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Does Butterbeer Have Alcohol? (Books vs Movies vs Universal)

You may have heard of Butterbeer from the Harry Potter books or movies. Butterbeer is a fictional drink whose name suggests that it contains beer or some other sort of alcohol. 

Alcohol is not suitable for teens, but it’s the number one drug used by teens.

So you might be wondering: “Does Butterbeer have alcohol?” 

This article explains everything about Butterbeer, from what it is, to how it is made. Want to learn more? Read on.

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Does Butterbeer Have Alcohol?

There is no alcohol in Butterbeer. In the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios), Butterbeer does NOT contain alcohol. It is a sugar-packed, soda drink suitable for children. The Butterbeer in the Harry Potter books contains a little alcohol that can make house-elves feel drunk. 

The famous Butterbeer is known to give people a slight buzz in the books. While it could get house-elves tipsy, it seemed not to have any significant effects on humans. In the books, Butterbeer was described as something that tasted like butterscotch but was less sickly and was a popular beverage used for wizardry.

You can now get different types of Butterbeer at Universal Studios. At Universal Studios Orlando, butterbeer is a soft drink with foam toppings and a creamy butterscotch taste that fans love. The homemade version of Butterbeer and the version in the universal theme park do not contain any alcohol because it is sold to minors. Although, it does have high levels of sugar and can make kids feel sugar high if they take a couple of glasses. 

Is Butterbeer Real Beer?

There is a real drink in history called buttered beer made from spiced beer, eggnog, and of course, butter. You can find a Tudor butterbeer recipe here.

J.K. Rowling created a popular wizarding beverage in the Harry Potter books called Butterbeer and described it as having a butterscotch flavor and is not made with beer.

You can get hot and cold Butterbeer drinks at Univeral theme parks, which do not contain alcohol but do contain plenty of sugar. These drinks are labeled non-alcoholic and can be served to minors as it does not contain beer.

Find out more about non-alcoholic beer: Can You Buy Non Alcoholic Beer Under 21?

Is Butterbeer Alcoholic?

Butterbeer served by Universal is non-alcoholic and can be served to minors. It does have plenty of sugar because the popular drink is aimed at children. However, that may not accurately reflect the Butterbeer seen in the books and movies since that is known to get the house elves drunk.

Is Butterbeer alcoholic in the movies?

There are three scenes that indicate strong evidence that Butterbeer is slightly alcoholic in the movies.

Firstly, during Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Winky the house-elf gets drunk by drowning her sorrows with Butterbeer after being let go by the Crouch family.

However, it probably does not contain a high percentage of alcohol and only makes elves drunk as they are much smaller than humans.

Dobby: “Winky is getting through six bottles a day now.”

Harry Potter: “Well, it’s not strong, that stuff.”

Dobby: “Tis strong for a house-elf, sir.”

But humans could still fall under the effect of it, which we witness when Hermione seems slightly tipsy after downing a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks.

Lastly, Harry Potter wonders what Ron and Hermione might have gotten up to “under the influence of Butterbeer” at the Christmas party. 

Is Butterbeer alcoholic in the books?

Butterbeer, the fictional drink in the Harry Potter books, does contain some alcohol. For example, Winky, a house-elf, became an alcoholic in the Goblet of fire after drinking Butterbeer because she lost her job with the Crouch family. However, it most likely has a very low alcohol content as Harry and his friends do drink Butterbeer but don’t seem affected by it.

Is Butterbeer alcoholic at Universal?

Butterbeer is free of alcohol at Universal. The tasty drink is made in two versions, the regular Butterbeer and the frozen version of Butterbeer. Every Butterbeer labeled drink at Universal is non-alcoholic. It is a sweet cream soda soft drink with a foam top and has a creamy butterscotch taste that fans love.

What Is Butterbeer?

Butterbeer is a popular fictional beverage that all Harry Potter fans know. It is a wizarding drink with a taste that has been described as “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” In the Harry Potter books, characters drink Butterbeer when they visit the “How’s Head Pub” and “The Three Broomsticks.”

What is Butterbeer made of?

Butterbeer is made of readily available ingredients, so you can easily make this drink at home. This popular drink’s ingredients includes cream soda, butterscotch syrup, cream, sugar, butter, and vanilla essence. Some recipes include vanilla ice cream as well.

How to make Butterbeer

The good news is that you don’t have to travel to the Three Broomsticks to enjoy this homemade Butterbeer recipe!

The following ingredients are needed to make Butterbeer:

  • 2 liters of cream soda
  • 1/2 cup of butterscotch syrup
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tab of butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks. Then fold in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and melted butter. (If you prefer, you can replace the real butter with butter extract.)

Then, mix the cold cream soda and butterscotch syrup and pour the mixture into clear mugs or cups.

Real fans can get their own Wizarding World of Harry Potter Butterbeer mug:

Add some butterscotch cream toppings, and the Butterbeer is ready.

If you want to create a boozy butterbeer, simply add a tot of vodka or rum to your drink.

Watch how to make Butterbeer easily at home:

What does Butterbeer taste like?

This Harry Potter-inspired drink tastes like a mixture of cream soda and butterscotch syrup. At Universal Studios, visitors can enjoy this popular wizarding drink cold, frozen, and sometimes even hot (only in winter). 

There are slightly different tastes for different flavors. The regular has the taste of cold butterscotch latte, the hot has the taste of a Starbucks Christmas drink special, and the iced drink tastes like the regular with more texture. 

Is Butterbeer vegan?

In the wizardry world of Harry Potter, Butterbeer is not vegan or dairy-free. But as the drink gains more popularity, vegan options are being announced as available for order. 

Is Butterbeer gluten free?

All the Butterbeer in the wizardry world of Harry Potter is gluten-free, including the Butterbeer ice cream, although it has to be served in a plastic cup instead of the usual cone.

Types Of Butterbeer At Universal

Butterbeer Ice Cream (Pre-packaged at the Three Broomsticks)

The butterbeer-flavored ice cream is available at the Leady Cauldron and The Three Broomsticks. It is hard-packed and appears less creamy than other butterbeer menu items.

Cold Butterbeer

Cold butterbeer is somewhat smooth, creamy, marshmallow-like, and fizzy. It is the only version of Butterbeer available in the Harry Potter Wizarding world that is carbonated. It can be described as a Butterbeer float. 

Butterbeer Fudge

The butterbeer fudge can be found in Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop in Diagon Alley and Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. This butterbeer fudge doesn’t have the same flavor as the drinks but still has butterscotch undertones. It has two distinct layers, with both pieces being large and sweet like sugar syrup.

Frozen Butterbeer

The frozen butterbeer can be found throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and other places where you can find different versions of the butterbeer. Frozen Butterbeer is sweet and has slushy consistency. In Diagon Alley, you can find the drink at The Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, and inside The Fountain of Fair Fortune.

Butterbeer Potted Cream

The Butterbeer potted cream is one of the sweetest versions of butterbeer and is made from butterscotch custard and frosted whipped cream. The Butterbeer potted cream is creamy and thick and served in a tiny jar that looks like a pot. You can find it at the Leady Cauldron in Diagon Alley, and the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.

Hot Butterbeer (only seasonal)

Hot Butterbeer
Image: People

Hot Butterbeer is quite different from other variations of Butterbeer. It is mostly seasonal because it is only served in the parks when Universal deems it cold enough. The hot version is available in the Leaky Cauldron, Hog’s Head, the Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley, and the Three Broomsticks.

Butterbeer Soft Serve Ice Cream

The butterbeer Soft Serve ice cream is a creamy treat available at the Fountain of Fair Fortune and the Hopping Pot. 

Where To Buy Butterbeer

Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer (Bottles or Cans)

The Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer is a 12-Fl Oz (Pack of 4), Vanilla Cream Soda Brew, All- Natural, Non-Alcoholic, and Caffeine-free butterbeer drink. For adults who like it to be alcoholic, you can achieve this by adding vodka, rum or butterscotch schnapps.

(Premium) Butterscotch Beer Soda 12 pack (Non-Alcohol)

The (Premium) Butterscotch Beer Soda 12 pack is a non-alcoholic butterscotch drink with a butterscotch flavor soda. It is sold by the TNG store and costs about $36. It is a glass bottle option and is available for retail on Amazon. 

Can minors drink Butterbeer?

Butterbeer does not contain alcohol, so minors can drink it. Unlike in the Harry Potter books and movies, where Butterbeer has some alcohol, at Universal resorts, Butterbeer has no alcohol, so minors can drink it.

Does Hermione get drunk off Butterbeer?

In the Harry Potter books, Hermione does not get drunk, although, in the Harry Potter movie, the drink seems to have a tipsy effect on her because she acts drunk after downing a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.

Does Butterbeer get Wizards drunk?

In Harry Potter, Butterbeer gets Winky the house elf drunk, but it doesn’t seem to get wizards drunk. The high sugar levels in butterscotch can make the wizards have a sugar high, which could be what they feel instead of drunk.

Do the kids drink alcohol in Harry Potter?

The kids in Harry Potter drink butterbeer in the books and the movies, although it is not known how much alcohol is theoretically in it. Butterbeer seems to make house elves drunk, but it doesn’t seem to have much effect on humans. So, if it does contain alcohol, then it is very low. 

Harry Potter did drink a toast to Alastor Moody with Firewhisky a few days before his seventeenth birthday. 

Mead (an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and diluted by water) was also served at the Slug Club Christmas party.


Butterbeer is a fictional drink in Harry Potter and its name suggests that it might contain alcohol. However, the version that one can buy in the real world does not contain alcohol and is instead a very sweet drink suitable for kids. While butterbeer is not vegan, it is gluten-free and can be homemade. 

Butterbeer can get kids sugar high if taken in large quantities due to the vast amount of sugar present in the drink.