The newest beer bar addition to the Walden Galleria Mall is World of Beer. Celebrating their one month anniversary today, World of Beer boasts one of the best beer selections, both bottle AND tap, in all of Buffalo. And this isn’t a pedestrian selection, but a world class mix of hard-to-obtain and local beers. In case you aren’t familiar with World of Beer, let’s take a tour.
Nestled between JC Penney and Macy’s on the Union Road side, World of Beer (WOB) is a bit removed from “restaurant row”, but instead anchors the other end of the mall. WOB is welcoming right from the parking lot, with an easy-to-identify entrance, outside patio, and multiple entry doors. The interior of WOB is cozy, with a lengthy U-shaped bar, multiple televisions, comfortable seating, couches, and a music stage. An impressive 50-tap selection is flanked on either side by four completely filled floor to ceiling coolers.
The beer selection at WOB is top notch both on draft and in bottles. Not sure what to drink? No problem. The waitstaff is happy to provide recommendations based on style. But WOB is often very busy and if you are a courteous customer you don’t want to make the bartender wait while you choose from one of 50 taps and 536 different bottle selections. The beer selection can obviously be a bit overwhelming. But luckily, there are tools in place to make your selection a bit easier. The printed menu is divided by style. And iPads are available upon request that allow you to manually sort beers by color, country of origin, and style. After I had left the restaurant, I also discovered the WOB phone app. The app actually seems much easier to use than asking for and using the provided iPad, but beware of staring at your phone while perched at the bar.
I walked into WOB on a Tuesday night for a couple reasons. One, on Friday and Saturday nights the place is packed. Two, I had made arrangements to meet up with Chris Sutton, the product manager at WOB. Also, the bar population decreased significantly once the mall closed at 9:30 pm. So I saddled up to the bar with my friend Sam and we begun to search the near 600 beers for hidden gems.
Tuesday night is also “loyalty night”. That means that all WOB bottles (not drafts) are discounted by 25%. That’s fairly significant when you consider that some of the rare bottles can be upwards of $20-30, or more. There were two selections that Sam and I enjoyed the most.
Almanac Pumpkin sour was a truly unique and phenomenal offering. I am not a fan of pumpkin beers, but this Almanac beer was more sour than pumpkin. I had to really focus on finding the pumpkin flavor, which was certainly present, but in the background. And with only four bottles left, I was happy to get my hands on one. Then Sam really wanted to try the Quintaceratops from Brooklyn Brewery. This beer was quad and rum and bourbon all mixed together, complete with barrel aging! Another great rare offering at WOB. Certainly these are two beers you don’t see much in Buffalo. I was also impressed with the Canadian beer selections, including Beau’s and Muskoka.
Another unique feature of WOB is their infuser with a firkin. Beers travel through the infuser to receive a boost in some type of flavor, whether it be hops, fruit, or any other flavor. Upon opening, WOB had many local beers in the infuser, including Big Ditch and Community Beer Works. Opening week, WOB had Big Ditch’s Blonde Peach infused with real peaches. Their attention to local breweries is noted and welcome. Chris Sutton has planned numerous events including tap takeovers and wants to include Buffalo’s new breweries as much as possible.
Did you know? You can even take any bottle out of World of Beer at a 30% discount, on any day of the week? So you’ve been sitting at WOB for an hour, had a couple drinks, and you need to go home. Scan your phone for a beer that you’d really like to have, and ask for that beer to go!
World of Beer offers a spanning repertoire of rare and local offerings. The infuser adds a unique dimension to a beer and provides combinations that are unavailable elsewhere. The added bonus of being able to take home any beer in the bar at a 30% discount should not be ignored. Oh yeah… and they have this…