Last Updated on January 22, 2023
After a long adventure, it’s no surprise that most adventurers seek to spend their new coin at the tavern drinking and celebrating. But, what if the party could bring the party out into the wilds with them?
The brewer’s supplies artisan tool is an interesting tool thanks to its unique standing in the world. But, what can you make with a brewer’s kit? How much can you make in a week?
Let’s take a look and see what this tool can really do.
The Brewer’s Kit At A Glance
The brewer’s kit is one of the many artisan tools that a player can have as a proficiency for their character. Proficiency with brewer’s supplies means that a character has some professional background or training with brewing alcohol. These characters can identify alcohols, craft their own, and otherwise interact with people through the craft of brewing.
While this description is a little broad, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything gives us some clarity on what this tool proficiency can do for us:
Brewing is the art of producing beer. Not only does beer serve as an alcoholic beverage, but the process of brewing purifies water. Crafting beer takes weeks of fermentation, but only a few hours of work.
Brewer’s supplies include a large glass jug, a quantity of hops, a siphon, and several feet of tubing.
Proficiency with brewer’s supplies gives you additional insight on Intelligence (History) checks concerning events that involve alcohol as a significant element.
This tool proficiency grants additional insight when you treat anyone suffering from alcohol poisoning or when you can use alcohol to dull pain.
A stiff drink can help soften the hardest heart. Your proficiency with brewer’s supplies can help you ply someone with drink, giving them just enough alcohol to mellow their mood.
Your knowledge of brewing enables you to purify water that would otherwise be undrinkable. As part of a long rest, you can purify up to 6 gallons of water, or 1 gallon as part of a short rest.
The same entry also gives us some DCs for ability checks we can make using our brewer’s kit:
- DC 10: Detect poison or impurities in a drink
- DC 15: Identify alcohol
- DC 20: Ignore effects of alcohol
Overall, proficiency with the Brewers kit is a narrow tool compared to other tool proficiencies like Smith’s tools or alchemist supplies. Weapons, armor, and potions come up all the time for adventurers, but your standard adventurer really only interacts with beer during their visits to an inn or tavern.
However, we can see that there are still many uses for this to proficiency that make it interesting.
Just like in the real world, there are certain brands of beer or vineyards that make wine that attracts their own crowd. These breweries and distilleries have their own stories and histories.
A player with brewer’s supplies proficiency could act as the hook character for an adventure that starts or involves one of these locations. the player would be able to act as equal parts guide and loremaster for the duration of that adventure.
Part of this adventure could be the player having to help treat somebody who seems to have alcohol poisoning but instead is under the effect of something more sinister.
Dungeon Masters should feel free to fill in whatever hook satisfies their players, but now this proficiency has provided a location and an NPC of interest for the party.
Outside of adventures, proficiency with brewer supplies could allow a player to weasel more information than usual out of tavern goers. Thanks to their understanding of spirits, a player with this proficiency can provide an NPC of interest just enough drink to convince them to tell the party something critical for their adventure.
Pair this proficiency with a high charisma character, and you have so many who are great at getting information from parties and banquets.
Finally, there’s something to be said about being able to make fresh drinking water for everyone. Your typical water skin and D&D holds about a gallon of water, meaning that someone with this proficiency can make enough water every hour for someone for the rest of the day.
If you’re in a dangerous place or out at sea, this could be the difference between survival and death.
What Can You Make With Brewer’s Supplies?
When the Player’s Handbook was first released, there wasn’t much information about crafting the rules for it. It took a couple of years for Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to be released, where we have more established rules for not just the tool proficiencies, but also rules for crafting. This is no different for the brewer’s supplies.
When players have sufficient downtime, they might have their characters participate in some non-combat activities within the town or their base. For brewers, the main thing that they create with their tools is alcohol. This is where the Crafting An Item option from the Revisited Downtime section comes in.
Brewing Beer and Wine in D&D 5e
With these rules from Xanathar’s, a character can make 50gp worth of goods over the course of the workweek. In the case of a brewer, this would be 50gp worth of beer or wine or anything else the Dungeon Master decides a player can make.
In addition to their tools, the player will also need some raw materials equal to half of the item’s selling cost. In other words, if a player has 25gp worth of materials, they can fill their entire workweek with the satisfying process of brewing a beer.
The question is: how much beer can a player craft a week? In real life, brewing a beer takes just a few hours of initial work followed by weeks of waiting for the fermentation process to finish.
The Dungeon Master will have to decide if they want to follow this trend from reality or handwaving for the sake of the game. But, we can at least take a look at the volume of beer a player can make.
In the Player’s Handbook, we can see that a mug of ale sells for four copper pieces and holds one pint of beer. If a brewer wants to make the most amount of beer possible, then they would have to spend 25gp paying for the hops, water, yeast, and other ingredients they want to infuse into their beer to make 50gp worth of beer.
That totals up to 1,250 pints of beer that a character can start fermenting each week! To put that in perspective, a barrel holds 40 gallons, or about 384 pints, of beer in D&D 5e. So, a brewer that spends a week starting some beer can get over three barrels of beer going over a workweek!
Depending on the type of wine you make, you could end up with more or less total alcohol.
Common wine sells for 2sp a gallon, so you can make 250 gallons, or around 2,400 pints, of wine per week with the right ingredients. Fine wine, which sells for 10gp per pint and a half, means you can only make a couple of bottles of fine wine per workweek.
None of this goes into the other kinds of alcohols you can brew in real life, such as vodka or tequila. Talk to your DM and see what other fanciful brew you might be able to make in your world!
What Classes and Races Work Best With Brewer’s Supplies?
So, if you want to make a character with this tool proficiency, the question is: what’s the best way to go about doing so? Let’s take a look at the races and classes that stand to get the most out of brewer’s supplies.
Best Races To Use Brewer’s Supplies
While any race can get this proficiency through a background, some races have an innate connection with brewer’s supplies. Here are some of the races that excel with this tool kit:
- Dwarf: Dwarves can start with this tool proficiency for free thanks to their Tool Proficiency feature.
- Githyanki: This strange warrior race can dedicate their training to learning the ways of the brewing kit for free thanks to their Decadent Mastery feature.
- Gnome: While gnomes don’t start with this tool proficiency, their Intelligence boost makes them great at crafting new recipes and remembering the history surrounding different breweries.
- Human: The standard human gets a small boost to every ability score, making them versatile in all facets of brewing.
- Warforged: Although they don’t need to drink, a Warforged that chooses brewer’s supplies as their proficiency of choice from their Specialized Design feature could make for a great brewing assistant.
Ultimately, many races can make use of some or all of this tool’s functions. Intelligent races will be best for creating new recipes and remembering bits of lore. Charismatic races will be great at using alcohol as a tool in conversations and negotiations.
Best Classes To Use Brewer’s Supplies
While any class can lend itself to using brewer’s supplies, some classes stand out thanks to their features or preferred ability scores. Here are some examples of the top classes that can use this artisan tool:
- Bard/Sorcerer/Warlock: Thanks to their focus on Charisma, any of the Charisma-focused spellcasters make for great socialites at parties serving alcohol.
- Rogue: With their Expertise feature and ability to play as the party face, a Rogue can use this tool proficiency in almost any way they wish.
- Wizard: As the main Intelligence class in the game, Wizards can make for characters that seek to use magic to create unique and inspired brews.
Still, any class benefits from this tool proficiency. Paladins and Clerics may swear oaths or form ties to deities of revelry or joy, making them great bearers of this tool proficiency.
Fighters, Rangers, and Barbarians might also enjoy the hobby of craft brewing, just like any other class since crafting doesn’t require any ability checks.
The brewer’s kit proficiency makes for an interesting pick-up for a character thanks to how different it is from the standard artisan tools. While smiths and leatherworkers make sense for adventuring parties, alcohol offers unique roleplay chances and hooks for the players to explore.
Still, talk to your DM about this tool proficiency when you grab it. See if they want to make some cool stories or lore for your character to explore through play. Artisan tools make for a great story hook and the brewer’s supplies are no exception!
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.