"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."[1] 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.



a mug of Butterbeer

Butterbeer was served cold in bottles and hot in "foaming tankards."[2] In Hogsmeade, it's sold at The Three Broomsticks[2] and The Hog's Head,[3] 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),[3] 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.[4]

Alcoholic Content

Butterbeer may have had a very slight alcohol content, which could get house-elves in a drunk-like state,[5] 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.[6][7] 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",[6] 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[5] — an addiction from which she never fully recovered.[8]


"Why don't we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?"
—Butterbeer is served at the Three Broomsticks Inn[src]
Butterbeer is served foaming hot in mugs and cold in a bottle[9] and bottle of Butterbeer in the Hog's Head costs 2 Sickles each.[10]

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 antidotes there.[11] It was considered shameful for an elf to consume such large quantities of Butterbeer.

Ron Hermione butterbeer

A group of Hogwarts students drinking Butterbeer

Lupin was surprised that Harry had tasted Butterbeer when, as far as the professor knew, Harry had never been to Hogsmeade.[12] This was untrue as Harry had been to Hogsmeade previously and has tried Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks. This suggests that butterbeer is not readily available in Hogwarts castle; Harry lied that Ron and Hermione brought some back from Hogsmeade for him. However, after Harry became a Hogwarts champion in the Triwizard Tournament and then again after he won the First Task, the Gryffindor common room was awash with the stuff.[13][14]

Butterbeer was served at the Yule Ball[15] and at Bill and Fleur's wedding.[16] It could be found at the refreshment table, with Refilling Charm placed upon it.

Luna Lovegood wore a necklace of Butterbeer corks. she often wore this necklace throughout her time at Hogwarts, most of the other students in attendance found this to be strange and would often laugh in regards to it.[17][18][19]

Dean and Seamus, planning an after-exam party, discuss how many "black-market Butterbeers" they'll need.[20]

The mascot of the Ballycastle Bats, Barny the Fruitbat, appears in Butterbeer advertisements with the slogan "Barny says: I'm just batty about Butterbeer!"[21]

Gwenog Jones enjoys "relaxing with friends, drinking butterbeer, and listening to The Weird Sisters".

Behind the scenes

ButterBeer logo

A sign advertising Butterbeer

  • 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.[23] Butterbeer was also served at The Making of Harry Potter.
  • 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.

Muggle Interpretations


  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sells bottled non-alcoholic butterbeer
  • 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


Notes and references

  1. Bon Appetit magazine interview
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  4. Hogwarts Mystery - Year 3
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. 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.
  8. 2004 World Book Day chat
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
  11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
  13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 10 (Luna Lovegood)
  18. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
  19. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 19 (Elf Tails)
  20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32 (Out of the Fire)
  21. Quidditch Through the Ages
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) DVD 2nd-Disc Special Feature: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Sneak Peak
  23. Wizarding World of Harry Potter celebrates 5 millionth Butterbeer served at Orlando -