Contributors in this thread!
I generally reach a point when I'm designing adventures where I'm like "Oh, crap, what can I put into a dungeon cell that's not dull as dirt?"
That's where these ideas come from. And I used to just make the lists myself, but there's a synergistic energy to crowdsourcing. So here we are, to be entered into google and osrsearch for all time.
What the heck has gone wrong at the brewery?
1.) The Barley King has arisen to take back what is rightfully his.
2.) The rats are plotting a takeover
3.) The yeast has become sentient.
4.) All the water has turned to blood and it looks like a charnel house more than a brewery
5.) The undead workforce are on strike
6.) A band of goblins is scavenging copper from the brew kettles.
7.) The barrels turned out to be mimics.
8.) Otyughs have decide the mash is "treasure" and will fight to keep it.
9.) Hallucinogenic fungus growing in barrels.
10.) Nocturnal gnomes stealing brew.
12.) An alcoholic cleric/monk decided the beer was too weak and used a spell from the god of alcohol (Bacchus-esque) to make the beer stronger. The god decided it would be nice to make it real strong, but with a slow build. In the end: lots of really drunk townsfolk... brawls? romance? defenseless against attack? being taken advantage of by wily sober thieves?
13.) A witch cursed everyone in town (maybe even the kingdom) with gluten allergies and the brewmaster is contemplating suicide because he knows of no alternatives.
14.) The dead bodies of prominent thieves keep appearing in perfectly sealed kegs of beer. No signs of tampering are evident, and its even happening in kegs that have been specially marked.
15.) The duke made an offhand joke about how dwarven ale was almost as good as what they made in his hometown, and now dwarven ego must be soothed before they'll resume work. Good luck with that.
16.) Something is wrong with the beer! When you drink it, you NEVER SOBER UP.
17.) A dragon has demanded an impossible tribute of fifty thousand barrels of beer. The dwarves are collapsing from fatigue and the dragon is growing impatient.
18.) The rival brewery has sent dwarven "ninjas" to sabotage it.
19.) The hill giants have taken over the brewery and are drinking all the beer in some sort of hill giant rager. They're too high level for the party, but they are really, really drunk. . .
20.) Sentient Mead.
21.) Horrible molds and fungi start growing, feeding on the evaporated alcohol
23.) Was a Japanese saki Demon.
24.) A coven cursed them with perpetual sobriety.
26.) Horrible wolfbees have been sent to cause havok by the rival meadery.
27.) The Green Hop Goddess has moved into the human frame of a brewery worker, demands weekly sacrifice in return for doubling output, death by forced ingestion of green hop beer.
28.) The stills animate into a golem. A perpetually drunk golem.
29.) Giant Hornets suck. You know what sucks more? Drunk Giant Hornets
30.) She wants to take a bath in alcohol? You're going to take her to take a bath in alcohol!
BONUS TOP TEN LIST
Top 10 most terrifying wolf monsters
10.) Wolf Spider
4.) Wolf-Cat (panther, etc.)
3.) Zombie Wolf