In archetypal fashion you and your heroes are sitting around a table in a bar. You are discussing the possible adventure before you. Do you need to take on the Forge of the Dark Machine? You must. How do you prepare yourselves? You ponder over a draught of Dwarven Ale. It’s strong, stout, and resolute: much like the Dwarves that brewed it. You can taste the rich flavors as you dwell on the dungeon delve and feel the foam of the head hit your lips and gauntlet. You could swear this transcended the game.
It did: you had the beer in-game and out-of-game.
Beer is a staple in fantasy; you meet your group at a bar, or there is probably going to be a situation in which you will have a pint with your fellow party members. Why not bring it to the table along with your character sheets? Sure, you could grab any old bottle of whatever and chug it. I personally would prefer the real thing. Think about it. Eladrin Ever-Mead. The Eye-PA of Grummsh. A Pali Pale Ale. Garl’s Gittery-Glug. Brew-hamut the Platinum Flagon?
I had to find out if there existed beer to drink at the table, beer worthy of adventure. Better yet, if the market was open, I could make my own for fun, adventure, and profit. I discovered Fantasy Brewmasters. I did my research on them, and I had to call the man in charge. Chris Guerra, the BeerNut, is the man behind this idea. Guerra has always been excited about beer, but it wasn’t until he was hanging out in-game in WoW, throwing back a beer. He wanted to taste what his character does, simply to have a beer from another world. With inspiration and some help, he has made a full website and mythology devoted to this beverage for the brave.
The way Guerra is going about it is just as bold. His model is Open Development, which means everyone has a thought or idea that could help make a beer. The site is riddled with people who want to help design the beers, the labels, and the mythology surrounding the beers in a fantasy world. This is done though forums that one can sign up for, contests to put the best product forward, and the support of the group members and brewers that constitute this guild.
Once we got some of the logistics and formalities established, “Why are you doing this Chris?” I ask. His one word response: “Community”.
Any remote feelings of bitterness from the fact that this guy has taken my million dollar idea for a mass producible geek related product is washed away by altruism. Hoppy, malty Altruism. To him the center of the attention, while beer related, is really the people behind him. It all centers on what the community wants. What do they want to drink? The product is created by them. The inspiration, the recipes…everything comes from the community. The forums are all open source, so anyone could brew anything listed on the site given the tools and time. He just wants to keep giving that back. He wants to keep that camaraderie of drinking in a tavern with heroes very much a real experience, thus supporting the ones that support him. Solid logic.
Currently the Dwarven Ale contest is still in effect read more here.
And the Label Art Contest is announced.
As for the future, Guerra’s plan is to launch the winning Dwarven Ale for mass production and distribution in January next year. I can hardly wait. As for flavors, he mentioned something about Ogres or Elves.