Tuesday, October 21, 2014

World of Beer Atlanta - Grand Opening

(a much shorter review also posted on Yelp)
The World of Beer Atlanta is located at 855 Peachtree St NE, STE 5 across from the Gordon Biersch and near the Fox Theater - note that if you use Google the address is incorrect (missing the "NE") and will take you to the wrong location. It's also a free WiFi hotspot. This is a nearly 4000 SF facility with 500 bottles, 4 nitro and 53 rotating taps. This is also the first WOB opening in Georgia (there's a second coming to Kennesaw) for the Tampa based company, currently operating in 19 states and 63 locations.

Parking is available at Viewpoint Midtown Condominiums (corner of Peachtree St. NE & 6th St.) with up to 2 hour validation. There's also an uber code: WOBATL. The loyalty club is also worth joining (free T-shirt and a draft worth up to $7, along with "points" as you sample and attain badges), along with a free app on iOS and android. The bar and seating are extensive with many flat-panel TVs with the current game (with sound!) going. There's an exterior deck for a street level view, and interior, covered courtyard and the bar itself with elevated tables. It was loud and hectic, as you would expect for an opening night.

I held a technology MeetUp on the opening night with about 10 participants, drinking beer and sampling apps. We were provided an iPad with full descriptions and useful filters (like by ABV or country of origin) - see photo above. We had:

Tavern Taters - the tots were covered with beer cheese and fresh jalepenos and a bit of onion and a drizzle of sour cream.

Gigantic German Pretzel with Beer Cheese - the Bavarian standard baked and lightly salted. I liked that it wasn't killed with salt as you normally see in the smaller variety - appropriately soft on the inside with a bit of crust and delicious dipped in yellow mustard or the optional house-made beer cheese.

Margarita Flat Bread - there were two sizes on the menu, and of course we went with the largest - plenty of fresh basil on this and well apportioned cheese and pesto.

Mac n Cheese - shell-pasta with just a bit of spice, flashed with herbed bread crumbs

Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings - the jumbo 20 count. In a word, delicious and for this alone worth trying WOB. Slightly sweet, smokey and good - if you don't like these then there's something wrong with you.

Of the apps, the Pretzel and wings were a cut above the rest.

I have a simple philosophy regarding beer - I like to start with something dark and rich, drink either an IPA, brown or amber while eating, then finish with a smoky stout (basically a dessert round). This night I had three pints:

Lion Stout - this rich, dark stout from Sri Lanka has become one of my favorites, after originally trying it at Cafe Bombay - it has an ABV of 8.0% and is just plain good.

Sweetwater Hop Hash - this more-than-appropriate bitter Imperial/Double IPA is much darker than you would expect and at 7.8% ABV will certainly get your buzz on. I found it went well with the pretzel and beeer cheese and the rubbed wings.

Terrapin Moo-hoo - this chocolate stout from the venerable Athens brewery was one of the better I've sampled, cleaner than most I've tried with distinct chocolate flavor. At 6.0% ABV a bit less of a hit than the Lion I started with. I'll have to be careful with this one or my waist size will go up a couple of notches.

I also tried a few other drinks including free samples from a rep attending from the UK's Ilkley brewery who was passing out shots of Chocolate Chipotle Stout - this reminded me a bit of Harpoon's Chocolate stout only cleaner  in the initial hit and but with much heavier Chocolate at the finish.

I also sampled the Infusion for the evening - Green Bullet with citrus accents (mango and pineapple). I normally don't care too much for infusions but this one was very clean, with a delicate finish - it also starts with a Green Flash Green Bullet Imperial IPA at 10.1% ABV, already big with grapefruit and melon. There was a surprisingly large number of brews available above the 10% ABV mark - more than enough to get your drink on!

 We all had a great time!

 -- John

World of Beer on Urbanspoon

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