I love beer. I love the taste of it. I love the socialising element attached to it. I love the whole range of choices on offer. However I’ve never really been all that interested, like most things in my life, in how it comes to be made; how it has been crafted prior to me handing my money over. How does the beer get made? How do they create all the different tastes and variations in colour?
Well with Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator you are not only going to find out, but you’ll be making the beer yourself. Welcome to a game I never thought I would be playing, but my interest and taste buds have been seriously piqued…
The main problem I have with Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator is that throughout my time with it, I’ve really wanted to taste every brew I’ve made, instead left with a sense of emptiness. Because, you see, as a sim game goes, this is perfectly realistic, informative, and well crafted, but it can never give you that thirst satisfaction that you require after working hard on a recipe.
There isn’t a story as such here but rather two modes. Free play lets you dive right in and have everything on offer, allowing you to brew some beer. But I would recommend doing the campaign mode – Brewmaster mode – which is basically a big tutorial of the complex chemistry brewing you need to take part in.
Brewmaster is set in a purpose-built kitchen, one full with brewing equipment, ingredients, and all sorts of apparatus to help you get your brew on. It all plays out in the first person and you get access to a detailed step-by-step guide on what you need to do. For example one of the first things to do is to pick up a huge container that you have to fill with water. Now, this is done by interacting with the container to get the lid off with a touch of a button. You can interact with most items in clear ways, with several options of what you can do with them.
Of course, you can fill a huge two-hundred-litre container in real time should you so wish, which will take a while, or you can fast-forward time to make it more game friendly. The same goes for heating the water on the hob. You then add your malts from a choice of different options, then your grains, and then your hops. From there, you’ll need to ferment your mixture in a different container and add a choice of yeasts to pick from. Now fermenting takes a while to do, a couple of weeks perhaps, and you can sit back and wait if you like. Or, Brewmaster allows you to click on the calendar in the kitchen and forward time.
There’s more to making beer though and then you’ll need to add corn sugar and transfer your mixture to another container with tubes connecting them. More time passes and then it’s off to the tasting room. It’s here where you’ll discover a detailed breakdown of what kind of beer you’ve made from the choices of ingredients you have chosen. Will it have a smokey taste or be slightly fruity or sour? Then you can design your logo, give it a name (however dirty) and even decide on the bottle shape and glass it should be savoured in. After that, it gets entered to the beer gods to see if it fulfils the requirements needed. And that, my friends, is making beer in a nutshell.
After that each new season provides a brilliant magazine with a list of new recipes and you can then apply for new jobs which mean making new beers and requirements. As you progress you get more kudos and the chance to make your own recipes. It’s supremely addictive and the whole control system is intuitive and forgiving, unlike some other sim games I won’t mention here.
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator has a nice crisp visual design. The kitchen looks good and you can customise it for that personal touch a bit later on. The game menus and equipment guides look like a catalogue, which isn’t a bad thing, but overall the presentation is delivered in a decent way. Sound-wise it’s certainly not an epic affair but much more of a relaxing mood to go with the game. Put on a beer-themed podcast if you really want to go all in.
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator is capable of delivering a better experience than you may imagine. It’s certainly a niche game, but what it does do, it does with aplomb. It has nice, easy-to-learn gameplay and it is interesting to learn how the whole beer-making world works. The challenge of the creation and different jobs on offer make it even more appealing, helping keep the interest up.
The only problem is that playing Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator will no doubt make you want to rush down to the pub, again and again.
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator is on the Xbox Store