Originally, this was just a quick blurb I wrote for the Province:Cyrodiil Tumblr
board, inspired by another post about the Dunmeri beverages. When I posted it here, I switched it to 1st person to see how it might sound as dialogue entries or something. With regards to naming conventions, I stuck to these because it was meant to flesh out Oblivion's beverages and make them gel with Cyrodiil as a lore construct, instead of being generic tavern drinks. Also, Cyrodiilic brandy was already a thing in Morrowind so I felt that it was important to not get too far removed from those naming conventions.
Nibenese beer is based on Tsingtao, a Chinese beer that was originally owned by a German company. After it was privatized and made its way to Chinese ownership, they began using rice alongside barley in their brewing. I liked the interplay of East and West in that, but ended up modifying it to remove barley altogether as rice is the more important grain of the Nibenese east. It's also inspired by sake, which despite being referred to as rice wine, is more similar to beer in its brewing process.
Cyrodiilic brandy was pretty obvious, I liked the idea that the drink most commonly associated with the Empire aside from wine would be a cheap byproduct of the winemaking process, while the Imperials keep the good stuff for themselves. I went with cider brandy for Nibenay since all those apples had to come from somewhere, but we could really go with any fruit brandy. Damassine
might actually be a better fit for Nibenay (ooh, and Kirschwasser
Ditto for wine really, all I really did was try to tie it into what we know of Imperial culture.
As for ale, I knew it had to at least remain similar in concept to Nordic ale since the Colovians are wannabe-Nords, but when I was researching alternatives to hops for brewing (since there are no hop plants in Cyrodiil), I stumbled across an article about henbane beer
, which also mentioned mandrake beer. And wouldn't you know it, guess what plant the Colovian Highlands has in abundance?
The religious aspect of it a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Shonni-etta and Remanada, since mandrake beer is considered to be an aphrodisiac.
I considered including a blurb about mead as well since that also shows up in Oblivion, but I'd rather chalk that up to a Nordic import in-game, since Skyrim tied mead production pretty tightly to Nordic culture.