller breweries that can actually take the time to make the elemental feel appreciated.
4. Alcoholic’s Mug
Crafted by exasperated mages who were tired of trying to wake the hungover warrior the morning after returning from an adventure, this item has proved the salvation of parties and the bane of wild nights.
Appearing to be a normal mug, the grip actually flows over the imbiber’s hand upon the first swig. From then, it monitors how much alcohol they have in them, and when it hits the amount determined when it was created, it stops the user’s body from processing the alcohol. In effect, they will simply need to run to the outhouse every mug. Also, obviously, they can’t get drunk.
5. Party Wagon
Designed to be the ultimate in mobile inebriation devices, the ‘Party Wagon’ as it has since been labeled is a bit of a wonder. During it’s creation, a water elemental is summoned and, after a bit of negotiation, used in the actual brewing process. The end result is a beer elemental.
This creature is then bound into the wagon, and from there has a substantial number of abilities.
The wagon is about the size of a covered wagon, but the sides and roof are made from wood. It relies on horses to be moved. Activating it is as simple as opening it up, which is to say that one of the walls hinges out into a small awning. From there, the beer elemental can take over. It can produce ale at will, and as a byproduct of it’s creation it can use the spells Adjust Flavor and Reconstitute Brew at will. It generally serves as a bartender, and can actually carry out a conversation in a voice that sounds like liquid crashing into a container.
The owner can instruct the elemental to charge for the drinks, though beer elementals are prone to forget to charge if engrossed in an interesting conversation.
As a final note, should the Party Wagon be destroyed, the beer elemental will emerge, angry over the destruction of it’s home. If the wagon was destroyed with aggressive intent, the beer elemental will fight the attackers.
A beer elemental is roughly as powerful as a water elemental, though where a water elemental would have dominion over water a beer elemental has similar powers over alcohol. Fighting one can be a problem, because they can simply inebriate foes by forcing ale down their throats. Under such a deluge, even the stoutest Dwarf would be hard pressed to keep his balance.
Additional Ideas (5)
Passing with the hand above a liquid, the caster is able to sense its alcohol content. The estimate depends on the familiarity with the drink; this won't say much to the common drinker, but brewers can find it very useful. There is an unverified claim, that some poisons can be detected in this way.
In the school of pubcrawling spellcasters, there are many spells which are passed around on looseleafed notes (or found in the margins of many used spell books).
Cool: To cool one's drink, useful on a hots day.
Warm: To warm one's drink, useful on cold days or if you have a proper brew.
Froth: Flat beer is a bad beer
Find Tap: Creates a floating bubble from the beverage, that will lazily head towards its tap. A fun trick to see if you are being served the good stuff or the cheap stuff. Also if you keep some beer from an tied or common house, you can follow the bubble back to that house.
Fix Mug: Well if your mug is cracked or broken, precious amber liquid could be lost. A quick spell will replace all but the worst damage
Careful Beer: This cantrip prevents the accidental sloshing of precious liquid out of the cup. One has to literally desire to pour it out for it to spill. This is handy if you have clumsy friends.
Water to beer: Rather than a full spell, it allows you convert a mug of water, with a splash of beer added to it, into a full mug of beer. A great spell that teaches many magical fundementals and allows cash strapped apprentices to get a drink with their friends.
Second Mug: This cantrip seems to make a tiny bit of extra space in you mug. Cast the cantrip and have someone refill your mug. It will load up with one and a half times the volume of normal drink (sometimes up to two times the volume if cast well).
Rosey Glow: This allows one a glamour of being into your cups. You will feel that happy warm, sloshed feeling, after drinking one drink with rosey cups cast on it. The glamour will shatter if you are hit with a sobering truth, potential violence, or hit up the head really hard.
There are a few more in Cantrips
19) Sour - A trick to play on opponents and for barkeeps to play on lousy customers, this turns a beverage excessively bitter, almost to the point of being unpalatable. It can clear a room fast, when needed.
20) Heady - A form of the Froth spell, this converts a liquid beer to be entirely froth. The volume of liquid remains the same, so this tends to cause mugs to overflow with foam.
21) Booze - An alchemical spell, this can modify a beverage's alcoholic content. When done well, it is subtle enough that the drinker does not notice the difference in taste.
22) Liquefy Bread - Beer is often called "liquid bread," something a few zythumancers have taken to heart. An advanced spell, Liquefy Bread turns a loaf of bread into a mug of beer. The taste and quality of the beer matches that of the bread. Only a few zythumancers have mastered this spell, the rest making either very mushy bread or thick, bad-tasting beer.
Items 6 to 8
6) Doublesip Mugs - Used by spendthrift barkeeps, this mug appears full at 3/4 of its actual volume. This brings patrons buying more drinks at less cost for the bar. They're known as "doublesips" because beer served in them seems to disappear twice as fast.
7) Hyperbolic Barrel - Brewing is an art that takes time, and time is often scarce. A hyperbolic barrel is enchanted to accelerate the passage of time within, allowing for booze to be brewed faster without damaging the quality of the flavors.
8) Tele-tap - Going all the way back to a keg isn't always convenient. The Tele-tap has two parts: one is attached to a keg, the other is carried on the user. Pressing the handle of the carried portion will pour beer just as if one were right in front of the keg. If the interior of the tap isn't alchemicaly silvered, however, the beer will take on a metallic taste during teleportation.
Zerlen was a man known to handle little drinking, he'd buy a mug or two and go home singing. It was only after his death, that the effect of his favorite mug was discovered. Once filled from a certain source, it would continue to refill itself if the drinker so wanted. All this without the knowledge of the innkeeper, one could steal quite a bit before becoming suspicious. Zerlen would 'nurse his drink' and save a lot money, until one mean bartender decided to teach him a lesson. Giving him a dose of a mildly poisoned beer to give him the 'runs', Zerlen drank his full and died of the poison. The bartender was hanged and the thievish mug was lost. And that is the end of the story.
This thick glass is built similar to an Evercold Mug, with the bottom formed from elemental ice. Much care was taken so that the molten glass did not shatter or explode when connected, but the contact between hot and cold created a strange sharpened image to form, that of crisp, snow capped mountains. When alcohol is poured, not only is it cooled to a nice temperature for imbibing but when it hits that perfect degree, the mountains turn a soft blue and sometimes glow if the drink inside is of a magical nature, as if in response to Zythumancy.