KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 6, 2020
By Jennifer Miko
Local businesses need the community's help to survive. Even with Katy's new home construction and a growing population, many area businesses have struggled – either closing temporarily or permanently. Restaurants, service providers, and retail operators are relying now, more than ever, on residents to shop locally.
Jessica and JD Merritt, owners of Battlehops Brewing in Katy
Local Business Adapts to Stay Open
A little over a year ago Katy residents JD and Jessica Merritt opened Battlehops Brewing on Highway 90. In the last six months, they’ve had to shut down three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The couple’s original business concept was to open a brewery with a taproom and games library, combining two things that they love.
JD has been brewing for about 15 years, either as a homebrewer or at Battlehops. But to stay open, he and his wife Jessica have had to switch gears to offer their customers beer and board games to enjoy at home.
“Sticking around has meant drastic changes to our business model,” says Jessica Merritt. “We went from about 2% to-go sales to 100% practically overnight.”
Jessica Merritt said the process is a lot more complicated and costly to fill and seal and label a can.
“That's come with major costs and a lot of growing pains, but we're doing what we have to in order to stay in business,” says Jessica Merritt.
The Battlehops Brewing beer menu is always changing because they brew small batches and love to experiment. Currently, customers can try their Vienna lager (semi-sweet amber lager) and Chocolate Rye IPA (dark, roasty IPA brewed with chocolate and rye malts).
Unfortunately, the Merritts realize to-go sales alone will not sustain the business. The costs are high and the interest is low, so they’re adapting in other ways.