Brewin’ USA Game Review
If I pose the question, “What beer games do you remember playing?”, many people would respond with old standbys like Beer Pong, Thumper, Quarters, or even the dreaded Bob Newhart. But those are really drinking games better suited to fraternity parties. Perhaps if I ask that question 10 years from now people might respond with, “Brewin’ USA“.
The brainchild of Adam Rehberg, Brewin’ USA is a Eurogame; a class of games with less reliance on random outcomes, such as rolling dice, among other differences from classic board games. The retail release of the game was recently funded, successfully, through Kickstarter and should be available in stores somewhere near the end of May 2015. If you cannot wait it is currently available, for FREE!, on the website. But, be warned there are a lot of pages to accommodate the entirety of the game pieces, all in color. I printed mine in black and white in order to save a bit on the ink price. If you have full color cartridges in your printer I would recommend printing them in color; my game management was somewhat hampered by lack of color differentiation in the game pieces.
I won’t recite the all of the rules, but the object of the game is to launch three beers using ingredients won in the auction phase. Players are dealt cards denoting beer styles and they then bid on ingredients based on the beers in their hand. Points are also gained by being able to launch a beer in a city where that style is popular but also by controlling beer regions and by winning Brewfests.
The Game Experience
Like any game, working through the rules and experiencing the flow of the game takes a few rounds. Once everyone I played with understood the rules, game play became quicker and the competitive juices started to flow. The auction phase is downright fun, and it can get loud!. And the Eurogame style of less interpersonal conflict is certainly not evident in a Brewfest! The instructions say a game should last about an hour. With three players, maybe, but certainly not with five.
I look forward to the retail release of the game. Higher quality game cards/pieces should increase the enjoyment of the game (over cutting out game pieces from a 8.5×11 sheet of paper). I can see this being popular in a taproom, as well as contests there, and the possibility even of citywide tournaments.
If you missed out on the Kickstarter campaign for the game, never fear, you can get on their mailing list at the Brewin’ USA website to be notified when pre-orders will be accepted.