June 28, 2017

Craft Beer the Board Game is no innocent Monopoly

Sacramento State alumnus Collin Poseley, right, and his business partner Eric Foust, left, play the table top game they both created, "Craft Beer the Board Game," during a live stream event. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

Earlier this year, Sacramento State alumnus Collin Poseley invented a board game that puts players in a race against one another to be the first to brew their own craft suds — an idea derived from the many instances when he would play board games while intoxicated with friends.

Poseley, a craft beer photographer, said that he and his partner Eric Foust, who works for the Lagunitas Brewing Company, share a strong passion for beer and wanted to incorporate that into their other passion: board games.

Unfortunately, Poseley said there wasn’t a game about craft beer that could satisfy their fervor.

“We hope to fill a hole in breweries schedules where on a slow night, we can offer a full range of products to drive people to the brewery,” Poseley said. “We are allowing people to stay longer, buy more pints and have a drive to come back next time.”

(Photo courtesy of Craft Beer the Board Game’s official Kickstarter page)

The goal of the “Craft Beer the Board Game” is to travel across the board by using tokens depicting key items to be collected like yeast, hops, grain and water.

“Between those four (items), you’ll learn the ingredients to make beer,” Foust said. “We (also) wanted to play a craft beer game that wasn’t a Euro style game.”

Similar to the popular “Settlers of Catan,” which Poseley said was a huge source of inspiration when he and Foust were designing “Craft Beer,” Euro is a genre of tabletop game that places most of its emphasis on strategy than on luck.

In “Settlers of Catan,” players are allowed to trade three of the same resources for one, while players of “Craft Beer” are allowed a similar privilege but with only two instead of three resources.

Rules of the game also explain that a player cannot collect a resource item if another person has one of their tokens. This strategy is called “hop blocking,” named by the partners after the most common ingredient in beer: hops.

(Photo courtesy of Craft Beer the Board Game’s official Kickstarter page)

“I feel it was just an organic moment when we went ‘Oh, you’re blocking my hop. You’re hop blocking,’” Poseley said.

The pair said the reason why they came up with “hop blocking” is still very hazy since they were drinking every time they sat down to play and strategize about the making of the game.

“(The game) doesn’t tell you to drink, but you can’t look at these pictures of the beer, talk about the beer and think about the beer without wanting a beer,” Poseley said.

The main objectives of “Craft Beer,” according to Poseley and Foust, is to create a game that was simple enough for new players to learn on the fly, as well as to educate people on the process of producing beer.

One of the biggest challenges that comes with the game is finding available spaces in bars to lay the game out since most Sacramento bars tend to always be crowded, Posely said.

“We designed it in such a way so that pretty much the game could be played in this 18-by-8-inch square,” Poseley said. “For those people that are playing in a packed beer hall, space is key.”

Initially, the pair said that they created a Kickstarter campaign to help raise $20,000 for the mass production of “Craft Beer,” but the effort failed and was unable to reach its funding goal.

(Photo courtesy of Craft Beer the Board Game’s official Kickstarter page)

However, Pousley said they have others plans in place for expanding their invention.

The objective now for the two partners is to start another Kickstarter campaign after some marketing time at local breweries and bars.

But if that also fails, both are more than willing to use money from their own pockets to fund the cost of production.

Click here for official Kickstarter page for Craft Beer the Board Game.

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