The era of the arcade may be over, but video gamers have not lost their place.
Battle and Brew, located in Marietta just outside the metro Atlanta perimeter, is a unique venue that offers a food, drink and electrifying arcade-reminiscent gaming experience; except patrons now do not have to worry about having change on hand.
Started as an arena for Street Fighter players in Atlanta to battle it out four years ago, the venue has grown to host tournaments for various games, including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat 9, Starcraft II and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
For gamers not looking to compet, the venue offers a diverse and strong lineup of games for players to choose from, both for consoles and PC, starting from $5-$6 per hour with the possibility to upgrade to a daily or monthly rate. Students and female gamers are in luck, as the former are eligible for an all-day pass for half the price on Mondays, and the latter has access to all games all day for free on Fridays.
“As far as competitive [gaming] tournaments go, they’ve always been around, but they’ve just recently started to grow up,” says the Battle and Brew tournament coordinator Gunnar Ohberg.
States Ohberg: “We often stream League of Legends matches, and I think that that game, as well as Super Street Fighter IV and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, has really raised the bar on general awareness of eSports. It’s a totally new field of entertainment and business ideas, and there’s still so much the organizers need to learn because nothing like this has ever been done before. But the community is growing so rapidly.”
If you crave fresh sandwiches and pizzas in between fierce mashing and clicking, this venue offers a wide range of food and drink selections. The top offering, as recommended by Ohberg, is loaded tots – deep-fried potatoes with melted cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream. For drinkers, Battle and Brew focuses on craft brews, and while the menu changes frequently to offer the best and new taste for different seasons, recommended are Three Philosophers, Maudite and Hopsecutioner.
Today’s video games, particularly those in the arcade setting, are generally seen as a hobby for kids and young adults. Dave & Buster’s, for example, is marketed as entertainment for families with young children. Battle and Brew, however, serves adult gamers who grew up with NES, Genesis and Neo Geo, as well as underage gamers of the current generation.
“We aim to fill the voids left by the loss of the arcade scene and serve adult gamers like myself who don’t want to go to a bar and watch sports or go to [today’s] arcade and not be able to drink. We have the best of both worlds,” says Ohberg.
For the underage crowd, Battle and Brew offers a great variety of soda, tea, energy drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages. While the average age of visitors to the venue seems to fall between 21 and 28, there are people as young as 10 and old as 40 sighted, proving the attractiveness of the venue to people of all age groups.
Ohberg invites all interested people to come by the venue on Thursdays to check out the exciting tournaments of various games. So if you enjoy video games – both by playing and by watching – and reasonably-priced drinks, Battle and Brew is worth a visit.