Monday Brews: 12-9-13

4.3 inches of snow fell overnight. But that won’t stop this from being an enjoyable recap of the games I played and the beers I savored last week. And since I was part of a Board Game Day, which my group does twice a year, I was able to play some games that I normally do not get to play.

Here are the Boards and Barley I enjoyed last week…

The Barley:

Ommegang Abbey Ale: I don’t normally buy beer in any size other than 12 ounce bottles, but I made an exception. This is an exceptional beer worth making an exception for. I was exceptionally well pleased with my making of an exception.

Tyranena’s The Devil Made Me Do It Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter: So thick and creamy and rich and flavorful. So delicious! The name speaks for itself.

Hinterland Oktoberfest: If you want an oktoberfest that tastes unlike an oktoberfest, then might I recommend this one? I won’t be having this oktoberfest again. It has a really weird farm-y flavor/aftertaste.

8 Beers at once! Putting "double fisting" to shame!

8 Beers at once! Putting “double fisting” to shame!

Granite City 8 Beer Sampler: On Friday my wife and I enjoyed a meal apart from the kids. We chose Granite City since it was close to the area where we were doing some Christmas shopping. As my dinner beverage I chose the beer sampler, which came with 8 different beers. What’s nice about Granite City is they have their own craft beer. What’s not nice is that I don’t particularly enjoy any of their beers. What’s also not nice is they serve ONLY their own beer. On the upside I was able to try 8 different kinds of beer!

Sierra Nevada Porter: I’m not a huge fan of their Pale Ale, but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m not much of a pale ale kind of guy. However, their porter was most enjoyable. I’ll definitely drink it again.

Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine: This potent behemoth of a beverage weighs in at 9.4%abv. I had only had one other barleywine before this one and that first was was not enjoyable. But I figured I should try another. This barleywine was actually quite enjoyable. I would have preferred to have enjoyed it sitting around the fireplace enjoying a plate of Christmas cookies rather than during Board Game Day where it threatened to knock me out. It’s a beer that I will try again.

Leinenkugel’s Snow Drift Vanilla Porter: I enjoy this Wisconsin brew. I am sure there are better vanilla porters out there (I’m looking at you, Breckenridge Brewery!), but this one was a nice final beverage for Board Game Day.

The Boards:

Le Havre (iOS): I wondering if I should include iOS games in this list. My temporary conclusion is that I won’t list them anymore since I only ever play them solo and that’s not what board games are all about for me. Board games are about hanging out with friends, beating them to a pulp, and being humble in victory. And also being bitter in defeat.

Asara: This game is all about erecting structures. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Qwirkle: This may be my favorite abstract game. Though I don’t normally like to play abstracts, this one finds its way to the table quite often.

Viticulture: We played a learning game of Viticulture at Board Game Day and quit after we realized we were playing it incorrectly. The game seems like a lot of fun though and I’ll have to give it another try before I really form an opinion.

Guildhall Job Faire: I love the interaction of the cards in this game and its predecessor, Guildhall. The art doesn’t strike me as being awesome, but the gameplay works really well. Overall Guildhall and Guildhall: Job Faire are enjoyable games.

Bruges: I got Bruges to the table for the first time. We played one rule incorrectly in the first two rounds, but since everyone had done it incorrectly we simply carried on. My first impression is that this game seems to be really good. I love how you can make combos of cards to build a little engine. I love how nothing comes without a cost. There are tough decisions to make. And the best part is that this feels Feldian without being a huge point salad.

Skyline: It was cool that I showed the guys the picture of David Short on the back of the rules and could tell them that I had met and played games with David at BGG.con. Skyline is a really fun filler game that I think I will add to my Christmas list. It’s so simple, yet can be so rewarding. If you haven’t tried it, go find it at your FLGS (favorite local game store) and pick up a copy.

Toc Toc Woodman (Click Clack Lumberjack) x2: I have a love/hate relationship with Toc Toc Woodman. I love the premise. I hate how bad at it I am. We played twice during Board Game Day. The first time I ended with about -7 points. The second time I had 2 points. I won’t quite my day job to join the Toc Toc Woodman tournament circuit.

Kingdom Builder: This has been one of my favorite games in the past two years. It plays quickly. It is easy enough to teach. And since it is a game my wife will play that makes it even better. I’ve been really loving the Crossroads expansion lately. But that’s mostly because I love the cards that give you other scoring objectives.

Merchants & Marauders: This is perhaps my favorite pirate game out there. While the gameplay isn’t necessarily the best, what the game does well is immerses you into pirate-dom. I love how it seems I’m sailing around in the Caribbean trading goods or looking for someone to plunder. Unfortunately we only played a few rounds, but I still had the full experience as I was the only captain to die.

League of Six: I love Vladimir Suchy’s game Shipyard. This one wasn’t so loveable. It wasn’t a bad game by any means, but I just didn’t enjoy it all that much. That may have been due to the fact that I was hoping to play a different game about an expedition to the western portion of the country that may or may not have been launched by Thomas Jefferson, but I guess I’ll have to play that game some other time.

Designer’s Corner:

Last week I shared a design update so I don’t have much to add in this week’s Designer’s Corner. However, I did finally come up with a theme and some of the mechanics that I want to use for Dice Hate Me’s 54 Card Challenge. So I consider that major progress!


I had a pretty good week in terms of Boards and Barley. What did you enjoy last week?


Posted on December 9, 2013, in Monday Brews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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