Mill Avenue’s Newest Bar Aims to Pack in a World of Beer
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 14:07
Beer enthusiasts will soon have a new spot to sip on the uniquely brewed suds of their favorite craft or import beer. This summer, World of Beer, a Florida-based bar concept, will open its doors to its newest franchise on Mill Avenue in Tempe.
“We looked at the best markets available and this was it,” said general manager John Paul “JP” Watts, “We’re sitting beside one of the biggest universities in the United States of America. It was a no-brainer.”
With 25 locations across the country, the Tempe World of Beer is the first to open on the West Coast. The owners are hopeful the local beer community will respond enthusiastically.
World of Beer isn’t your traditional Mill Avenue bar. You won’t find tall glasses of Long Island iced teas or vodka and Red Bulls. You won’t even be able to order a shot of liquor, because they don’t carry any.
“All we care about is beer – craft beer and imports,” Watts said.
Indeed, World of Beer is known for having an extensive beer selection. They boast 520 bottled beers and 50 taps representing a rotation of 65 different American craft breweries from 24 states and 40 different countries. During any given month, World of Beer may offer as many 200 different draft beers because they rotate every single keg.
“We like to bring new products so that people get the chance to try new stuff,” Watts said.
In addition to the vast assortment of beers, Watts plans to have a strong local representation and run World of Beer as if it were unique to Tempe.
“Even though we are a franchise, we work very closely with the local breweries,” he said. “We’re going to carry as many, if not all, Arizona beers.”
World of Beer is coming into Tempe at a time when craft beer industry is on the rise. According to statistics reported by the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based trade group that represents small and independent brewers, craft beer took over more than 5 percent of the US beer market last year while overall beer sales actually started slipping.
Don’t let yourself be intimidated. Craft beer novices are encouraged and welcome to come.
“We’re not beer snobs; we’re not going to judge anybody,” Watts said. “We’re just here to make sure that people have a good time and learn about craft beer.”
The experience with World of Beer, he said, starts with the staff. Because World of Beer only offers beer and a small wine menu, all the employees have to worry about is beer.
“Their knowledge of beer should be unsurpassed by anybody in the area,” Watts said about his employees, who attend a10-day “beer school” before they can start training on the floor.
Watts hopes to offer customers the opportunity to attend a similar, but smaller, beer school for a small fee to sample and learn about different styles of beer.
“If you want to learn about beer, this is a great place to come,” he said.
Presently, the World of Beer locale, which will replace the former American Apparel store, is undergoing some changes in preparation for its opening.
The historical building, which was extended by the previous tenants, will be restored to its original frame. All the windows on the south end of the building will be converted to roll-up garage doors and an elevated stage is being built above the bar that will host live bands every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The brew house will also cater to sports fans with 25 50-inch TVs with all sports packages. To sweeten the deal for students, every Wednesdays at the bar will be WOB U Wednesdays. Anyone who works for or attends a university will get half-off his or her beer.
Watts expects World of Beer to open in July.