When walking into Battlehops Brewing, customers are mesmerized by what they find, owners JD and Jessica Merritt said.
It is understandable, the husband-and-wife business partners said, since most people say they have never seen so many board games in one place.
The board game brewpub, which opened in May 2019, is the result of the couple’s dream to open a brewery and lifelong passion for games. The duo brews small-batch beers, sodas and coffee, and their game library includes more than 400 titles.
The two have long wanted to open a brewery, and they knew they needed to do something different to stand out. Adding the board game element was an obvious choice, JD said.
“I was already collecting games for about as long as I can remember,” JD said, “So I was like, ‘I want to do something where I get paid to play board games.’”
As far as JD and Jessica know, Battlehops Brewing is the only board game brewpub around.
There are three main categories of people who visit Battlehops, JD said. The first are those who are looking for a good beer. The second are those who come solely to sit and play board games. The third is their target audience: people who do both.
The extensive board game selection is made up of classic games, games for children, two-player games, group games and strategy games.
In several ways, the coronavirus pandemic forced Battlehops to grow, Jessica said. For example, once the pandemic hit, the two got a food and beverage license to begin serving food and opened a retail section with games for purchase.
“It’s really great to see the community come out, especially during this past challenging year,” she said. “We’re thankful for the support.”