Our team got an opportunity to sit down with Adam Rehberg, the maker of Brewin’ USA board game.  Before we get into the interview be sure to check out his Kickstarter effort and help get this game published.  Also be sure to check out his website here!
Q:   Hey Adam, thanks for sitting down with us.  So before we begin talking about your game, tell me about the last memorable beer you drank?
A:  Every home brew really tends to be a memorable beer experience for me and the last one I brewed and drank was pumpkin ale brewed this fall.  This particular home brew didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped but there is something about putting the time into the brewing process that always makes it memorable.  This pumpkin ale was brewed together with my wife and it was one of the first times we brewed together.  Of course the beer choice was hers.  This pumpkin ale mysteriously made it to the Christmas season and ended up in a White Elephant party where somebody was actually very enthusiastic to get a home brew as a gift.
Q.  Do you have any favorite Minnesota Beers that come to mind?
A:  My favorite Minnesota beer has to go to Surly Furious.  It’s pretty widely distributed in the area but is a very balanced IPA in my opinion perfect for the dining or drinking experience in almost any occasion.
Q.  So you decided to come up with a Craft Beer Board Game?  Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A:  Brewin’ USA is a game that is all about craft beer in the USA where the player goal is to become the best brewery in the nation.  The player will need to compete over obtaining ingredients so they can brew and launch their beer and then again compete over market demand in the US.  The game uses thematic beer bottle caps and “Beer coaster” inspired game tiles as components which is very unique in the board game space.  I am also partnering with local and national craft breweries to be part of the game with their logo and beer names as artwork.  Brewin’ USA is game designed for the hobby game space, but has theme and components that are more approachable than most hobby games.
Q.  What was the inspiration behind the game?
A:  The inspiration behind the game actually came with the thought of hanging out with friends and drinking a craft beer and then adding the bottle cap as part of the playing pieces.  The bottle caps as game components stuck as a worthy idea but the concept of drinking to play quickly departed from the hobby gaming design space I intended to target.
Q.  What was the most challenging part of designing a game?
A:  The most challenging part of designing a game is literally when to know a game is complete.  Through the Kickstarter community and working with Breweries, I have been challenged to stretch and mold the game design to fit new ideas and be true to the theme as possible.  This has been a huge benefit as well as a challenge though because people show great appreciation when you listen to feedback and strive to make the best game possible as the number one goal.  Starting out designing games there is obviously a learning curve that people will go through but knowing when to stop adding or subtracting features and when the product is finished is the largest challenge in my opinion.
Q:  What is the premise of the game?
A:  [Taken from an official release document]:  You are an Entrepreneur at the inception of the Craft Beer revolution. Your goal is to become the best Microbrewery in the USA but competition is fierce. You will need to win Key Ingredients to brew your product line of Craft Beer. To become the best Microbrewery in the nation, your beer will need to control Local and Regional markets fending off any competition with the infamaous Brewfest.
Q.  Any memorable stories from the play testing groups?
A:  The most memorable stories from play testing groups are always when something broken is uncovered or the game play emerges to a new idea or play style.  I remember one specific game where there was a Brewfest with 23 Market Demand Bottle Caps (Victory points) at stake in the final play and somebody swooped in with a special additive on a beer and swapped 23 Market Demand Bottle Caps with a stack of 2 resulting in a massive catch-up play.  As the designer of a game, having the potential for this play is fun and exciting to the winner and cruel or unfair to the losers so setting up systems that put a maximum on unfairness become critical to the balance perceived by others.
Q.  How do you think your game will impact the craft beer industry?
A:  I would be thrilled if the craft beer industry sets Brewin’ USA in their taprooms for both craft beer enthusiasts and gamers to enjoy.  I also think that the international Kickstarter platform gives some really unique marketing potential for Craft Breweries to get some exposure in new territory.  It won’t be massive, but the better the game is the more lasting it will be.
Q.  So what are the next steps for you, and when can we expect to see your game on shelves?
A:  The next steps from me are to be [laser] focused with designing a quality product to Kickstarter backers for Brewin’ USA.  The project is funded, but there is still a lot of work to do throughout the entire process.  I will also look for new opportunity to expand on the Brewin’ USA property if the demand exists as well as pursue new and exciting board game projects in the future.  Game design is still a hobby and a passion but is quickly turning into something more than that with great support from the Craft Beer industry and Kickstarter backers.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Adam!  We look forward to seeing your project get published, and good luck with the Kickstarter!  PROST!