UPDATE 31st May: Please confirm your entry via message on tumblr (more info here)
Brewing ale has always been a passion of mine. Yet for many years it was only something that happened in books for me, and occasionally via some sort of home-brewing-kit, usually (and to my despair) with foul-tasting results. The dream I had of brewing a “dwarvish” ale seemed like it would never happen.
Luckily I live in Belgium, a country filled to the brim with sensational breweries and top-notch brewers. So, one day, while “sampling” ales with a few friends at a local pub, I met a one-of-a-kind brewer, who would not only teach me much more than any book on brewing ever had, but liked my idea of brewing a “dwarvish” ale.
When we discussed in great detail what this “dwarvish” ale would taste like we eventually came to a passage in The Hobbit which became our flavors list.
“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 more cakes — and ale — and coffee, if you don’t mind,’ called the other dwarves through the door.” – An Unexpected Party, The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
For us the above piece left little argument that the Dwarves had a sweet tooth for cakes and anything fruity. Hence we decided the ale should have just such flavors. While ensuring we also made it heavy on the burnt malt and alcohol flavors; which is a link to the old Norse Dwarves where Tolkien got quite a bit of his inspiration.
Ending up with a cross between a Stout and a Belgian Trappist… which we named Durin!
By now you are likely wondering, what about this “return” and “contest” you’ve mentioned in the title of this article. Well, seeing that Durin! is a non-profit exclusive sample product, never to be sold, I occasionally hand it out to select friends and benefactors.
The time has come to once again hand it out, this time in the form of a dwarvish literary contest via tumblr. If you wish to win yourself a selection* of Durin!, sent to your home, have a look at the below contest rules.
* 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 again aim to provide what I can and won’t be stingy.
- The written content must be an original short story, poem, haiku or similar art form, written in English and/or (Neo-)Khuzdul*, and is no longer than 500 words.
- The written content must be set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth and must be related to the topic of “ale” in some way.
- Content can only be entered by posting it on tumblr and tagging it with #Durin! (you can add as many other tags as you like too, as long as this one is in there).
- Pictures or drawings of any kind are not allowed, only text.
- Writers are allowed to post as many entries as they see fit.
- The contest starts NOW (april 25th 2016) and is open to all that have a tumblr account (takes two minutes and is very easily done if you don’t have one yet).
- Writers have until Tuesday 31st of May 2016 to post their content via tumblr.
- Once posted you may alter your posted text, yet content will be considered final on Tuesday 31st of May.
- All entries will be reviewed between 31st of May and June 5th.
- The winner of the contest will be revealed on Sunday June 5th 2016.
**You are free to write it entirely in English if you wish, or entirely in Neo-Khuzdul, or a mix of both (one line of Neo-Khuzdul is fine as well for instance). The Neo-Khuzdul version used must be that which can be found via this blog.
Note: seeing that the prize of this competition contains alcohol this directly means that all writers entering this competition must in fact be of the legal age (in their country of residence) to drink beer.
Other than the above mentioned “rules” I don’t wish to constrain anyone’s creativity.
I look forward to reading your stories, poems and the likes.
Any questions ? Feel free to ask via tumblr
Happy writing and good luck!