I know a decent amount about beer, and not a lot about gaming – but I have to admit that the idea of the Brewmaster game intrigued me. My love affair with gaming has been incredibly light touch. Dalliances with Bard’s Tale and a little Basic programming on our family Amstrad CPC 464 as a child. A never-ending obsession with Micro Machines and Shining Force 2 on the Sega Megadrive (which we still have and still play). A bit of N64 here, a short-lived attachment to the Nintendo Wii. I’ve never spent that much time on games, but I do enjoy the occasional foray. So I’m not really an experienced hand with PC games.
Brewmaster is out now and you can get a cheeky discount if you buy it in the first week of release. It has been created by Auroch Digital and Fireshine Games. As well as the PC version, you can download it for Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch.
Brew your perfect beer
It’s fair to say that it was a clunky start for me. Just learning to move around my homebrew house seamlessly took a while. But the game starts with an excellent tutorial level that guides you gently through your first brew. You’ve got all your kit in the kitchen and all the time in the world to experiment. The game is arranged with jobs to earn tokens for buying new brew kit and ingredients. You also pick up the Brewer’s Monthly with recipes and information so you can expand your brewing repertoire. You can also fancy up your brewhouse with all kinds of extras, if it takes your fancy. Personally, I’m here for the beer, so I am spending all my tokens on kit mate.
It’s a pretty realistic little recreation of the brewing process to be fair. I really liked the fact that it starts with extract brewing – a real reflection of most people’s homebrewing journey. Each element is well explained, so this is a great way to get an insight into how beer is made, and how different styles are created. My first beer wasn’t too bad, but a little on the light side. 2.2% golden ale anyone? I got much better with my first job, getting those punchy citrus hops in and plenty of malt extract to create a 6.6% hazy pale banger. I am naming all of my beers after Grateful Dead songs because it’s my game now and I’ll do what I want.
Don’t worry about how long it takes to brew a beer in real life, it’s easy to speed up time and even jump forward a few days so you don’t have to wait around. With a fantastic array of malts, hops, yeasts and other adjuncts on offer, you can really get stuck into experimenting with your brews. I reckon there’s plenty of opportunity to learn from your mistakes as well. I’m sure forgetting to put the lid on the fermenter before you skip ahead a couple of weeks would give you an infected beer. But of course, I haven’t made a massive error. Yet. After all, I’m only two brews in.
Pretty up that beer
As well as making the beer, you are also responsible for packaging it, and there are lots of options for naming your beer and messing about with the label to make every bottle your own. The whole thing is stupidly addictive. I don’t think it would matter whether you are into brewing or not. It’s a lot of fun following a recipe, and a lot of fun having the freedom to follow your own path too. You’ll find yourself carefully tip-tip-tipping in those hops to get just the right amount in no time.
My only criticism is that putting stuff down is much harder than necessary. There is a tiny window to click on a surface to put something down to use it, and it changes depending on how big the object is. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find the sweet spot. But as a novice gamer, that’s almost certainly something that I’ll get better at. Even just two beers in, I have found that I’m having a much more seamless gameplay experience as I get used to the controls.
Highly recommend. Almost as much fun as the real thing, but a significantly smaller amount of cleaning to do to enjoy it. Just be prepared to lose all of your spare time to this lovely little game.
I received a free review key for the game, but my write up is an honest reflection of my experience.