ANN ARBOR – Bløm Meadworks owners Lauren Bloom and Matt Ritchey set out to create a community space when they first opened their meadery on 4th Avenue last year.
One year on, their weekly game nights have become a staple in the gaming community, with 15 to 35 attendees each week.
"There were a lot of people who found out about it and came in and kind of formed this board game community of wonderful, accepting people," Bloom said. "And it feels like there's a really cohesive, supportive network of board game attendees but also locations and places around Ann Arbor, which I feel like is just kind of indicative of the mindset of that group."
Bloom said comic and game shop Vault of Midnight has been a big contributor to the gaming scene in Ann Arbor.
"We see folks who walk in all the time with Vault of Midnight bags, and they're just looking for a place to play, want a drink, maybe a meal," she said.
Bløm Meadworks has started to build its own collection, after renting games for a year.
"Every month we'll start adding a couple new games depending on what board game attendees might want to see in the collection," Bloom said. "We've built it based on what's played most and what folks seem to be the most interested in."
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She said the age ranges from college students to retirees, and Bløm Meadworks has a game guru that helps tailor each player's experience.
"She facilitates the evening," Bloom said. "So if you come by yourself and you're looking for someone to play with, she can help you find a group. If you're looking to learn about a new game, she can introduce you to games, walk you through instructions, make sure you understand the rules, help pick out a game."
A couple of weeks ago, Bløm Meadworks released its fall-inspired drinks, including:
- Blueberry maple mead
- Absinthe botanical cider using botanicals from Ann Arbor Distilling Co.
- Hopped apricot cider
- Mead cocktails
In mid-November, it will release its Christmas mead with cranberries and ginger. In December, hot mead will make its debut as the temperatures drop. "It will be mulled with some mulling spices and brown sugar," Bloom said.
For more information on Bløm's game nights and drinks, visit its Facebook page.
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