Tag Archive | "chain"

Beer Distribution Game - Supply Chain Simulation (Bier Spiel)

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Free Board Game Version for Companies and Universities. Download all required components from this site.

If you are interested in having a one-day beer distribution game session hosted at your company, feel free to contact us.


Supply Chain Management is especially important in Power Electronics due to the irregular cycles of high demand vs. over production which are mainly caused by the supply of wafers and chips.

Many companies make use of consultancy companies to simulate these effects and draw conclusions with the famous Beer Distribution Game.

Under the auspices of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Jacques Ammon, Jan-Patrick Mainka, and Christian Popp, in collaboration with Dr. Walter Demmelhuber, developed the card board game below for free-of-charge usage by anybody.

Please keep in mind that you are allowed to use the files below but the copyright itself is not transferred.




Former Professors of MIT Sloan School of Management invented the Beer Distribution Game to elucidate the key principles of supply chain management in early 1960s. The game is a simulation of a simple supply chain that trades cases of beer.

Core lesson of the Beer Distribution Game is to understand the distribution side dynamics. A multi-echelon supply chain with prohibited communication among the players and with only one person who knows the exact customer demand will lead to the so-called bullwhip effect.

The bullwhip effect often occurs in forecast-based distribution channels where customer orders may create heavy fluctuations within the supply chain of a distribution channel. The classic version of the Beer Distribution Game was designed to translate this effect into a simple simulation with at least four players.

However, this Beer Distribution Game is more complex and offers various scenarios to play. The supply chain is a completely integrated value-added chain that begins with a factory and continues with a regional warehouse, a retail house and finishes with a wholesale house. The cost structure is more complex and, due to classic supply chain management problems, it illustrates value-added chain position problems as well.

Students playing the Beer Distribution Game

Equipment to play 'one chain version'

Beer game playing board


Download 'one chain version'

  • Manual
  • Game Guide
  • 200 plastic tokens (purchasable e.g. at Amazon)
  • Score Cards
  • Overview Cards
  • Demand Cards (front and back sides of cards for demand creation of retail customers)
  • Action Cards
  • Game Board * (print it either in several pieces on A4 or A3 or go to a professional copy shop which prints it on plastic 3m x 0,5 m)
  • 9-sided dice (e.g. Amazon) or if not available 6-sided
  • envelopes

* If you are having trouble downloading the Game Board in Firefox, click here for a possible solution.

Equipment to play 'multiple chain version'

Download multiple chain version in one Zip-File

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time


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