Longtime friends since their middle school skateboarding days, Collin Poseley and Eggie Foust have watched the local beer scene absolutely flourish since 2012.
“For both of us, the last four years have been a struggle to keep up. As soon as we round the bases, another brewery pops up,” Poseley said.
Now in their early 30s, Poseley and Foust see creative opportunities beyond brewing beer. Without previous experience in the industry, they have started a company, Craft Beer Games, and are in the process of bringing their first project to market, Craft Beer The Board Game. The two founders have high-quality prototypes and they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising $20,000. By Friday, they had raised more than $5,000 from 60 backers and have 12 days to reach their goal. If all goes well, the board game should be available for sale by March.
I learned about the game when I dropped by Fieldwork Brewing’s midtown taproom and sat near Poseley, who was playing a board game with a friend. I asked what they were playing and was impressed with what he had come up with.
Craft Beer The Board Game is one of those win-win enterprises. Folks who visit brewery tasting rooms or taprooms get to socialize, enjoy some casual competition and, in doing so, learn more about craft beer without really trying. You don’t have to be a beer geek to play, but there’s a good chance you’ll be one after a half dozen or so sessions. To acquire resources while playing the game, you’ll learn about beer styles, their ingredients and specifics about yeast strains, hop varieties and different kinds of malt used in various kinds of beers.
For breweries, it seems like an ideal game to have on hand, something beyond corn hole and Jenga. Folks playing the game are bound to stay longer and enjoy more beer.
Poseley said he has visited numerous local breweries and has gotten plenty of interest.
The two were roommates for a while and not only had they become serious beer aficionados, they were big fans of board games.
“We’d come home and our nights were all about beer tasting, note-taking about different styles and having great conversations into the night, and also playing classic board games, including Settlers of Catan,” Poseley said. “One night, we asked ourselves, ‘What does craft bear the board game look like?’”
Soon, they were brainstorming and sketching out ideas. During a recent interview, Foust and Poseley guided me through a couple of rounds of the game. Unlike some European-style board games about beer that tend to be very involved and take hours to play, Craft Beer The Board Game can be learned in a few minutes and does not require expertise.
“We’ve created a game that’s not like diving head first into craft beer. It’s more like dipping your toes in. The game takes five minutes to learn, it can be played while inebriated and, if you want to, you sort of learn through osmosis,” Poseley said.
Each player grabs one of six brew cards. Your goal for the first round is to roll the dice and, with a bit of luck and a little strategy, collect all of the ingredients for that particular beer. It’s fun, it’s engaging and it gets you talking about beer — while drinking beer, no doubt.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the Kickstarter page. For a hands-on experience, the board game creators will be at New Helvetia’s tasting room, 1730 Broadway, Sacramento, on Sunday from 4-8 p.m.