Alcohol was commonplace during the Renaissance. For one thing, the water quality was often not safe to drink. For another, alcohol was used to preserve food, used in recipes, and mixed with medicinal herbs. Even in the New World, it was discovered that Mesoamerican cultures excelled at fermentation with local produce. Most people drank beer or ale with every meal, but it’s important to remember that the alcohol content of these brews was decidedly less than our modern beverages.

It should come as no surprise then that most faires house pubs for the enjoyment of their patrons. I’m not a big drinker myself, but I do like a Woodchuck Cider at the end of a hot festival day. There are plenty of options here at the Ohio Renaissance Festival available for your enjoyment. But playtrons and rennies know of a few special “secret menu” selections you may never have tried!

5: Spider Cider, A.K.A Snake Bite

1 part Guinness + 1 part Woodchuck Cider

I don’t usually drink beer, but Guinness is an exception. I like the barley taste which gives it a smooth ‘chewy’ flavor. However, with the addition of a lil’ Woodchuck Cider we gain a crisp, light apple flavor that blends well with the Guinness. Bright on top and dark on the bottom, a Spider Cider is a refreshing drink with a nice treat.

4: Butterwood

Woohcuck Cider + 2 shots of Butterscotch Schnapps

My personal favorite off this list, the Butterwood is for people who like their alcohol just a little bit sweeter. It’s a frothy, rich beverage that makes you lick your lips to savor every last taste. If you like your drinks super sweet, upgrade this to the “Caramel Apple” with 1 part Woodchuck + 1 part mead + Butterscotch schnapps.

3: Goblin Tea

1 part Red Wine + 1 part Guinness

I didn’t get to try this at faire so I had to make it for myself at home. It ended up with a nice fruity flavor in the mix which put me in a ‘holiday’ mood. I suspect that, depending upon the wine of choice, it could quickly become a chocolaty brew which would be perfect for the upcoming fall season. I’ll have to give it a shot at faire and see how I like it with their preferred wines from Brother’s Drake.

2: Whiskey Slushie

1 shot Jameson’s Whiskey + 1 slushie of choice

You can’t beat walking down the lanes with a strawberry slushy during the hottest weekends of the year. Unless of course you add a secret shot of Jameson’s to it! You can grab the Jameson’s from the pub by the Muditorium and it’s only a short walk to the slushie stand near The Pirates Treasure booth. There are plenty of flavors to choose from and this is a great way to stay cool with a kick!

1: Queen’s Tea

1 part mead + 1 part Woodchuck Cide

This one is just yummy! By far the most popular combo at ORF, Queens Tea is sweet, sharp, and creamy without coming off too heavy. It’s a nicely balanced flavor of the rich honey mead from Valley Vineyards combined with the crisp bubbly texture of Woodchuck cider. It’s wonderful during the summer as a cold drink, but just wait till October! When the temperature in the morning dips down and everyone is wearing gloves, you can get it hot to stave off the chill! Either way, it is amazing!

People love to come up with interesting and fun things at ORF. Personally, I would like to try Jameson’s Whiskey in a Dole Whip and call it a Drunken Pineapple! As you enjoy the festivities and sample all the wonderful pubs at ORF, please remember to drink responsibly. Have a designated driver if you’re planning to have a few, or arrange for an Uber or Lyft to come get you. The Ohio Renaissance Festival wants everyone to have a good time and come back to us over and over again. The best way to do that is to take care of yourself and stay safe!


Alcohol During the Renaissance

Medieval English Ale