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How to make your own beer [without homebrewing]

A digital startup is collaborating with a new brewery to help you make your own beer — no equipment necessary.

Brewed in Chicago, an online directory of resources for craft beer fans, is creating an online game called “Craft Your Beer” that lets players pick ingredients and styles and create virtual labels to share on social media.

The most popular beer ideas (as determined by votes on the site) will be made into the real thing by Empirical Brewery in Ravenswood.

Brewed in Chicago founder Brian Busche, who also runs a Web development shop, met the Empirical folks when the brewery was looking for some dev help. “I love working on beer websites, and I was eager to meet with them,” Busche said in an email. “When I realized that they had a very strong desire to use customer feedback in the development of their beer, I knew they would make a great partner in the launch of this game.”

Busche is running a $15,000 Indiegogo campaign for “Craft Your Beer” — the crowdfunding ends Wednesday, and the game is expected to launch by December.

The plan is to have the first beer created by the collaboration of Empirical and the Brewed in Chicago game available at a tasting party as well as at Empirical’s taproom (set to open early next year).

As for Brewed in Chicago, Busche hopes to grow traffic and users, release a mobile app, and ultimately sell his research to beer-related businesses.

“I want to grow the site to become the best resource for craft beer information in the Chicagoland area,” he said.