Inspiration Is Everywhere: Beer Factories and other modern approaches to food

Many D&D worlds are anachronistic in their approach to the world space. The inn has rooms with bunks for a single person. Clothing and bathing habits also mimic our current world. Reading is common.

Here’s the thing — the idea that these things are too modern for a “real” approach to world building is wrong. The ancient world through the Renaissance contained modern conveniences, and they didn’t have magic.

Beer Factories

No, your average inn or tavern will not have canned tall boys to crush when the adventurers visit. They most certainly would have lower carbonation beers that are mass produced, not just niche ales, lagers, meads, and such. Beer factories were present in ancient Egypt.

Archaeologists found eight huge units — each is 20 meters (about 65 feet) long and 2.5 meters (about 8 feet) wide. Each unit includes some 40 pottery basins in two rows, which had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, Waziri said.

That’s a lot of beer. In Curse of Strahd there’s the embrace of a rather large winery.

Embrace this. Have a popular beer, wine, liquor, etc within a region. Develop trade routes with it. Maybe your character tried it when their richer friend gifted them a bottle, jar, or cask. Maybe they carry a small vial of their favorite with them to remember home. Were they part of the merchant class that helped ship the goods from town to town?

There are plenty of ways to add mass produced beverages to your game. Embrace the additional ways that flavor can connect to your world.

Recipe Books

Related to beer is that recipe books go back to the dawn of writing. Your brewer or vintner could be producing a recipe from many towns over, not due to word of mouth, but because the recipe is known to the world.

The foods will be different than the modern era. Eel was a quite popular protein in England, for example.

Grab Heroes Feast for some modern foods inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, or just follow Dollop of History for pre-WWII foods going back to the early Middle Ages.

And, of course, the Redwall Feasts bot has foods that work for any indulgent culture.

Your world can and should include the senses of taste and smell. Street foods and walkups should exist. Develop a vibrant food culture not because it adds verisimilitude, but because it expands the stories you can tell with D&D.

2 thoughts on “Inspiration Is Everywhere: Beer Factories and other modern approaches to food

  1. Pingback: Lore Collage: Candlekeep Mysteries releases March 16 and more news you can use | Full Moon Storytelling

  2. Pingback: My next D&D character is… | Full Moon Storytelling

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