Durin! A call to Artists and Beer-Lovers alike.

Artists and lovers of Beer alike, time to pay attention!

As some of you might know, I’m from Belgium, a country known for its plethora of gourmet delights, among so many… our beers.

Ever since I started my blog “The Dwarrow Scholar” I’ve always wanted to try my hand at brewing my own ale, a real Dwarven Ale.

So, about a year ago I started to try just that.
After many months of failed attempts (or attempts that didn’t quite give me and my friends the result we hoped for), I contacted a local brewer.

I was overjoyed to hear they were more than willing to help out in our quest for a true dwarven ale and a month or so later they succeeded in brewing an ale that surpassed all expectations.



This is the description for the back label we came up with, which should give you a grand idea of our ale:


“Durin!” is a deep brown, creamy, richly flavored bitter ale sporting a woolly foam beard. A true cross between a bold Stout and a traditional Trappist. The deep burnt malt flavor and heavy alcohol aroma form a dwarven chorus with the coffee, liquor, fruit and caramel flavors. A very pleasurable long and bitter aftertaste complete this “deathless” of ales.


For those that are wondering “why this combination of flavors?” Well, for me it’s clear from The Hobbit that Dwarves have a sweet tooth for cakes and anything fruity (hence the caramel and fruity flavors). Making it heavy on the burnt malt and alcohol flavor is more of a link to the old Norse Dwarves where Tolkien got quite a bit of his inspiration.

“Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes . . . A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones . . . ‘And raspberry jam and apple-tart,’ said Bifur. ‘And mince-pies and cheese,’ said Bofur. ‘And pork-pie and salad,’ said Bombur. ‘And more cakes — and ale — and coffee, if you don’t mind,’ called the other dwarves through the door. ‘Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow!’ Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. ‘And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!’” An Unexpected Party, The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Durin! Bottled

Durin! Bottled

The time has now come to bottle our dwarven ale and put labels on these beauties.
Hence me coming to the artists among us to put their talents at work and come up with a great label.

Now some might be thinking, “what’s in it for me ?”.

Well, to be clear, “Durin!” wouldn’t be sold (it’s not something I will be making a profit on at all – quite the contrary in fact), but would be an exclusive sample product (handed out to friends and benefactors of this blog).

However, the artist coming up with the winning design will be getting the following:

a) A selection of Durin! (labeled with your design) sent to your home*
b) Your name (and link to your site if you have any) on the labels
c) A permanent promotional link to your site on the Dwarrow Scholar site

* I say “selection” here because I know it can be difficult to ship alcohol to specific countries, and some countries have limits of what can be sent. But you can be sure that I will aim to provide what I can and won’t be stingy.

Competition rules:
* Artists have until Friday 25th October to send me their designs (via email to kstrongbeard[AT]aol[DOT]com).
* Designs must be in .jpg format.
* Any design must have a front and back label.
* Front and back label must clearly mention the name of the ale, written as: “Durin!”
* Label sizes: must be no larger then 3.5″ (9cm) wide and 3″ (7,5cm) high
* Back label must contain above mentioned back label text, including “Brewed in Belgium in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien” , “non-profit sample product, not to be sold” and “10% alc vol – 33cl” text.
* Front label should contain your name (or artist name) and may have the name of your site mentioned.

Note: seeing that the prize of this competition contains alcohol this directly means that all artists entering this competition must in fact be of the legal age (in their country of residence) to drink beer.

Other then the above mentioned “rules” I don’t wish to constrain anyones creativity.
If you would have an interest in lending your talents to this project, I look forward to receiving you designs.

Any questions ? Feel free to contact kstrongbeard[AT]aol[DOT]com

The winner will be announced on Wednesday October 30th.
Have fun and Good luck!

About The Dwarrow Scholar

The Dwarrow Scholar first experienced the brilliance of Tolkien when he received a copy of The Hobbit from his uncle as a kid, reading it feverishly again and again. Some years on, when he got his very own walk-man (aye forget about tiny phones, this thing was a brick and played cassette tapes) he made his own little audiotape of The Hobbit, so he could listen to it on his bike on his way to school. Between reenacting the Battle of Five armies with 4 of his school friends (still feel sorry for the kid that had to be the Orc) and before the days of the internet, you would find Roy frequently in libraries trying to find all he could about Tolkien and his beloved dwarves. When Roy isn’t delving into Neo-Khuzdul or searching for lost dwarvish treasures on the net he’s enjoying time with his wife and son, re-reading his tormented Tolkien paperbacks, watching a good movie, learning new languages or playing a game of LoTRO or other dwarf related games.
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8 Responses to Durin! A call to Artists and Beer-Lovers alike.

  1. Some further questions and answers related to this for those that wish to enter the competition:

    Do the labels have to be rectangular, or can they be a different shape?

    Yes, the labels will be rectangular, though if the design is not it will be printed on a background, so it still fits the rectangular label. This is just a question of making it easier to label all the bottles.

    Any possibility you could post a photo of the bottled ale (just to get the color right)?

    I’ll be heading to the brewery again next week and will be taking pictures of the ale in glass and in bottle, so everyone has an idea. I’ll be posting those pictures on the blog for all. But I can tell you already that the glass of the bottle itself is brown as well (as is the bottle cap), so the ale inside looks almost black when in the bottle.


  2. theviking says:

    Dude! This ale sounds amazing. Stout and Trappist ales are my two favorite kinds of beer. I can only imagine that both together would be awesome!


  3. Wow, that sounds *really* good and *very* Dwarven like, nice combination – going to be a heavy, alcoholic brew, that’s for certain! Chimay is the easiest to get Trappist for me but it never occurred to me to try blending with a Stout…guess I know where I’m headed tonight!


  4. What a delicious prize!


  5. Damn. I am not an artist.

    But I still want to taste this brew! 🙂

    What do I have to do?


  6. Pingback: Durin! Bottled | The Dwarrow Scholar

  7. Pingback: Durin! And the winner is... | The Dwarrow Scholar

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