World of Beer
Once upon a time in a strange, distant land known as Florida there was a beer store. This beer store was my joy. Nearby you could find gleaming white beaches, swaying palm trees, and theme parks galore, but nothing gave me greater joy than spending my Friday afternoons browsing the hundreds of beers from around the world where you would create your own mix and match 6 packs to go. Except perhaps visiting the original Hooters across the street. There is some correlation there that I am missing, but I digress.
This store was really not much to look at ... small, less that 15' wide, with rows of coolers lining the walls on both sides. At the door was the check out counter manned by a friendly, knowledgeable beer geek who could, and often would, chat with you for hours about your favorite beverage. The concept was purchased by the Glazer brothers (the guys who brought you the Outback Steakhouse, and you know how wonderful that is) and taken franchised.
The new World of Beer in Dallas bears very little resemblence to my beloved Clearwater hangout. The new concept is quite simply a pub which unlike the original, serves food, drafts beers and about 500 bottles to be consumed in house. The 20 or so drafts are surprisingly uninspired, but at least there was no fizzy pissy water beers on tap and no Stella which was very disappointing to the 2 twits next to me who ordered both. And that knowledgeable beer geek behind the counter? He also did not make the transition. There are a few servers who know a bit about beer, but for the most part you have vacuous, indifferent servers who are happy to tell you that Kronenbourg tastes virtually identical to Chimay. I suspect that they will learn. The biggest surprise was the clientele which I expected to be power drinkers from SMU, but I was amazed when I found myself sitting amongst grizzled beer veterens asking questions of the servers that they were completely unable to answer.
I hope that the WoB lives up to their promises of having the biggest beer selection of any bar in Dallas and also hope that they find the wisdom to provide seasonal selections, which were very scarce on our visit. Several of the staff have great potential and were excited about learning beer, much like I was all those years ago. I will visit WoB from time to time because I see the potential, but they will have to improve considerably to make our heavy rotation list.
World of Beer
5600 SMU Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75206