Barliman (sometimes called Barley) Butterbur was the owner of the Prancing Pony in Bree. The inn had been owned by the Butterbur family for longer than records had been kept.

He was a short, fat man, with a red face and a bald head. He was always talking and had a bad memory. He was known by Tom Bombadil, and was a friend of Gandalf's.

Gandalf had given him a letter to deliver to the Shire in June, but Frodo did not receive it until he came to stay at the Prancing Pony in September. In spite of this, Butterbur was considered wise by Gandalf.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Sean