The link between the craft beer boom and homebrewing cannot be understated. Many of the first craft breweries—like Sierra Nevada—were started by homebrewers. And as the number of craft breweries grew throughout the '90s and '00s, more people wanted to try homebrewing, which continued the cycle, leading more homebrewers to open more breweries, helping to propel us to the some 9,000 American breweries we have today.
However, homebrewing isn't an ideal hobby for everyone. Maybe you don't have the space or the money or the ability to drink the two cases of beer that come from a standard five-gallon homebrewed batch. Or maybe you tried homebrewing but got discouraged by the results. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, but you still have an interest making your own beer, a new videogame set to arrive next year may help you scratch that itch virtually: Brewmaster, the beer brewing simulator.
Coming to PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch in 2022, Brewmaster—which is being developed by Auroch Digital and will be published by Sold Out—isn't your typical business simulator where you run your own brewery. It literally focuses on the details of homebrewing. You set up your home brewery, create your own recipes using real-world ingredients, and enter homebrew competitions.
"Discover, learn and master the art of homebrewing in the ultimate celebration of craft beer," the game's description explains. "From perfecting authentic, chemistry-driven brewing techniques to naming, bottling and labelling—refine your craft to become the ultimate Brewmaster in the first ever realistic beer brewing experience."
Thankfully, players don't need to have a degree in chemistry. "This is the kind of game even non beer drinkers will enjoy," Jemima Crow, marketing and community manager for Auroch Digital, wrote on the PlayStation Blog. "Beer brewing is a fascinating subject and there's so much that goes into making great beer. The real chemistry is quite nerdy but we really wanted to focus on making our game accessible to everyone, so while the simulation under the hood is complex, the way you interact with it is easily understandable, and as you play the game you'll gradually be taught the more detailed elements of brewing."
Crow also explained the inspiration for the game. "At Auroch we specialize in games that connect to the real world," she said. "Lots of people on the Auroch team are foodies and craft beer fans, and our studio is based in Bristol which has a vibrant craft beer scene with amazing breweries to go with it. We'd been exploring brewing in our spare time, so making this game made so much sense to us."
Of course, the problem with a homebrewing simulator is that, when it's over, you're missing the most rewarding part: drinking beer. But that said, as any homebrewer can attest to (including yours truly), you're also missed the worst part: having to gag down 24 bottles of the worst "wild" beer you've ever screwed up.