Featured Group: Games On Tap Louisville!

Featured Group: Games on Tap Louisville

by Michael Pfaff; photographs provided by Daniel Parish

The village was awakened by the shrill cries of a poor soul in the misty dawn. Another of us had been discovered mauled and torn bloody in the gloomy hours of morning. The werewolves had prowled through the village, selected their prey, and made sure they never got up from their sleep. It was up to us, the surviving villagers to figure out which among us was one of the beasts who had committed this murder and commit to putting them to death, even if we might be wrong about it. Luckily, this dreadful decision was just the game of Werewolf, the finale of a Wednesday night event at Louis’s “The Ton”, a comfortable bar in Butchertown, hosted by Games on Tap Louisville (though, more active on their Facebook page).


spencer-teaches a new game
Spencer Davis, co-founder of Games on Tap Louisville, teaches players a new game at Games on Tap.

Games on Tap Louisville is a recently formed board game meetup in Louisville, Ky. focusing on social games with laid-back adults at pubs around the city. The group was formed by Spencer Davis, Devon Briethart and Daniel Parish after the boardgame night at their homes began to grow beyond the space they had. While Devon was attending school in Denver, Devon and Spencer went to a few boardgame meetups with a similar moniker and were inspired by the atmosphere. With the growing crowd and burden on whoever was to host the game night, they decided to try their hand at a public event.

“We wanted a certain vibe, so we just contacted Louis’s and went from there,” Spencer said. “It’s a very non-competitive, low-key and relaxed vibe we’re going for. The atmosphere we want is if you’re playing a game and get up to go get a beer it’s not a big deal.”

Louis’s The Ton is a spacious bar nestled in the heart of Butchertown. When Games on Tap is there, the plush couches and chairs in the front are filled with gamers huddled over craft beer and tabletop games. Everyone seems to mingle and interact freely, and Spencer and Devon can be seen helping people find games or teaching someone a new game. Daniel lingers on the sidelines snapping photographs for their Facebook page and website, which contributes to the atmosphere they are trying to culture. The attention to detail and cultured atmosphere seems to be working, said Devon. She was surprised by the incredible turnout thus far.

And, the new mix of people coming to the events has invigorated the gameplay.

“Games can get stale if you play them with the same people over and over,” Spencer said.

A game being played at Games on Tap.

While Games on Tap has set in place a certain vibe, they want you to show up if you’re in Louisville and into laid-back games. In fact, the first night of Games on Tap had bystanders and onlookers who were at the bar for a non-related birthday game who barely spoke English joining in on the gaming. The goal is to provide a feeling of people able to drop in and out of games. Games on Tap seeks to bring in all those folks who have an interest in boardgames but don’t have a venue to play or aren’t looking for highly complex, competitive gaming.

“There are islands of people who’ve gotten to play Catan and Ticket-to-Ride, and they loved it, but were soured along the way, so they have this apprehension about coming to something like this,” Spencer said.

At Games on Tap, as the night goes on – and the beer flows – it’s not long before you’re joining in games with people you’ve never met as if you’ve been playing together for years. Many of the games are social, fast games like Skull & Roses. But, as the events grow, more and more variety of games are being introduced and played.

Spencer Davis leads a game of Werewolf at a Games on Tap event.

By the end of the night at Games on Tap, people are itching to play Werewolf. It’s a game that demands a large group of players and only a group like Games on Tap can provide. It’s an exciting ending to a night of beer and games with a group of relaxed, social nerds in Louisville.

We highly recommend if you are an experienced gamer looking for a relaxed atmosphere, or someone who is interested in experiencing boardgames with a group of folks who are incredibly friendly and inviting, check out Games on Tap Louisville. Go to their Facebook page, “like” them and sign up for an event.

Featured Groups will be a regular part of Nerd Louisville news and articles. If you’d like your group to be featured, large or small, please contact us

Mike Pfaff

Mike is the co-founder of Nerd Louisville and still volunteers from time-to-time. He's been a nerd since he was first introduced to Dungeons & Dragons when he was a wee lad and continues playing to this day. You can play games with him at Slur Your Role or other Nerd Louisville events.