TAMPA — Jim Guse of Grand Prairie, Texas, is a self-proclaimed beer buff.
He’s made it a priority during business and family travels to visit 32 of the 75 of the World of Beer locations scattered across the country. Moreover, he’s tasted 1,149 different brews.
In Guse’s view, the recently opened World of Beer at 2815 E. Fowler Ave. is tops among all the taverns of the same name he’s patronized.
The 6,000-square-foot building — with three outdoor patios — is the company’s first-of-its-kind flagship pub. It bears the company’s new logo, boasts a spacious earth-tone interior design and it’s stocked with 500 bottles and 40 rotated-daily draft beers.
It also is the first WOB to feature a complete menu of tavern fare — namely chicken wings, battered shrimp, crab cakes, tacos, flatbreads, burgers, sliders, wraps, several sandwich selections and more.
Additionally, the new hangout for beer lovers provides a venue for local micro brewers to sell their suds and it offers the WOB’s signature loyalty program in which patrons earn points for each different beer they try.
Rewards for the various number of beers tried include gift cards, T-shirts, embroidered polo shirts, plaques and other free items. Plus, every Tuesday night loyalty card holders receive a 25 percent discount on bottle beers.
“This is really a very nice place and it’s in a great location,” said Guse, who learned of the newest World of Beer site while visiting his mother in Zephyrhills.
Temple Terrace resident J.C. Fearon is equally delighted with WOB’s East Fowler Avenue opening because his home is a mere three and a half miles away.
“What I like about this flagship location is that it’s clean, the colors are subdued, they have outdoor patios, there’s a lot of parking and that the music is held to a nice level at this time,” said Fearon, who’d stopped in about 3 p.m. “And I really like that they have food.”
Tavern manager Kyle King said all potential bartenders and wait staff undergo a vigorous two-week training program that entails learning the names and descriptions of all the beers served. At the end of the class each person must take a test and achieve a grade of at least 90 percent to be hired.
“What sets us apart is our employees who are here to help and engage you,” said King, who worked at several other WOB locations, including the corporate office in Tampa, prior to being named to oversee the Fowler Avenue operation.
Open seven days a week, the hours are noon to midnight Monday and Tuesday, noon to 1 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.
Happy hours are 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m. to closing Sunday through Thursday. Select draft beers are $4, cocktails and wine are priced at $6, and the menu’s Tavern Shares are $5 each.
Visit www.worldofbeer .com/locations/fowler or call (813) 599-1530 for more information.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]