Thirteen Reasons to Get Excited About World of Beer in Tempe
When we first saw that the American Apparel on Mill -- which had for the past several years been housed in the old Tempe National Bank Building -- was shuttering its doors, we were distraught. Where would we get our hipster glasses, unnecessary scarves, and bright pink hot pants? But then we found out what was taking its place: World of Beer.
The craft beer-focused franchise is set to open its Tempe location on July 23. We stopped by the under-construction building to talk with general manager J.P. Watts and product manager Tyler Brown about what makes this beer bar different.
It's the first World of Beer west of Arlington, Texas. World of Beer was founded in Florida and is still mainly an East Coast franchise, with 26 locations nationwide. Watts says the company plans to have 285 open by 2013, with several peppered throughout Phoenix.
You can party in the bank vault. The bar's architecture will make use of a few leftovers from the bank, including the large safe held at its center. The room will be open for seating during regular hours but can be rented out for special occasions.
They'll have beer. Lots of beer. "We'll have about 520 bottles -- 480 constants on the menu and four shelves that we'll keep open for seasonals," Watts says. "Right now we have 50 taps lined up, but I'm meeting tomorrow morning to see if we can get 70." Twelve of those taps will be dedicated to certain beers kept on as constants. Another 24 will be local drafts -- just Arizona beers. "Those will be rotated constantly -- if we have a Mudshark Hefe blow, we'll put SanTan's Hefe behind it," Watts says. Another 30-plus will rotate based on Brown's decisions. The bar will also have a beer engine, so there'll be at least one cask ale available. "Mostly, if it's craft and on tap, we'll have it," Brown says.
It's craft beer only. "We're craft beer and nothing else," Brown says. "No Anheuser-Busch, no Miller-Coors. All our beer has to get submitted, too. We want to make sure we're not selling Shock Top."
The staff will know their beer. "We pride ourselves on the beer knowledge of our staff," Watts says. "They're not just going to know beer; their job will be to educate you. Say your favorite beer is Bud Light Wheat. They're not going to judge you, but they'll offer up some other options for you. That's a Belgian-style wit, so maybe you'd like a Witterkerke or a Lost Coast Great White. And from there maybe they push you to other wheat beers, hefeweizens and the like. We just try to build up and educate the consumer."
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