IFAQ: Beer, Specials, and Soft Drinks in Eberron

May was a busy month, but I still had time to answer some important questions posed by my Patreon supporters. Such as…

Are there soft drinks in Khorvaire?

One source of soft drinks that’s been called out in canon sources are the Zil waterhouses. A waterhouse is a restaurant that serves only bread and water, but both are infused with flavor using prestidigitation. This flavoring can be subtle or exceptionally strong. It can mimic mundane flavors, but it can also create unique flavors that can’t be found in nature; I imagine “vazilla” as a unique Zil take on vanilla. The Waterhouse is an old Zil tradition, and part of the point of it is getting an artisanal experience, flavored fresh for you. However, in my campaign House Ghallanda has expanded this tradition; House arms like the Gold Dragon Inn sell a variety of beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, using flavors crafted by a long lasting form of culinary prestidigitation; this can also add carbonation to a beverage. So Black Dog Fizz is a popular cola-like beverage available at any Gold Dragon Inn… along with many other options.

Nightwood ale is popular across Khorvaire, but expensive beyond Karrnath. What are some other popular ales in the taverns of Khorvaire?

Nightwood Ale is widely recognized as the BEST beer in the Five Nations. But the CHEAPEST ale is Black Dog Brew, produced by House Ghallanda and sold in any licensed tavern. Anyone with a refined palate will sneer at you for drinking Black Dog, but it’s cheap, reliable, and universally available (and not to be confused with Black Dog Fizz!). Swordtooth Ale is Ghallanda’s higher quality beer. Dwarves will want to look for Londurak’s Bounty or Greenspire Stout, potent Mror mushroom brews that will wreck any species that’s not resistant to poison damage. Meanwhile, Jorlanna d’Cannith and House Jorasco are collaborating on Iron Bull, an innovative energy drink. Needless to say, there are dozens of other brands out there, but that’s something to get you started.

What are some of the regional specialty dishes that can be found at a Gold Dragon Inn?

I’m not a culinary expert or historian. I can make up some completely random things — and I will — but it’s not going to meet my usual standard of worldbuilding, because I don’t have time to study historical cuisines and figure out something that would actually feel realistic. Notably, I’d expect climate and local crops to play a role; if I was taking this seriously, I’d want to research the correlation of those things in our world and consider the impact of manifest zones or magic to create a realistic menu. I have discussed my opinion of general styles of national cuisine in this article on potatoes, so here’s a few ideas for things you could find at the Gold Dragon Inn…

  • AUNDAIR: Fey Cakes. Ostensibly, enormous cakes for a sprite; in practice, tiny cupcakes with overly elaborate frostings and toppings. Usually delicate, light cake with a sparkling texture achieved using prestidigitation.
  • BRELAND: Boranel Potato— Typically called a “Borry Spud”, this is a fully loaded baked potato.
  • CYRE: Cyrans love the King’s Meal, a collection of small plates reflecting the traditions of many other nations; this is a sort of diverse dim sum or tapas.
  • KARRNATH: During the various famines that afflicted Karrnath, the most reliable food sources were plants that grew in Mabaran manifest zones. These generally have a very bitter taste but are highly nourishing… in part because they suck the lifeforce out of other things and concentrate it. Bitter biscuits are a form of hard tack made using Mabaran manifest dusk flour; soldier’s spread is a Marmite-like paste. Most people find these products revolting, but they are mainstays in the Karrnathi military and were important staples for commoners during the war; a taste for soldier’s spread is the sign of a true Karrn.
  • THRANE: Thranes LOVE baked beans.

Now, as I said, I’m not an expert, but I CAN make up completely random things. So without further ado, here’s a table of things you could find as daily specials at the Gold Dragon Inn…



I’ve answered many more questions on my Patreon and the associated Discord server. This month I’ll be doing another live Q&A and the next session of my Eberron campaign… along with a preview from Frontiers of Eberron! So check it out if you’re interesting in any of those things. Otherwise, let me know what soft drinks are available in YOUR Eberron in the comments!

19 thoughts on “IFAQ: Beer, Specials, and Soft Drinks in Eberron

  1. Brilliant article. I’ve had this immediate impression that Iron Bull is a fusion of Irn Bru and Red Bull, which I’m sure would be an acquired taste.

    • In my qbarra campaign I’ve introduced ‘ruby-knives’, a drink brewed from ruby-red fruit native to the region. The name comes from the extreme bitterness and sensation that has been described as ‘like a hundred little knives poking your mouth when drunk. Its basically coffee on steroids with a bitterness to match, but has gained popularity in particular amongst the local mining crews who use it to stay awake and alert on long shifts mining dragonshards.

  2. Suggestion for Jorasco beverage names:
    Alcoholic – Blinky Brew, or Ol’ Blinky.
    Soft drink – Blinky Bubbles.
    Since their symbol is the Blink Dog.

    ‘Black Dog’ has somewhat sinister connotations. I probably would not use that name for the drink in my Eberron. It’s the name for the poison-associated Mark of Healing prestige class from 3.5, and a euphemism for depression in some places of the real world.

    Some examples of Gold Dragon ‘Five Nations’ cuisine are found in the ‘Backdrop: Graywall’ article in Dragon 368: For Karrnath – Nightwood stew, for Thrane – flame-grilled tribex. (Good article by Keith – really got me interested in Droaam).

    • Black dog is Ghallanda, not Jorasco. They are an ectermist Ghallanda faction. House Jorasco crest is a Griffin not a Blinking Dog that is Ghallanda.

      • Quite right! I just came back to correct it. That’s what I get for nit-picking!
        *Mark of Hospitality

        • I’d also say that the public not having a general association of black dogs with the secret assassins of hospitality you might just see the association of “dark drink” with “dog who arrives when needed” for Black Dog a lot more readily

          • That’s correct. Per Dragonmarked, “House Ghallanda does what it can to suppress knowledge of the black dogs, and few people know of them“—it’s not an in-world association with the term. It’s mainly derived from the house licensing seal, which is a black stamp; some versions do show the dog in two pieces to indicate blinking, but the smaller seal just looks like a dog.

  3. Hello everybody 🙂

    I had some interesting experiences while writing my DMsGuild bestseller “Ghallanda Menu”, if someome should be interested in them just drop a line below 🙂

    Many Thanks as usual to Mr. Baker for Eberron and for his intriguing articles 🙂

  4. What would you have Eldeen Reaches cuisine be? Ive done a lot of roast veggies but I’d love to hear more suggestions.

  5. Mmm, Spicy Bulette Loaf.

    Honestly love this article. If there are two things my players remember from our Towering Tales campaign, one of them would be how many frickin’ cults there were; the other is the food descriptions. It’s a fun bit of worldbuilding, and super appreciated because of how much food and drink actually means to the human experience.

  6. So, uh, what is the reason why Thranes love baked beans? I get all the other ones. Is it because legumes are an efficient crop?

    • Exactly. In my Eberron, Thranes are practical and somewhat austere. They don’t devote a lot of time to food—why spend hours preparing a meal when you could be working the field or training with the bow—and so they like simple, high-protein foods. I suggested baked beans as something simple to prepare, high in protein, that still has some flavor.

    • Worth noting that in the real world baked beans have been associated with religious communities because they have a very long inactive cook time (heat the earthen oven, throw it in, let it sit in already made heat). This allowed for Sunday’s cooking to be done entirely on Saturday while still having a hot meal on Sunday.

  7. When it comes to alcohol, the big one people always forget is hard cider. Before the days of refrigeration and storing fruit in carbon dioxide chambers, most apple(etc.) crop was converted into alcohol because that stayed good for months rather than a few weeks, could have its potency increased by jacking (lowering the water content by letting it freeze) and was a stable source of Vitamin C. This made it one of the cheaper alcohols until preservation let the fruit be eaten as fruit, forcing cider into a niche product.

    As for the more magical nature of Eberron, here’s an idea: Black Cat is a cheap light beer that in addition to low (but extant) alcohol content also glows slightly (near impossible to notice outside of a dark room). Serious drinkers assert its taste makes it better used as a candle than consumed, but its low cost makes it popular with casual/social drinking. The undisclosed “secret ingredient” is that Black Cat isn’t brewed at all, and literally is cat piss (from a type of magebred cat), hence why it costs so little.

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