Manor Lords: How to make ale

Only work and no drink makes for unhappy peasants
Slavic Magic / Hooded Horse

It’s only natural that you’d want to unwind after a hard day’s work out on the fields or the woods – and since you can’t play Manor Lords when you’re a medieval peasant, drinking some ale at the local tavern is the best way to relax. Having a steady supply of drinks in your town is an important requirement for high-level citizens in Manor Lords, which in turn pay more taxes and can afford to equip themselves with better gear for battle. Alcohol, it turns out, is the solution to problems.

However, before dreaming of your ale-fueled feudal empire, you need to get the stuff flowing – and while you can import ale, that’s going to be very expensive over time. Hence, it’s best to get your own supply chain established. This guide will show you how to make ale in Manor Lords to get town well-supplied.

How to make ale in Manor Lords

Ale requires you to have some agricultural infrastructure, as its base resource is barley. To set up barley production, you’ll need to place down a sizable field in an area with fertile ground – Manor Lords makes choosing the perfect spot easy for you by automatically turning on a useful filter when you plan out fields. Look for the places with the most vibrant green color and build your field there. To work the fields, you’ll need to build a Farm House and assign families to it.

Farming is relatively intricate in Manor Lords: Fields need to be plowed, crops sown, and then you’ll need to wait for them to grow. Naturally, this only works when there’s no snow, so this is how you’ll get an authentic harvesting cycle in the game. Another realistic aspect: Fields lose fertility over time if the same crops are grown there year after year, so you should rotate them and plan for gaps in which to leave fields empty to allow them to recover.

Manor Lords screenshot showing a field of barley in the rain.
Barley is the basic resource for malt production. / Slavic Magic / Hooded Horse

If you want to build a specialized farming village, I’d recommend you invest Development Points into the agricultural tree – the Heavy Plow upgrade allows an ox to help out on the fields, which is speeding things up greatly, while the ability to have fallow fields double as pastures is fantastic, as the animals will massively boost fertility recovery.

Once your infrastructure is done, select your field and choose barley from the available crops – then the waiting game begins.

In the meantime, you can get the rest of the necessary infrastructure in place. You’ll need the Malthouse to refine the harvested barley into malt and a Brewery to produce ale from this. The Malthouse is a regular production building you can find in the Industry tab, while the Brewery is a backyard extension available for Level 2 residences.

Manor Lords screenshot showing a Malthouse in the rain.
Barley is refined at the Malthouse. / Slavic Magic / Hooded Horse

After your barley has been harvested in Fall, it’ll be transported to your Farm House and then on to your Storage. From there, the Malthouse will refine it into malt, preparing it for the Brewery to produce ale from. This can then be served in your Tavern to make citizens happy. It's a long production chain, so plan your logistics accordingly.

Naturally, this entire process is highly seasonal, so you need to make sure to produce barley in large quantities to secure the supply of malt and ale until the next harvest has come in. Some areas are more abundant when it comes to fertile ground, so it's worth learning how to claim and settle more regions in Manor Lords.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: