"Why don't we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?"
Hermione Granger inviting Harry Potter to the Three Broomsticks Inn[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.


"Enjoy a foaming mug of this popular wizarding beverage."

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 butter, 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.

Alcoholic Content

Butterbeer may have had a very slight alcohol content, which could get house-elves in a drunk-like state,[4] 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.[5][6] 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",[5] 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[4] — an addiction from which she never fully recovered.[7]

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 collectible 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.[9] 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 licorice 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 Frappucino" which is a Creme Frappucino 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