Bribe and brew your way to fame in boozy monastic management sim Ale Abbey

In my stomping grounds of Glasgow, Scotland, one of the most popular boozy beverages is Buckfast Tonic Wine, a syrupy sweet tipple that gets you bouncing off the walls thanks to the added caffeine. I confess I'm a fan, but it's got a bad rep thanks to it being the booze of choice for underage drinkers, as well as folks who like to dabble in a bit of crime after overindulging. It's also the creation of Buckfast Abbey, a Devonshire Monastery.

The monks of Buckfast Abbey no longer make or distribute Buckfast, instead licensing it to a couple of different companies, but all around the world there are still monasteries making sure we get all boozed up. The monks of the Catholic Trappist order, for instance, have had a beer-brewing side hustle since the 1600s, and they still run 10 breweries today. And if the thought of monks trying to create an alcoholic drink good enough for God tickles your fancy, then you might want to keep an eye on Ale Abbey. 

(Image credit: Hammer & Ravens)

Shown off in the PC Gaming Show, Ale Abbey is a management sim that sees you running a monastery dedicated to the creation of tasty ales. You'll have to keep up with trends, maintain the happiness of your little monk brewers, deal with random events, get protection from your local lord, and bribe bandits so they don't get in the way of your holy task: turning beer into fame and fortune. 

By sticking some scholarly brothers in the library, you'll be able to unlock new recipes, which can then be produced in the brewery, where the monks will conduct the important work of handling the mash and fermentation process. You'll need to source ingredients and discover new techniques, and the trailer suggests a bit of experimentation is involved as you try to concoct the perfect beer.

It all sounds pretty involved—though you'll eventually be able to automate some of the busywork—with developer Hammer & Ravens saying that "the beer production loop reflects real-life craft experiences, involving recipe creation, brewing, and the excitement of seeing efforts manifest in a rewarding final product". 

Ale Abbey looks like a good time, and as an added bonus you can watch monks put their product to the test, getting absolutely hammered before collapsing on the floor. These boys know how to party. If this sounds like your mug of ale, you should be able to check it out later this year—barring an act of God. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.