I have a library full of games. At it height it contained almost 500 different ones, these days I brought it back to 225 games according to board game geek. Naturally I have several games about beer and once in a post I’d like to tell more about one of them.
For everyone who was interested in Brew Crafters, but a little bit taken aback by the description and complexity, you’re in luck. There’s a card game with the same name, that’s a lot easier to learn and play.
Brew Crafters: The Card Game
The premise is the same. You just opened your own brewery and are competing against other brewers in town to be named thé Brew Crafter of your city. You can install new equipment, hire new workers and brew beer all to gain a better reputation.
The game is small and easy to bring on vacation. It’s for 2 to 4 players, although it doesn’t really work that well with four to be honest. It’s perfect for 2 or 3 players though.
In this game you start with four cards in your hand and five cards open between the players. You can use the cards in two mutually exclusive ways:
1. Or you build the equipment on it/hire the worker on it
2. Or you use the card for its ingredient to brew a beer.
In your turn you may first take two cards from the deck. You may choose to take one or two of the five open cards and/or one of two from the face-down deck. After drawing to cards replace any face-up cards you took with new cards from the deck.Then you may choose to OR build the equipment/hire the worker OR brew a beer OR just pass. Playing a card to build/hire does not cost anything, you just put it in front of you. If you want to brew a beer you have to discard enough cards so you have all the necessary ingredients for that beer. You gain reputation immediately. At the end of your turn you discard cards until you have just 7 cards in your hand
The game ends when one of the player reaches 21 reputation points. All aother players then get one final turn.
The equipment and workers give you different kind of bonuses:
– Some give you extra reputation for brewing certain beerstyles
– Some give you extra ingredients
– Some let you use less ingredients to brew a certain beer
– Some give you some extra end-game reputation
– The night shift lets you brew AND build/hire in one turn
The game seems simple, but you still have to make quite some choices: What combination of equipment and workers are you going to build and hire, will you build first to gain more reputation bonuses later or will you start brewing beers quickly to gain a lot of reputation to start with? There is scarcity in special ingredients like fruit and coffee. Will you save those cards for brewing or build them for the equipment on it and make them even more scarce?
It’s less deep than the board game, but I still love this game. It’s still a bit thinky, but it’s also easy to teach and easy to set-up and a game takes about 30 minutes to play. You don’t need a lot of table space either, although it tends to become too big for an airplane table (yes, I tried), but it works in a pub and on vacation.
Which games do you take with you on vacation?