Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fantasy Homebrewing - Every Homebrew Club Should Play

Ever try to come up with new activities or games for your homebrew club? This is one that's having some success with our club right now.

Do you like fantasy football/baseball/hockey etc...? Doesn't matter because if you love to homebrew you're probably going to love this game.

The concepts are exactly the same as fantasy sports but instead of drafting players you're drafting homebrew ingredients. I borrowed this idea from the Fermentation Nation Podcast (http://fermentationnation.net/tag/fantasy-draft/) and my homebrew club loved it. Even people who professed hating fantasy sports wanted in after the draft. After watching how much fun the rest of us had how could they not?

Quick and Dirty How to Play

Find out how many people are going to play then collect $10 (or whatever) from each player. This will be split 70/30 between first and second place.

Select that exact number Yeast, Hops and Base Malts / Extracts. This somewhat mimics the fantasy sports drafting in that only a few are going to be able to draft elite "players". The rest are left to pick from the things like Rye and Mild base malts or Fuggles hops :) Who knows, you may invent a new style playing this game. (We may change this to auction style next time around placing a high value on Pilsner, 2-Row, Marris Otter, Golden Promise etc...)

Throw a tag for each number of the total number of players into a hat. Have each player blindly draw a number from the hat. This will be your draft order. The draft progress from 1-Max # Players then back down Max # - 1 so the last player picks twice and later the first player picks twice etc... This progresses for 5 rounds ( you may want to adjust that).

Players can choose from any category they like in any order they like. They may only pick 1 Hop, 1 Yeast and 1 base malt. Some ingredients like water, finings, rice hulls and salts we made available to everyone.

Have everyone brew there beers giving them 2 months to have them ready (you know for the people who drafted lager yeast) and then have the entire club vote on the beers in a "Peoples Choice" sort of way since the styles will vary widely.

We were having monthly style competitions but it became taxing so this is one of our alternatives. If you have an activity your homebrew club does that you love please share it in the comments.

S.L.A.M. Fantasy Homebrewing Official Rules

Here are the officials rules we came up with for our club:


And here was the first draft list we used:


We spent about an hour drafting for 13 players. This was after the club had been meeting for an hour and a half so everyone was good and greased up, I recommend doing that.

This is the scoring sheet we use for all club competitions. People keep track of their favorite with hash marks etc... then circle their winner at the end. We collect the sheets to find the winner then we compile the feedback anonymously and provide that to the brewers. This helps people improve their beers and allows members to be completely honest when tasting a beer.


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