Brewfest celebrations are well underway! For those of you who may be new to the latest Alagaesia holiday, let us catch you up: we tasked our readers with helping us invent a new holiday set within the world of Alagaesia. The holiday is loosely based around the October “Oktoberfest” celebrations across the world, where revelers come together to celebrate, usually drinking beer, eating brats, and more:
Brewfest originated as two separate holidays meant to celebrate the fall season and the year’s harvest. The elves first began to celebrate the changing of the trees as fall began to take hold, venturing into the forests to celebrate the life within. Tea is their brew of choice, as many elves work to concoct new beverages, bring back prior years’ favorites, and challenge each other in friendly games and competitions. The dwarves – well, their holiday is a bit more rowdy, loud, and entertaining. Alcohol starts and ends the day, as do games and good food. Merriment can be found echoing throughout the Beor Mountains and Tronjheim.
Over the years, the humans began to pull from and combine the two races’ traditions to form their own Brewfest celebrations. Dragon Riders would travel long and far to celebrate, and their dragons always joined in on the festivities.
Today’s post explores some food and drink enjoyed during the celebration and various games played by the revelers across Alagaesia! Let us know what you think of today’s content, and be sure to share your own short stories, lore, and ideas based around the holiday for a chance to be included in our next post! (The next post will focus on lore and stories, so be sure to submit your content before the weekend! You can submit your content in the comments or by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Food and Drink
Today we have two recipes – Horst’s famed Sweet Apple Cider and a very unique dwarven delicacy: Black Jelly. Both are coveted in their respective corner of Alagaesia, and as the residents of Carvahall became more exposed to the outside world after the fall of Galbatorix, Horst’s Sweet Apple Cider is in hot demand.
Horst’s Sweet Apple Cider – Thanks to Talita Paolini for the story and drink!
Every year, Horst’s sons, Albriech and Baldor, would pick the small, rusty-red apples from a small orchard on the outskirts of town. They then pressed them to make juice, which they gave to their mother, Elain, who boiled it with spices and herbs to make the family’s traditional autumn beverage. The villagers of Carvahall looked forward to drinking her excellent cider, which she shared with all, at their annual Brewfest.
Black Jelly – Community shoutout to Mr. TwelvePips for this idea and story!
Black Jelly is a delicacy among the dwarves. The cavefish that live deep in the bowels of the Beor Mountains are fished out from the springs, smoked and dried, then mashed into a paste, excreting a type of yeast that would make the greatest of brews boil in jealousy. The paste is fermented in a cool cellar for a time, ranging from a few months to centuries, depending on how strong a flavor they prefer — and, by Gûntera, do they like it strong! The paste, black as ink, has the consistency of thick butter and the taste of pure salt. The dwarves spread it on thick bread, stuff it in pastries, or eat it on its own. Not for the weak of stomach. Oddly enough, it is loved by Urgals, when they can get their hands on it.
Games are a core part of the Brewfest celebrations, with new ones being added each year and the old, “historic” games spreading throughout the entirety of Alagaesia. While many of the games have evolved in the decades since they were first enjoyed by early Brewfest celebrators, the spirit of each game has remained intact.
Elven Brewfest Treeshaping – Community shoutout to Dee O’Bray for this suggestion!
During the time of Brewfest, trees are undergoing their yearly autumn changes. Leaves turn vibrant warm colors that paint forests in reds, oranges and yellows, before falling away to the earth to be recycled. The elves in particular enjoy this time of change, and use their magical voices to “sing” trees into wondrous shapes to help celebrate the joyous Brewfest occasion. Unique colors and formations such as dragons, animals and runes are some of the possible plant alterations.
Urgal/Kull Arm Wrestling – Community shoutout to Joe Sealey for thinking of the Urgals!
One had better keep a safe distance when watching this game, as it can get quite rowdy! Urgals love to display feats of strength, and this year’s first annual Brewfest is a great place to do that in front of a crowd. In Urgal Arm Wrestling, two foes will face off for an excellent prize. The two competitors will each sit facing each other with a huge keg of ale between them, placing their arms atop the keg and with one trying to pin the other’s arm down for victory! The lucky winner will of course receive the great keg of ale as their prize and often will share the spoils with their opponent. There are separate matches for Kull.
“A barrel full of arrows” Archery Competition – Community shoutout to “Orik” for suggesting an Archery Competition!
A fun contest involving all races of Alagaësia, this archery competition is fashioned specially for Brewfest. At the various Brewfest gatherings, each party table selects one member to be the archer for their “team”. The archers will then line up opposite of a row of kegs (one for each shooter). The fronts of these kegs are covered in sheets of paper painted with a circle made up of six large dots. Behind one of these dots is the tap hole for the respective keg, which has been corked. Each keg has had its tap hole drilled behind a random target dot, so the goal for each Archer is to shoot quickly and accurately in order to find the tap and open it via the arrow! Once that archer’s tap has been opened the remaining members of their team must hurry to fill their tankards with the ale from the keg and return to their seats and drink up. The first team to “empty” their keg wins! Note: The kegs may contain any of the other favored Brewfest drinks besides ale.
The Brewfest Cup – Community shoutout to Jessica Crack for suggesting a sporting event like lacrosse!
In the afternoon before a night of festivities, sporting fans like to gather for the Brewfest Cup! Held on a wide grassy open field, this event is a chance for the races of Alagaësia to come together as teams to compete for the Golden Tankard prize. Throughout the year leading up to Brewfest, citizens form up teams with one another and practice their games and tactics to give them a chance at winning the Cup. The game involved is similar to a combination of lacrosse, field hockey, football (all types) and perhaps even Quidditch! The teams will use various pieces of equipment, as well as their hands and feet to try and score a ball into the other team’s goal. After a set period of time, the team with the highest score wins! Teams will play each other in a single elimination tournament to determine the champion. Fans are encouraged to wear scarves, cloaks, flags and shirts matching their favorite team’s colors! The champions of the Brewfest Cup will receive the Golden Tankard trophy which will be awarded during the Brewfest feast later in the evening.