It's a time of regrowth in the old urban center, and the hippest and best beer crafters have gathered both hops and hopes in building the best brewery in the city. It won't be an easy task, as players compete for precious ingredients such as malt, yeast, fruit and spices in the local markets, all while managing and optimizing their growing bottling empires.
In Brew Crafters, players assume management of a local craft brewery, working hard to manage resources, use their workers wisely, and develop their brewing line to create the best local brews. Players can perform research into different beer styles, brewing recipes such as Smoked Porter, Pumpkin Ale, and Coffee Stout, crafting their own unique brewing strategy along the way.
Brew Crafters honors the tradition of classic Euro-style board games, but at its heart beats a unique brewery processing system that must be constantly improved, monitored, and manned in order to keep the beloved beverages rolling off the line. Each brewery has access to a variety of equipment upgrades, farms, markets, and a plethora of specialty workers, ensuring a high level of replayability and strategic avenues. In addition, each player is studiously working to be first to develop several rotating gold-label specialty recipes that will earn them a better reputation at the end of year three when the best local brewer will be honored.
Brew Crafters will offer the same hallmark replay value as other Dice Hate Me Games titles, with high-quality components. Brew Crafters will include five thick cardboard personal Breweries where players brew beer and upgrade their resources and processing equipment; over 120 thick punchboard beer batch tokens, 50 equipment upgrade tiles, and 15 Gold Label awards; 15 Beer Recipe cards, representing the various recipes based on Ales, Porters and Stouts that players can explore and craft to create their own unique brewing strategy, and 15 Skilled Workers (illustrated by award-winning artist Jacqui Davis) that players can hire to help them brew the best batches - and all printed on high-quality playing card stock.
There are also five thick cardboard Research Labs where players can explore new ways to improve their beer and breweries, two thick cardboard Market Action boards where players will send their market workers to collect resources, cards to represent specialized ingredients importers, 130 wooden cubes in six colors to represent the malt, hops, yeast, coffee, spices and fruit needed to create your craft brews — and more! We'll even throw in 20 plastic baggies to organize and store all your cardboard (and wooden) goodies.
Wanna see more? We'll be rolling out more Skilled Workers, Recipes and board art in several updates as the campaign rolls along! Below you can see the current collection of Recipes and Skilled Workers in the game. At the start of each game, players will set out Everyday Ale, Simply Stout and Pleasantly Porter, along with two randomly-selected recipes from each of the three styles, then randomly select nine Skilled Workers. This means every game will play differently and makes for a ton of replayability!
Brew Crafters will come in the Dice Hate Me Games "Tiger"-sized box - the same size as VivaJava: The Coffee Game. What's this crazy talk? Take a look here for more information on our box sizes and game categories!
Brew Crafters is a game for 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, and designed by Ben Rosset - designer of Mars Needs Mechanics. Brew Crafters is a distinguished alum of the Unpub program - a series of public and private playtest events held each year to help designers present, hone and polish their game designs with the gaming public, as well as board game production professionals.
If you'd like to dig deeper into Brew Crafters, you can download the print-and-play version of the game right here. The print-and-play includes a very simple representation of the game without final game art - the exact prototype that Ben Rosset has been using to test Brew Crafters over the past year to make sure it's the best it can be. Bear in mind that Brew Crafters is not a small game - the print-and-play will require quite a bit of paper and ink, and you'll need to provide 130 markers (cubes, coins, whatever you'd like) to represent the resources in the game.
Brew Crafters in its original prototype form! We told you there's going to be a lot of stuff.
Woohoo! Funded! Achieving our base funding goal now ensures that Dice Hate Me Games will be able to publish Brew Crafters with the quality that we all have come to expect. The base game of Brew Crafters is priced according to our initial funding goal; now that we've exceeded that we can add more to the game, such as select component upgrades, more Skilled Workers, Beer Recipes, worker meeples(!) and some advanced Brewery Action boards that will add even more excitement and replayability to the game!
We've reached the first stretch goal! We'll be adding 3 new recipes (along with 20 matching punchboard beer batch tokens), 3 new Skilled Workers, and 3 new Gold Label punchboard tokens. You can see some promo art of the Brewmaster and Old Chap English Cherry Porter below, along with a graphic showing the new Recipes and Skilled Workers.
We've reached the second stretch goal! Since we passed $44K in total funds, we'll add to Brew Crafters three new Recipes, 22 new punchbard beer batch tokens and three new Skilled Workers. You can check out the graphic below to see what we'll add, as well as see some art for the Purchaser and Mars Needs IPA - that should keep you IPA lovers satisfied for a bit!
Designer Ben Rosset has started to make some design notes about the Workers and Recipes just to give you all an idea of how they can affect the game and add more to your brewing experience. You can read more about those in Update #3.
Now we've reached the third stretch goal and can introduce a large, wooden Start Player token! The token will be screen printed in two colors to emulate a large stout glass, filled to the brim with delicious beer and a properly-poured head. We wanted to be able to include a Start Player token of this size so that it will be easily seen across the table, and also because we want players to want to grab it up! Since the Start Player gets first dibs on which Market Action space they'll choose at the start of a Season, this token is a very important part of each Brew Crafters game.
We'll also be able to add 10 wooden meeples in the five player colors with this stretch goal. These will represent the two Market Workers each player may place on the Market Action board each Season to collect those valuable ingredients, Skilled Workers, new Brewery Shifts, and money.
We've reached the fourth Stretch Goal! How about some more Recipes and Skilled Workers? This batch represents the full extent of the Recipes and Skilled Workers we wanted to pack into the box. And, so, we'll add three more Recipes (including the behemoth Crimson Hammer Russian Imperial Stout), three more Skilled Workers, 24 punchboard beer batch tokens and three more punchboard Gold Labels!
We've reached $66K in total funding! That means we'll double the Research Labs in the game! There will be five basic Research Labs, all containing the same four research tracks that are designed to allow beginning players to all start out on the same level. Later, after a few games with the basic Research Labs, veteran players looking for more challenge can randomly select an advanced Research Lab. Each advanced Lab has a different mix of four research tracks, adding even more variability to the game and a chance for a different research strategy with each play.
You can see the basic Research Lab in orange below, and two of the five advanced Research Labs in blue.
You can read more about the advanced Labs, including some designer notes from Ben Rosset, in Update #6.
Wow, we've reached the $74,000 goal! We're really excited about this one as we will be able to add some more punchboard and wood, all of which will allow each game of Brew Crafters to provide even more variety and strategic choices!
With this goal we'll be adding:
- 5 new Complex Action punch boards
- 3 Community Farm tokens
- 5 Wooden Intern meeples
The Complex Action boards are perfect for experienced players who want a new challenge each game. You can choose to just pick 1 of the actions to use each game, or, combine 2 or more of them together in the same game, if desired. Like the additional Recipes, Skilled Workers, and Research Labs from previous stretch goals, these Complex Action spaces will help to give you a unique game experience every time you play. Below you'll see the Complex Action boards and how they may interact with the main Market Action and Brewery Action boards. Bear in mind that all of this is preliminary art; I'll be creating a whole market scene in a similar style to the Craft Brewery boards for the Market Action board, and we'll have some custom art from Jacqui Davis to liven up the Brewery Action board.
You can learn more about the extra bits with some designer notes by Ben Rosset in Update #7.
Our final stretch goal is a little "thank you" to all the Kickstarter backers. We've reached $80,000 by the end of the campaign so we'll add a "Marketing Basics" mini expansion to every copy of the game that's pledged. This expansion will NOT be in the main box - it's a collection of four special cards that will not be immediately available for retail sale with the base game.
What's in the Marketing Expansion? Check it out!
This expansion introduces three alternate BASIC recipes that advanced players can use instead of the original recipes of Everyday Ale, Simply Stout and Pleasantly Porter. They're a bit harder to brew, which means players will have to pump up their brewing prowess!
To read more about this goal, see Update #8!
"Brew Crafters embodies everything that's awesome about brewing beer, from choosing the style you want to brew, to obtaining the best ingredients, to expanding your facility or upgrading your equipment. This game is a must-buy for home brewers and gamers alike!" - Ed Marriott (home brewer and game designer), Boards and Barley
"I am a big fan of resource conversion / worker placement games. Brew Crafters is a top notch game in this genre, making you feel like you really are managing the actual processes of a craft brewery. The collaborative processes are a great twist that solve some of the frustrations with getting actions blocked in many games." - Brian Frahm, gamer extraordinaire
“I loved this game almost immediately, and I would pick it in a heartbeat over Agricola.” – Keith Ferguson, Ad Astra.
"Additionally, this game drips with theme, but not in the 'I spilled beer on my beer board game' sense, in the carefully thought out and liberally applied sense. Ben has done a wonderful job of marrying theme with mechanics and if you like the idea of trying to out brew your local competition, it will be a lot easier to do in Brew Crafters than in real life." — Eric Handler, Colorblind Boardgamer
"Ben's game is really solid... This session confirmed my initial assessment that 'Brew Crafters' will prove a strong contender in worker placement genre." – Paul Owen, Man OverBoard
"The separation of the worker placement into two phases is actually more interesting than it sounds and can result in a race where one player needs to take the first player marker in order to brew and get something out the door before an opponent can do the same. There's certainly a ton of variety in the recipes, skilled workers, and buildings, so I can see this game having quite a long shelf life, taking quite a while before play would start to feel samey." - Drew Hicks, BGG
Kickstarter provides a platform for direct consumers to get Brew Crafters shipped directly to their door before it hits the store shelves. As a retailer, though, you may reserve copies of the game through Game Salute.
Without our Kickstarter Backers, Dice Hate Me Games would not be able to bring quality games to market. To show our respect and appreciation, DHMG promises that backer copies of Brew Crafters will be shipped out before copies are available for purchase at retailers or conventions. DHMG also pledges to keep all backers informed at every step in the development, printing and delivery processes. We love staying in touch with all of our supporters, so please never hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.
I love beer. I love board games. Put those two together and you've got the best thing since bacon met a cheeseburger. So when I first sat down to try out Ben Rosset's Brew Crafters prototype at Unpub I was a bit skeptical; after all, anyone could slap a beer theme on a game and lure in the malt-loving masses. But what I found after that very first play was that Brew Crafters isn't just some loose, thematic tarp over a beer-shaped scaffold - this game has depth and it has heart. It's not so much a game as it is a love song to beer. And board games. And what could be better?
Now, almost a year after first hearing that love song, I'm more than proud to present Brew Crafters to beer and board game lovers everywhere. Consider raising a pint, pledging your support, and joining us in a celebration of that oh-so-great libation!
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way. Many boardgame projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units and one shipping snafu after another.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snafus and gremlins along the way. We have a good working relationship with two of our overseas manufacturers and have become accustomed to their protocols, communication styles and general idiosyncrasies. We try to plan for all contingencies, and we've been fairly successful with that in our past projects.
We've learned a lot these past couple of years. The last two Dice Hate Me Games projects - VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game and Belle of the Ball - were successfully funded this summer and fall, respectively, and are currently in production. Things are going smoothly with the projects, so far - VivaJava Dice is in full swing with our manufacturer and Belle's final files are just about ready to be sent out for production - but they still fall well within the risks and challenges category since there are many steps in the production process. We are vigilant and resourceful, however, and will keep on top of these projects while we promote and prepare Brew Crafters for a hopeful production run. We're multitasking like maniacs, but we promise the same quality as our other successful Kickstarters - especially since we're taking a little crowdfunding break for awhile after Brew Crafters wraps up to focus on production and the current library!
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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