I suspect quite a few players will be seeing the level 90 version of the Brewfest holiday boss, Coren Direbrew, for the first time this week. Last year's Brewfest arrived so soon after Mists of Pandaria launched that you had to level somewhat quickly to be able to queue for Coren at all. Fortunately, that's no longer the case, so now you've got a choice. You can get better gear for yourself and approximately 37,000 alts off the Timeless Isle if you've a mind to grind, but killing Coren can get you some ilevel 470 trinkets without having to suffer endless "Is Huolon up?" spam in general chat.
That might be worth it. It's up to you.
Anyway, right now there's no indication that Blizzard has changed the holiday in any substantive manner, and [the developers said very recently at Gamescom](http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/1345) that there aren't any plans to overhaul holidays in the near future.
This year, Brewfest runs from Friday, Sept. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 6. As always, check your in-game calendar for your server's exact start and end times, as they'll differ slightly by time zone. The Brewfest meta Brewmaster is required for the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you'll want to get this done if you're working toward a Violet Proto-Drake.
If you're leveling a monk who plans to tank, the Brewmaster title is basically mandatory. And yes, the Orgrimmar Brewfest area is smack in the middle of what's canonically a war zone at present, but when has free booze not trumped violence?
The holiday's achievements are organized in the rough order I feel they should be completed, as one is dependent on having help from other players. As with most of WoW's holidays, there's higher participation at the start, which dwindles as folks get their drops and complete achievements, so I prioritize getting Down With The Dark Iron done as quickly as possible. Assuming you get Down With the Dark Iron out of the way, Brewfest achievements aren't generally difficult, though they'll require a little elbow grease if you're starting from scratch.
I've included all of the achievements attached to the holiday, but you'll only need six for the meta, and they've been marked as such.
A quick note for achievement hunters
The yearly editions of the Brewfest Stein (e.g., Yellow Brewfest Stein, Green Brewfest Stein, Blue Brewfest Stein) tend to become Feats of Strength down the road. That said, we're not guaranteed to get a new stein each year, but if/when one is handed out, don't toss it, just in case.
Down with the Dark Iron (required for the meta)
Down with the Dark Iron is the achievement to get out of the way as early as you can in the holiday, as it's significantly harder if there aren't a lot of players around to help fight off the Dark Iron attacks. If you can't get this done within the first few days of the holiday, keep checking back at server/CRZ high times, or enlist help from friends and guildies.
Every half-hour, Dark Iron Dwarves attack both the Alliance and Horde Brewfest areas (which are located outside of Ironforge and Orgrimmar's main gates respectively). If a sufficient number of people help defend the camp, the attack is thwarted, and the Dark Irons will leave a large cog on the ground. Right-clicking the cog will give you the daily quest This One Time, When I was Drunk. Turn this in, and you've got your achievement. Incidentally, the quest also rewards 10 Brewfest Prize Tokens (the holiday's currency), so even if you don't need the achievement anymore, it's extremely helpful if you're saving toward Brewfest clothing and/or the Brew of the Month Club achievement.
So how does one help defend? On tables around the central festival area, you'll find Complimentary Brewfest Samplers. Pick one of these up, and hotkey it somewhere convenient. When the Dark Irons attack, keep tab-targeting through them while spamming the hotkey. Nearby brewery NPCs will keep tossing you filled mugs, so you'll keep drinking and tossing with an endless supply of beer-fueled ammunition. Ideally, the end result is that the Dark Irons get beaten back at the same time you get hopelessly sloshed, and if enough people are defending alongside you, your faction's kegs will be saved. It's only necessary to save one of your kegs in order to successfully "defend" against the attacks, but there are so many Dark Iron Dwarves attacking at once that this is almost impossible to do without help. Get it done early, folks.
All set? Time to start saving more Brewfest Prize Tokens ...
Brew of the Month (required for the meta)
Brew of the Month was once one of the most controversial achievements in the game. In order to complete it, you had to have tasted each of the 12 brews sent to you monthly -- which, yes, meant you spent an entire year getting this one achievement. Blizzard changed this heading into patch 3.1, after players complained that no death knight would be able to get What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been for almost two years. You see, Wrath of the Lich King (and thus the death knight class) launched in November 2008, two months after Brewfest 2008, which left death knights (and anyone who hadn't done Brewfest) up the proverbial creek.
So now, Brew of the Month simply requires you to join the club, and the original version was changed to Brew of the Year, which is its own achievement now (see below) and not required for the meta.
Joining the Brew of the Month Club will run you 200 Brewfest Prize Tokens for the membership form. Afterwards, you'll need to make a trip to Orgrimmar or Ironforge to turn in the membership to Ray'ma or Larkin Thunderbrew, respectively, and that should nab you the achievement.
If you start amassing tokens relatively early, you should be fine getting the 550 you'll need for both Brew of the Month and Disturbing the Peace (below). Once you're on track, you can worry about the less time-sensitive achievements.
Disturbing the Peace (not required for the meta)
You do not need to do Disturbing the Peace for your Brewmaster title, and you may want to ignore it on a character that's new to the holiday who still needs Brew of the Month. However, I've listed it third here because you'll need to get an early start on Brewfest if you want both achievements.
You'll have to save 350 Brewfest Prize Tokens in order to purchase the clothing you'll need, and you can choose from among the following in the chest, feet, and helm slots:
- Brewfest Dress or Regalia 200 tokens
- Brewfest Boots or Slippers 100 tokens
- Brewfest Hat (one of four -- blue, brown, green, or purple) 50 tokens
It was once possible to sell the clothes back to a holiday vendor in return for your 350 Prize Tokens, but Blizzard has eliminated this method of making the currency (and other holiday currencies) go further. Bottom line? Once you spend your tokens, they're gone for good, and anyone who wants all of the Brewfest achievements won't have a lot of extra tokens knocking around for fun purchases like Blix's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles. Plan accordingly!
Does Your Wolpertinger Linger? (required for the meta)
Does Your Wolpertinger Linger? is extremely easy. The cute but somewhat vicious-looking wolpertinger pet is a reward for the one-time quest Catch the Wild Wolpertinger! (Alliance) or Catch the Wild Wolpertinger! (Horde) on all non-EU servers. (EU players have to buy the wolpertinger from the holiday quartermaster as these quests don't exist on their servers.) Each starts from the factions' central festival areas outside Ironforge or Orgrimmar respectively, with Goldark Snipehunter for the Alliance and Glodrak Huntsniper for the Horde.
In contrast to Down With The Dark Iron, this is slightly harder to do early in the holiday with lots of people getting their quests and achievements, as there are only so many wild wolpertingers needed for the quest running around the festival area at a given moment. Keep at it. They respawn quickly, so a little persistence is all you need. If you do the quest on multiple characters, you can box up extra wolpertingers you get and sell them on the AH later, though I wouldn't expect them to go for too much money.
For die-hard pet collectors, this is one of the more interesting pets in that other players will be unable to see your wolpertinger unless they're drunk.
The Brewfest Diet (required for the meta)
The Brewfest Diet is one of the less time-consuming but more filling achievements. The achievement requires you to purchase and eat eight specific foods sold by Brewfest vendors. None of the items sold are very expensive, and doing the achievement will only cost you 20 silver and 68 copper. All of the vendors will be found in the central festival areas outside Orgrimmar and Ironforge.
For low-level players, please note that there are level restrictions on many of these foods, and unless you're at least level 65, you will not be able to complete this achievement.
- Dried Sausages, Savory Sausages, Spicy Smoked Sausages, Pickled Sausages, Succulent Sausages and the Golden Link are all sold by the Brewfest sausage vendors Keiran Donoghue (Alliance) and Bron (Horde).
- The Essential Brewfest Pretzel is sold by Arlen Lochlan (Alliance) and Uta Roughdough (Horde).
- Spiced Onion Cheese (bleh) is sold by Anne Summers (Alliance) and Agnes Farwithers (Horde).
Direbrewfest (required for the meta)
Coren Direbrew is arguably the poster child for Blizzard's decision to link holiday bosses to the Dungeon Finder. It used to take ages for Direbrewfest groups to get moving because nobody wanted to make the long trek to Blackrock Depths. Horde groups were particularly notorious for this, as people were usually traveling from Orgrimmar, and BRD is definitely not one of the more convenient dungeons coming from that city.
Ah well -- that's all in the past. Pull up your Dungeon Finder (the default hotkey for this is I), and in addition to the usual dungeon and raid options, you'll find a Coren Direbrew option for the duration of Brewfest. If you're already in a group, you can queue for everyone to go (or have someone else do it for you); if not, you can kill Coren with random players. If you've never done the Coren fight before, here's a rundown, with more information available on his Wowpedia page. He's a very easy fight, and even a group without any experience fighting him probably won't find it tough to get a kill.
His 2013 loot table should be as follows. Experienced players will recognize them as ilevel 470 versions of what Coren's previously dropped:
- Bitterest Balebrew Charm
- Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm
- Thousand-Year Pickled Egg As a quick note, the name of this is taken from the real-world Chinese thousand-year or century egg.
- Brawler's Statue
- Coren's Cold Chromium Coaster
- Mithril Wristwatch
- Direbrew's Bloodied Shanker Neither this nor the Tremendous Tankard O'Terror (below) dropped last year. We're guessing it's because handing players two easy ilevel 470 weapons at the very beginning of the expansion would have been an unfair advantage for the rogues, enhancement shaman, and monks whom the weapons primarily benefit.
- Tremendous Tankard O'Terror As above. It'll be interesting to see if these drop this year.
- Great Brewfest Kodo
- Swift Brewfest Ram
- Direbrew's Remote This is one of the most interesting holiday drops in the game and can teleport you once per hour to the Grim Guzzler (the BRD bar). For classes without a lot of travel options, this provides you with an easy way to reach the Eastern Kingdoms. As an added bonus, you can get a performance from The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain each time you take the Remote. Just speak to the goblin roadies at the drum set.
Have Keg, Will Travel (required for the meta)
Fortunately for anyone with terrible luck, Have Keg, Will Travel is no longer dependent on getting lucky with a mount drop off the holiday boss. If you don't already have a Brewfest mount and can't coax Coren Direbrew into dropping one (which is rarer these days with the daily loot bag), just buy some Fresh Brewfest Hops from the token redeemer for the measly sum of 2 tokens, pull out whatever mount you like, and /use the Hops. You can also buy the Preserved Brewfest Hops for 20 tokens, but even the cheap version will get you the achievement.
A Brew-FAST Mount (not required for the meta)
Assuming you manage to get either the Great Brewfest Kodo or the Swift Brewfest Ram (and you should if you're religious about killing Coren Direbrew once a day), you should automatically nab A Brew-FAST Mount, a feat of strength.
Drunken Stupor (not required for the meta)
Paladins, rogues, druids and mages won't have any more difficulty with Drunken Stupor than they had with Going Down? due to immunity effects or less fall damage taken, but it's easy to do if you know where to go. Get "completely smashed" -- as with Disturbing the Peace, the type of liquor you use doesn't matter -- and head for Shattrath. Jump (don't step) off the bridge at this location. The distance to the ground from the bridge is slightly less than 65 yards (which is why you have to jump), and you should get the achievement without dying.
For added fun, bring a bandage with you, and you can get Ultimate Triage directly afterwards, if you don't have it already.
Strange Brew (Alliance) or Strange Brew (Horde) (not required for the meta)
The Horde and the Alliance versions of Strange Brew are slightly different, as each faction has different competing breweries, but it's still pretty straightforward. You'll find the NPCs you need in the festival areas:
- Barleybrew Clear, Barleybrew Light and Barleybrew Dark are all sold by the Barleybrew Apprentice.
- Gordok Grog, Ogre Mead and Mudder's Milk (Firefly reference!) are all sold by the Gordok Brew Apprentice.
- Thunder 45, Thunderbrew Ale and Thunderbrew Stout are all sold by the Thunderbrew Apprentice.
- Brewdoo Magic, Jungle River Water and Stout Shrunken Head are all sold by T'chali's Voodoo Brewery Apprentice.
- Gordok Grog, Ogre Mead and Mudder's Milk are all sold by the Gordok Brew Apprentice.
- Long Stride Brew, Path of Brew and Small Step Brew are all sold by Drohn's Distillery Apprentice.
Brew of the Year is actually not something you can do during Brewfest itself. Assuming you've joined the Brew of the Month Club, once a month, you'll be sent a bottle of booze in the mail. Open your mail, chug the bottle, throw the bottle to smash on the nearby pavement, and if you drink all 12 monthly brews over the course of the year, you've got your achievement.
Most of the brews have funny secondary effects. So far, the most interesting has been the Lord of Frost's Private Label, which can turn you into an ice block. Given that ice blocks have historically played a prominent, lifesaving role on some raid encounters, it's not surprising that players have had some fun with this. I'll let a video titled "How to Wipe in Naxxramas Using Beer" speak for itself. Ah, memories.