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Pint Craft crowdfunds craft beer board game

January 31, 2013
| By Pat Evans |
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Pint Craft crowdfunds craft beer board game
The Pint Craft board game will be made in the U.S.

As Nick Helmholdt drove home on New Year’s Day last year after a raucous night of board games, an idea popped into his head.

"There should be a game about beer," he thought.

He soon talked to his friend, Eric Frederick, who brews beer and loves games.

“Part of it was sharing the idea as quick as possible,” Helmholdt said. “A lot of times, people have ideas that don’t go anywhere if you don’t share them.”

He estimates there was a prototype of the game within 30 days — and the game Pint Craft was born.

The game sets up a player as a microbrewer who must collect resources and match the ingredients collected to recipe cards. Each recipe card has a number of pints on it, and the first player to a pre-determined number of pints wins.

In the video below, Helmholdt demonstrates the game.

“Just one thing led to another, and it kept me motivated,” Helmholdt said.

Last fall, Pint Craft found its way on to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter with a goal of raising $12,000 — enough to cover a first-edition printing of 500 sets. Before long, the project surpassed the projected goal, raising $14,357 from 446 Kickstarter backers.

With the first edition on its way, Helmholdt said he’s now exploring a mobile version of the game. He said as a turn-based game, it lends itself to being an excellent app.

Now that he’s a game designer, he hopes he can help tap a larger board game market.

“It’s a weird cultural thing,” he said of board games. “You play at holidays with people you don’t really see. Families have select titles, but there’s a lot more potential.”

Still, it’s not the first thing on his agenda. Helmholdt is a full time project manager at Clean Energy Coalition in Ann Arbor. He was born in Grand Rapids and travels throughout the state for his job.

“I wasn’t thinking, ‘I need to make a game,’” Helmholdt said. “It just came together.”

Helmholdt said he enjoyed the process, while learning about beer, making connections and seeing an idea come to life.

“It’s been good for me to take something from start to finish,” he said. “Ideas usually fizzle out. But there’s still plenty of room to grow.”

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