Over the holidays we’re republishing some of our best features, interviews, opinion pieces and talking points from the previous 12 months from staff and contributors alike — articles that we feel represent our best of 2021. In them you’ll find our usual mix of thoughtfulness, frivolity, retro expertise, gaming nostalgia, and — of course — enthusiasm for all things Nintendo. Enjoy!
Brewster is finally coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and we’re going to find out more about everyone’s favourite coffee-loving winged beast on Friday the 15th October — which is Brewster’s birthday, don’tcha know. Players have been asking about/demanding Brewster for ages, like that one clip from The Mandalorian where Werner Herzog says “I would like to see the baby”, only instead of “baby”, it’s “adult bird barista”.
For a significant number of ACNH players, though, this is their first Animal Crossing game — which means that they’ve never met Brewster. And that means that they’ve never been offered Pigeon Milk in their coffee.
Let’s roll it back a little. Brewster’s name is, obviously, a play on “Brew”, as in coffee, and “Rooster”, as in a male chicken. Brewster is not a male chicken, though — he is, according to the Animal Crossing wiki, a Blue Rock Dove, which is the fancy name for your bog-standard urban-variety Pigeon. You know the one: the grey, head-bobbing chap that plagues parks and cafés worldwide. That’s the guy you want to make your coffee, right?
Of course, Brewster is elevated above his flying rat brethren because he has fancy facial hair and a bowtie, marking him as an upper class pigeon. He doesn’t wear shoes, but he does wear an apron.
Brewster runs The Roost, which is his coffee shop in previous Animal Crossing games, where the music is a sort of sultry lounge piano, and the seats are occasionally filled with visiting villagers and even special characters like Tom Nook and Resetti. There’s a whole minigame in New Leaf, in which the player can take on a part-time job serving coffee in a special uniform, with a reward of coffee beans for doing well.
But the best part of Brewster’s existence is a rare occurrence. The coffee is his main way of communicating with people, see, and he’s pretty taciturn otherwise — but every now and again, he’ll offer a shot of pigeon milk to put in your coffee.
It’s easy to assume that pigeon milk is just a fun Animal Crossing joke, because of course pigeons don’t have milk. They’re birds, not mammals. They don’t even have nipples! But, as it turns out, this pigeon milk may be Brewster’s special way of saying that he likes you.
You probably already knew that birds regurgitate their food to feed their babies, but did you know that it’s actually called “crop milk”? It’s a secretion which comes from the lining of their digestive tract, and in pigeons and doves, it’s known as “pigeon milk”. When these birds eat food, part of it is stored in a little pouch in their throat, which they can then yack up at will as sustenance for their nearest and dearest.
You might be thinking that you definitely don’t want pigeon milk in your coffee — and especially not after reading the Wikipedia description of it as “a semi-solid substance somewhat like pale yellow cottage cheese” — but what if it’s a sign of Brewster’s affection? Crop milk only happens when a bird has babies, after all, which implies that Brewster sees himself as a somewhat feathery fatherly figure. Alternatively, he’s trying to supplement your diet, because pigeon milk is high in protein, fat, and antibodies.
Either way, The Roost is coming to Animal Crossing, and that means that Brewster’s cottage cheesey secretions are coming, too. You’ve been warned.