Heaven & Ale

Heaven & Ale – Rules, Strategy & How to Win Instructions


Heaven & Ale is a competitive board game where players take on the roles of monks in charge of a monastery brewery. The goal is to produce the best ale by collecting resources, planting crops, and managing your brew house. The game was designed by Michael Kiesling and Andreas Schmidt, and it has been a popular cult winner since its release. As usual with games like this, I find there’s a decent bit of strategic depth and the balance between resource management and tile placement is enough to keep me engaged for a few rounds at a time.

The game is set in the Middle Ages, a time when monasteries were the centers of beer production. Heaven & Ale captures this historical aspect by allowing players to cultivate ingredients like hops, barley, and water, and then use them to brew ale. The game has a unique scoring system that combines the efficiency of your production with the quality of your beer, making every decision crucial.

Since its release, Heaven & Ale has gained a reputation for being a deep and engaging game that requires careful planning and strategic thinking. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by both casual players and hardcore strategists, making it a versatile addition to any game night.

Quick Tip for Heaven & Ale

Always keep an eye on your opponents’ monasteries and try to anticipate their moves. This can give you an edge in the race for the best resources and tiles.

Rules for playing Heaven & Ale

Heaven & Ale is played over a series of rounds, with each round consisting of several turns. Players move around a track on the game board, choosing tiles and taking actions to improve their monastery’s brewing capabilities. The game ends after all players have completed the track, and the player with the most points wins.

The rules of Heaven & Ale are detailed but straightforward once you get the hang of them. Players must balance their resources, manage their money, and strategically place tiles on their personal monastery boards. Each tile represents a different ingredient or upgrade to your brewery, and where you place them can greatly affect your scoring potential.

Money is tight in Heaven & Ale, and players must be efficient with their spending. You’ll need to buy tiles, but you also need to save enough to activate your brewery at the end of the game. The game also features a unique scoring mechanism where only your least developed ingredient determines your brewing score, so you must develop all aspects of your brewery evenly.

Equipment and Setup for Heaven & Ale

To play Heaven & Ale, you’ll need the game box which includes a main board, monastery boards for each player, resource tiles, monk tiles, scoring discs, money tokens, and resource markers. The game is designed for 2 to 4 players and typically takes about 60 to 90 minutes to play.

Setting up the game involves placing the main board in the center of the table and giving each player a monastery board. The resource tiles are shuffled and placed face down on designated spaces on the main board. Each player receives a set amount of money to start with, and then you’re ready to begin.

The types of tiles in Heaven & Ale include ingredient tiles (hops, barley, water, yeast, and wood) and monk tiles, which provide special abilities or bonuses. Players will be placing these tiles on their monastery boards throughout the game to optimize their production and score points.

How to Play Heaven & Ale and Game Mechanics

The gameplay of Heaven & Ale is divided into several key mechanics:

  1. Setup: Prepare the game board and player boards, shuffle and place tiles, and distribute starting resources.
  2. Gameplay: Players take turns moving around the track on the main board, selecting tiles, and placing them on their monastery boards.
  3. End of the Game: Once all players have reached the end of the track, final scoring takes place. Players activate their breweries and score points based on their production and the quality of their ale.

During each turn, players can take one of the following actions:

  1. Move your marker on the track and pick up a tile.
  2. Place the tile on your monastery board.
  3. Activate a monk tile for its special ability.
  4. Score points by completing certain configurations on your board.

How to Win at Heaven & Ale

Winning at Heaven & Ale requires a mix of strategy and adaptability. Beginners should focus on understanding how the different tiles work together and how to balance their resources. Intermediate players can start to incorporate more complex strategies, such as timing their moves to optimize tile selection and placement. Advanced players will need to master the art of anticipating opponents’ moves and maximizing their scoring potential through efficient use of monk tiles and resource management.

It’s important to develop all areas of your brewery evenly, as your final score will be determined by your weakest link. Players should also pay attention to the end-game scoring conditions and plan their strategy accordingly.

Best Strategies for playing Heaven & Ale game

To excel at Heaven & Ale, players should aim for the following strategic plays:

  • Balance your resource production to avoid having a weak link in your brewery.
  • Use monk tiles effectively to gain bonuses and special abilities.
  • Manage your money carefully, as it’s needed for both buying tiles and activating your brewery.
  • Plan your tile placement to maximize scoring opportunities.

Sneaky tactics can also come into play, such as blocking opponents from getting certain tiles or using monk abilities to disrupt their strategy.


Common scenarios in Heaven & Ale include being short on money, having an imbalance in resource production, or facing competition for specific tiles. To turn these scenarios to your advantage, you can:

  • Adjust your strategy to focus on more affordable tiles.
  • Use monk tiles to compensate for imbalances in your brewery.
  • Anticipate opponents’ moves and plan your own accordingly to secure the tiles you need.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Heaven & Ale game

Here are some common questions and answers:

Q: Can I move backward on the track?
A: No, you can only move forward.

Q: What happens if I run out of money?
A: You must still move on your turn, but you may be limited in the tiles you can choose.

Q: Can I replace tiles on my monastery board?
A: No, once a tile is placed, it cannot be moved or replaced.

Q: How many times can I use a monk’s ability?
A: Each monk’s ability can only be used once.

Q: Is there a way to get extra money during the game?
A: Yes, certain monk tiles and scoring configurations can provide additional money.

Additional Tips for Heaven & Ale

Here are some extra tips to keep in mind:

  • Pay attention to the bonus scoring tiles and try to fulfill their conditions.
  • Don’t neglect the shed tiles, as they can provide valuable end-game points.
  • Keep an eye on the sun track, as it can offer additional scoring opportunities.

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