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World of Beer
World of Beer is located in the West End shopping center.
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World of Beer
World of Beer carries more than 550 brews, 50 of which are on tap
On any given day if you were to ask me either what my hobbies are, what I like to do with my off hours, or what are the things I love most in life, the single consistent element in each list would be beer. It’s a confession I’m proud to make that, yes, I am indeed a beer nerd. And there are many like me in Lubbock.
Because of this I was thrilled when my friend Chance Williamson reported that World of Beer was coming to Lubbock. In fact, the more often we talked about it, the more excited I became about the prospect.
For those that have never heard of it, World of Beer bills itself as a tavern, though I’m not certain how accurate that really is. They specialize in beer, it’s their passion and their primary focus, so spirits and cocktails take a backseat. Unlike bars, pubs, or most taverns, it isn’t a “cater to the masses” sort of place, though they are more than happy to help introduce craft beers to any lager lover who walks through the door.
When I asked him about this, Williamson, the assistant general manager, told me that it is seen by its employees and followers as a museum of beer, whose collection is made up of various, finely crafted brews rather than paintings or sculptures. He mentioned that their goal as curators is to help educate the public about beer culture and what makes a fine beer stand out and, hopefully, as with any institution of learning, patrons will leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of craft beer than they had when they arrived.
They can rightfully boast about the more than 550 brews they carry, 50 of which are on tap. This tops out just about any bar or brewhouse in the area, many by the hundreds.
World of Beer also has a one-of-a-kind flavor infusion system to add a unique twist to some of the seasonal beers they have on tap. The infuser circulates the chilled beer through a filtration system that combines it with flavoring such as cinnamon or vanilla. The result is a well thought out combination of flavors that add zing to an already solid flavor base.
WOB, as it is affectionately called, is located in the West End shopping center, surrounded by high-end storefronts and specialty shops. This might be a fitting location because of the current trendiness of craft beer, but I don’t think there is an area more tailor-made to appreciate what World of Beer offers.
When you walk through the doors, you are reminded by the unique fixtures and calculated smattering of beerphenalia that they are serious about their brews. Looming large in the right corner of the dining room is an enormous Lagunitas Brewing Co. logo. To the left is a casual seating area reminiscent of a small living room, fully furnished with a couch, chairs and a flatscreen TV.
The rest of the dining area is taken up by an assortment of tables, chairs and barstools, staggered at intervals that are comfortable but not isolating. A bar takes up most of the right wall of the space, the left opens onto a full length patio, complete with firepit, for a pleasant evening dining outdoors.
While World of Beer focuses primarily on its selection of beers and their honest representation, the dining element isn’t overlooked. With a menu that is fit for an upscale tavern, their fare ranges from buffalo wings and their signature giant pretzel (about the size of a steering wheel), to an assortment of flatbreads, IPA grilled salmon and schnitzel. This might sound somewhat typical of a pub, but the meals are delights designed to accentuate the beers they are paired with. Filling but not overpowering, the unique creations are a spin-off of what you would find at many fine dining establishments. The ingredients are as fresh as they are delicious and the kitchen staff proves they have the culinary chops to do it right. You would be hard pressed to find something on the menu that isn’t perfect for this sort of environment.
One of the things that really fascinated me is that the entire staff is excited about the concept. From servers that collect beer glasses to management which is better educated about ales and stouts than some brewmasters. They are all passionate about their jobs as curators of the craft and perform their duties with a gusto rarely seen in restaurants.
Both General Manager Chris Hernandez, and Assistant General Manager Chance Williamson have extensive knowledge of the beers they promote and jump at the opportunity to share their knowledge. This is more than just a strength, it’s a necessity for such an establishment to run smoothly.
Without a doubt if you’re a beer nerd, or are interested in learning more about the variety of ales, IPAs, sours and bitters, World of Beer can provide you with an education and experience that will leave a smile on your brew-loving lips.
For more information about World of Beer, check out their site at http://www.worldofbeer.com/lubbock
By Cobey Shaver