First Look: World of Beer

Quick Info: The World of Beer is a national restaurant chain that specializes in craft beer. They just opened their first Western New York location in the Walden Galleria in August 2015. The bar offers over 50 different beers on tap including their signature ‘infusing tap system’ and one beer on cask. They offer another 100+ bottles and cans, arranged in a large glass case by country. Their well designed and easy to use app informs customers of what’s currently on tap or available in bottle/can and will link up to your ‘loyalty account’ to keep track of what you’ve tried. The restaurant is located in the former Ruby Tuesday restaurant (facing the Millennium Hotel) and is open seven days a week, 11am to midnight (Sun through Wed) and 11am to 2am (Thurs through Sat). The menu is very affordable, with small plates/appetizers ranging from $7 to $15 and burgers/sandwiches from $9 to $13.

Our Visit: We visited World of Beer on their 3rd day of operation for a special media preview. We sampled several dishes and beers, played around with their World of Beer app and chatted with staff. The first dish to come to our table was a gigantic German Pretzel ($8) that was served hanging on a banana hook (see picture) with house beer cheese ($2 extra) and a spicy mustard sauce. The pretzel was actually really delicious, freshly cooked and big enough to feed at least four people. The house made mustard sauce was good but the beer cheese sauce won us both over, definitely worth the extra $2. We will probably order that pretzel every time we go. We also sampled their Artisan Sausage Board and Tavern Taters. The sausage board had three different sausages and was pretty decent. The jalapeno sausage might not be the most classic sausage recipe but it paired really good with a beer. The Tavern Taters included a pile of tater tots covered in jalapenos, beer cheese sauce and sour cream. We were unsure of this dish when we saw the description but were again pleasantly surprised. The food on their menu isn’t breaking any new culinary ground or using any local ingredients, but it’s priced incredibly well and perfect for snacking while enjoying a great beer.

Infusing Tap (World of Beer)Tater Tots (World of Beer)Summary: As someone who absolutely loves craft beer and lives in Cheektowaga, WOB is a nice addition to the neighborhood. I don’t care that it’s a national chain, the beer list is pretty incredible (and yes, Ive been to Crabapples, don’t worry). The bar has done an nice job working with local brewers to have them represented, their opening night had a Resurgence beer on cask and Big Ditch Brewing set up through their ‘infuser tap’. We also saw Flying Bison, Hamburg Brewing and Ellicottville represented in their beer list.

The food was solid and the atmosphere is more relaxed and low key than what you’d expect from other national chains. The Walden Galleria has actually really improved their craft beer options over the last few years with Jack Astor’s stepping up their beer game and the addition of Gordon Biersch. But from our small taste, it seems World of Beer has not only a bigger and better beer selection but food that’s cheaper and better than their competitors.

Other Press Coverage: WNY Craft Beer

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