An essential element to a good beer bar is a staff that knows its stuff. I was a little concerned that the chain World of Beer (1300 Brady St.) would miss this important point. But at the grand opening last Monday it seemed to me like the folks at WOB (for the sake of brevity) have done their homework.
When I told my server Gloria that I liked IPAs she quickly rattled off all the varieties they had on tap and explained important differences between some of them. She explained to me that the staff goes through extensive training to learn about the 500-plus bottles and 40 taps on hand. I can appreciate that kind of effort.
The selection was almost overwhelming, and gazing at hundreds of bottles filling the abundant coolers behind the bar was mesmerizing (I was, ahem, hopnotized). I recommend looking at the cooler marked “New Arrivals,” it was filled with some tasty stuff that wasn’t on the menu including the delicious Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow.
The place was big, bright and fairly crowded even at 4 p.m. on a Monday. But it’s too soon to tell where WOB fits in Milwaukee, a town that can claim awesome beer bars like Romans’ Pub, Sugar Maple, Palm Tavern, Stubby’s, Erv’s Mug and more. But WOB seems off to a good start.
Barley Pop of the Week
I was in Chicago last week hanging out with a friend that was in town from overseas. Good thing. The bartender at Lemming’s (a refreshingly unpretentious spot on Damen in Bucktown) recommended the Snaggletooth Bandana, an American IPA by Solemn Oath, a relatively new brewery in Naperville. The beer was big on citrus but also had a nice hoppy finish. It was delicious and a nice new find. Keep an eye out for Solemn Oath, my introduction to them couldn’t have been better.
The owner of Solemn Oath Brewery (see above) is named John Barley. How appropriate.
I brought back a bottle of Nebraska Brewing’s Sexy Betty, which is Black Betty Imperial Stout aged in cognac barrels, from my trip to Omaha last week. I’m trying to save it…but I have the will power of a soup spoon, which means the bottle isn’t going to take up shelf space for very long.
Happy birthday to Mike Romans (see below) this week.
Monday, Aug. 20: The fourth edition of the outstanding Best of Milwaukee Beer Dinner series takes place at Roots (1818 Hubbard St.). Call 374-8480 for reservations. Cost is $95.
Friday, Aug. 24: Oregon’s Bridgeport Brewing samples its IPA, Hop Czar IIPA and Kingpin Double Red Ale from 4-7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.).
Friday, Aug. 24: Point Brewery brings its Oktoberfest, Drop Dead Blonde, and Whole Hog IPA to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 25: Point Brewery samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from 12-2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 25: Bridgeport comes to Discount Liquor Waukesha from 12-3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 25: A free tasting of “Northern U.S. Beers” at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1-4 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 26: Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) has a rare Sunday opening for the birthday barbecue of owner Mike Romans. Get there at 3 p.m. and drink a couple of great beers in Mike’s honor. Just don’t ask him to tap a domestic macrobrew.
Sunday, Aug. 26: Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) is having a tasting of Victory beers from 4-6 p.m. Cost is $15 and five 6-oz samples are included in the price.