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  #21  
Old June 6th, 2006, 12:28 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I can see why some people wouldn't like it being mentioned in the books. But I don't think it's going to influence anybody's ideas about drinking because it's not like we ever saw Harry or anyone else drunk. (Aside from Hagrid, but he's an adult so that doesn't really count.)

Besides, there is so much drinking in the real world. No kids are really going to pay attention to one minor detail in a book.


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  #22  
Old June 9th, 2006, 6:50 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking
There is a strange thing about butterbeer. The discussion with the house-elfs in GoF seems to indicate that butterbeer is either non-alcoholic or very low alcoholic, as the kids find is strange that Winky get drunk.
You know, now that I think about it, maybe Butterbeer has a different effect on Houseelves then it does to Wizards/Muggles. A friend of mine searched the recipe to Butterbeer, (Yes, there is actually a recipe that teaches you how to make the infamous drink) and from what she told me, there was no content of alchohol whatsoever in the drink itself. She still has yet to send me the link to the recipe but when I get it, I shall post it up for the rest of you.

...from what I hear, it's quite fattening....


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  #23  
Old June 9th, 2006, 6:55 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxCUpid
You know, now that I think about it, maybe Butterbeer has a different effect on Houseelves then it does to Wizards/Muggles. A friend of mine searched the recipe to Butterbeer, (Yes, there is actually a recipe that teaches you how to make the infamous drink) and from what she told me, there was no content of alchohol whatsoever in the drink itself. She still has yet to send me the link to the recipe but when I get it, I shall post it up for the rest of you.

...from what I hear, it's quite fattening....
Here's one recipe for Butterbeer that I found on the internet: http://www.mugglenet.com/misc/rosmer...tterbeer.shtml. Alcohol - no. Fattening - yes.


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  #24  
Old June 9th, 2006, 7:21 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

i never had a problem with the alcohol. it is usually in the presence of adults. teenages should see that small amounts of alcohol are okay. i've found that the people who i know that were allowed to drink at home with their parents didn't feel the need to go out and get hopelessly drunk every weekend.

drinking seems to becoming a centre point (wrongly or righty) in british society. mainly because the goverment decieded that lettin the pubs open 24 hours was a good idea.....


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  #25  
Old June 9th, 2006, 7:27 pm
Proud_Slytherin Proud_Slytherin is offline
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Oh yeah! Butterbeer is NOT a "soft" drink.

But I dont think it is a big deal. Let me explain you why.

Alcohol and minors in North America (talking about Canada and the US) is not well seen. It is not allowed by the culture and therefore by the law.

But other countries are completely different. In France, drinking WINE (not beer or any other kind of liquor, but WINE) it is very accepted. And I have seen this first hand. Parents give sips of wine to their kids and there are several studies that have proven that wine actually benefits your body even if you are a kid (of course, in small amounts, no I-am-an-alcoholic level)

In all Europe is very common to see minors drinking. Many many universities have bars INSIDE their campuses. And the legal age is 18 not 21 as in the US and Canada.
I grew up in Mexico and even there it is accepted. My parents used to say that as long as I was with them while I was drinking alcohol it was fine (because they could put an eye on me and make sure I wasnt getting drunk). And it was the same way with all my friends and cousins.

It is a cultural thing. Yes, it is not "normal" to your standars but it doesnt mean it is incorrect. I am pretty sure that readers in Europe are reading this thread with a "So-what?" face because it is not uncommon for them.

Besides, here is the point where parents have to talk to their kids. If it is not well seen by the culture and people, explain them why.

It is one of the many effects of the globalization. You get exposed to other cultures and their habits and traditions. Yes, they might look odd and even illegal but it just the way they are.


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  #26  
Old June 9th, 2006, 8:43 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

So here's a sorta OT question....I was in England a couple summers ago taking university classes, and we were told (I believe) that minors were not allowed in pubs, even if they didn't order alcohol. Is that true/still true? Or did I hear that wrong...That being said, it doesn't seem to be an issue in the wizarding world...

I recall Ron saying something in the Hog's Head about it looking shady enough that the bartender would be willing to give them firewhiskey, which makes me think that there are only age limits (for purchasing alcohol) for hard liquor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proud_Slytherin
In all Europe is very common to see minors drinking. Many many universities have bars INSIDE their campuses.
^^haha, the one I stayed in had one in the cellar.


  #27  
Old June 9th, 2006, 9:44 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Well, I mean, minors can't go to bars. That i know it is still the same way.
Minors cannot buy alcohol either.

But at least, within the family, minors can drink.


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  #28  
Old June 9th, 2006, 10:16 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Do the books ever say that butterbeer is alchoholic? I mean, sure, it's butterbeer, but I used to think of it as an alchohol-substitute...like root beer, for example.


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  #29  
Old June 9th, 2006, 10:21 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxCUpid
You know, now that I think about it, maybe Butterbeer has a different effect on Houseelves then it does to Wizards/Muggles. A friend of mine searched the recipe to Butterbeer, (Yes, there is actually a recipe that teaches you how to make the infamous drink) and from what she told me, there was no content of alchohol whatsoever in the drink itself. She still has yet to send me the link to the recipe but when I get it, I shall post it up for the rest of you.
Yes, but that would be someone making a recipe so that HP fans could make their own butterbeer for parties, etc. if desired (unless I am very much mistaken and there is drink called butterbeer that is not HP related). Since a great number of the fans would be minors, it doesn't surprise me that the recipe wouldn't include alcohol (although I'm sure adults could figure out a way to add some if they so choose).
I think that the only reason that butterbeer effects people differently than house elves is their size. House elves, being smaller than most people, would naturally be effected by the low level of alcohol in butterbeer in a way that Harry and his friends would not.

I honestly hadn't taken much notice of the alcohol in the books. I know that its there, but I never have any negative feelings about them meeting in pubs or having the occasional sip of alcohol.


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  #30  
Old June 9th, 2006, 10:30 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxCUpid
You know, now that I think about it, maybe Butterbeer has a different effect on Houseelves then it does to Wizards/Muggles.
I could be wrong about this, but doesn't it take more alchohol to get an adult drunk than a small child? And isn't this because of the child's size? In which case, it would take much more butterbeer to get a house-elf drunk than a wizard. We haven't seen a wizard be drunk from butterbeer, have we? So I don't think there's much harm in some 13 year-olds having a slightly alchoholic drink, which is legal.


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  #31  
Old June 9th, 2006, 10:42 pm
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

i dont really mind the alcohol at all, people should be more interested in the characters than what they are drinking and i really hope owlpostgirl is being sarcastic
Quote:
owlpostgirl: Woah, Butterbeer has alcohol in it!

I used to think it did, but changed my mind when Lupin offered Harry butterbeer in PoA after a dementor lesson.

My innocence is shattered.
-Billy


  #32  
Old June 10th, 2006, 1:18 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

It doens't bother me. I can't even drink yet in the US and I started reading the books when I was 13 as well. I still have never had alcohol. People will always drink underage and I don't think Harry Potter has any influence on that. From my experience, the people who drink that young are not the ones who read Harry Potter in the first place.


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  #33  
Old June 10th, 2006, 1:51 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I don't really have a problem with alcohol in HP. As other posters have said, JK portrays it fairly as something which is neither good nor bad, but which can be abused. Also, Hermione's stance on the matter (in PoA with Hagrid and OotP in the Hogshead) can be made example of by concerned parents if they feel it necessary.


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Last edited by Picko; June 10th, 2006 at 2:51 am.
  #34  
Old June 10th, 2006, 1:57 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Thread Warning:

Please keep in mind that this thread has very specific rules which must be followed. In particular, Rule 4.
Thread Rules
4. This is NOT the place to discuss your personal drinking experience. You may discuss alcohol as portrayed in the series only and not how funny it would be if they all got drunk.


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  #35  
Old June 10th, 2006, 2:27 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

When first reading these books I thought butterbeer was devoid of alcohol, but then when I read of winky being a drunk I supposed it had a small amount. Those who have been saying a small amount will effect a house elf differently are probobly correct considering the size of the house elf is less than half your average teen or human being period. We must also remember that not until third year do students visit Hogsmeade (whose name has meade in it itself) so smaller first and second years who may be more affected by such drinks do not have access to them.

Personally I never saw a problem with the alcohol in the book, or pondered it for long until I saw this thread. It seems realistic, unglamorous, culture based. Accusing Harry Potter books of encouraging drinking is probobly up there with all the other ludicrous things it has been accused of. I am too lazy to make an off topic list no one will read.


  #36  
Old June 10th, 2006, 2:38 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
The Half Blood Prince Bloomsbury ed. p 265
"Harry supposed he would just have to wait to see what happened under the influence of Butterbeer in Slughorn's dimly lit room on the night of the party...."
This says to me that Butterbeer does have some alcohol in it, but I agree with those who say it wouldn't be much, perhaps only as much as a shandy or even less.

I tend to agree with those who have pointed out that alcohol is viewed differently in different cultures. I grew up in Australia which seems fall somewhere between the more relaxed general attitude in Europe and the UK and the more prohibitive attitude in the US.

Many Australians have European ancestry and in the households of my friends who are Italian or French there was often a small glass of wine with the evening meal for the children once they were about 15 but this isn't really the norm.

In some households I have noticed that fathers will have a beer or two with their under age sons, usually if they are no longer at school-- for example if they are in trade together, plumbing or building etc they will include their sons if they have a beer after work on a Friday night.

The legal age to buy alcohol is 18 and it is enforced. Pubs or "bottle shops" (they are called off-licences in the UK, not sure if they have them in the US) are fined if they sell alcohol to people under 18 and any one that buys alcohol for children under 18 are also breaking the law.

All universities in Australia have bars, in fact the "uni bar" is a bit of an institution and will often have bands playing there and will promote stuff such as Oktoberfest or happy hours.

Drinking is very much part of the Aussie culture, particularly at sporting matches or any function such as a wedding or party. There is a "friday night drinks" tradition in which either at the office or a nearby bar or pub the workers have a few drinks to end the week.

Children are allowed in the "bistro" section of pubs which is where they serve food, it is usual for families to go to pub bistros for an informal meal even with very young children. Alcohol is served in this area but I don't think that parents would openly flaunt giving their minors alcohol in these circumstances. Unattended minors are not allowed to eat in these areas. Minors were allowed to accompany adults to pubs when I was a child (the 1970s) but the laws changed in the last 10 years.

I think a responsible attitude to alcohol is displayed in the books-- adults who get drunk are shown as being out of control or weak willed at the time, and JKR showed a negative response from Ron's friends when he thought about drinking fire whisky. I don't think that leaving alcohol out of the stories would create a very realistic world. In most cultures alcohol plays a part and the minors reading the books, particularly in the UK and Europe would have grown up with adults drinking in their presence. Even if their own parents don't drink regularly they would have been around it at weddings and wakes or out at restaurants.

I respect the fact that in many countries with a majority of Islamic people alcohol is illegal and I am not suggesting that having it as part of the culture is a better way to live, just that in JKR's experience it is part of life and most writers write somewhat from experience.



Last edited by raen; June 10th, 2006 at 2:41 am.
  #37  
Old June 10th, 2006, 2:49 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

I never really gave it any thought. I just figured that was the norm in England. I guess I am of the thought that teenagers know right from wrong and they make the choices they do not because of something they read in a book or see on tv or in a movie but because of who they are as a person. Some teens drink alcohol because they want to know what it's like and others don't because they don't want to put themselves on that path.


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  #38  
Old June 10th, 2006, 2:55 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Although some people may be bothered by the apparent abundance of alcoholic beverages in HP stories, and the free access to certain types of alcoholic drinks by minors, I personally have no problem with JKR's treatment of this topic.

Butterbeer, although containing alcohol, cannot be considered a serious alcoholic drink in the same way as real beer or wine. It should probably be considered in the same class as modern ginger beer, which contain negliable amounts of alcohol (althoug traditional brew of ginger beer had high alcoholic content, most modern brews have very little or no alcholoic content). As far as I am aware, ginger beer is usually unregulated. If my analogy of butter beer and ginger beer is an accurate one, then there is little reason why butter beer should be treated as a regulated alcoholic drink.

JKR's approach to alcohol consumption emphasises responsible drinking, not revelry or riot behaviour. Harry and his friends drink butterbeer, but only in moderate amounts. Ron's desire to try Firewhiskey - presumably a drink with very high alcoholic content - is curbed by Hermione's rebuke, which involved a sharp reminder about responsibilities. We never see any scene where minors exhibit drunken behaviour.

Another thing that influences my view on this matter is that Britain, as well as some other countries, have a culture of social drinking. In some countries, drinking during meals is a part of traditional family practice. Although laws have been introduced to prevent irresponsible access and consumption of alcohol, I think that mere interaction with alcohol by minors, per se, is harmless.


  #39  
Old June 10th, 2006, 3:51 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Well I'm seventeen and haven't gotten drunk yet or feel the need for it. I've read Harry Potter many times (over ten times for each book).

All drinking in HBP is moderate. They are not going out and saying "hey, let's go get wasted." So I think it's ok.

The only think possible that HP would do is expose kids to alcohol (if they haven't been exposed to it already). It doesn't say to go out and drink. And let's face it... if some one does go out after reading Harry Potter, they would probably have started any way since they are most likely weak minded.

Every thing depends on the individual. It is up to the parents, not JK Rowling, to ensure that children are not drinking and give them the moral direction to make sure they know drinking is wrong and will not be accepted.


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  #40  
Old June 10th, 2006, 4:53 am
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Re: Alcohol in the Harry Potter Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss_Mischief
i dont really mind the alcohol at all, people should be more interested in the characters than what they are drinking and i really hope owlpostgirl is being sarcastic

-Billy
haha, yes I was.

Though I really figured butterbeer was non-alcoholic after Lupin gave it to Harry lol.


 
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