Into Every Wasteland, Some Beer Must Fall

P1130417 300x225 Into Every Wasteland, Some Beer Must Fall

Cooler at World of Beer Sarasota

UPDATE #2: A search of the Web site for Weingarten Realty, owners of the Clermont Landing property, reveals a site map that has World of Beer in one of the retail spaces. I’ll drive by there tomorrow to see if there are any signs up or any construction action going down. Still have not received a reply from WoB headquarters.

UPDATE: A World of Beer – Clermont Facebook page has been created. It’s only a place holder for now, but does confirm the address and is formatted similarly to other WoB Facebook pages, indicating that it is genuine.

Click here to see it.

I still haven’t received a response to my inquiry seeking more details from the World of Beer corporate office, but I will update this post if I do.

(Original post) Living so close to Disney World, I’m constantly reminded that sometimes wishes come true.

In perusing a business column in the Orlando Sentinel today, I came across this little tidbit down in the copy that could mean one of my wishes may be coming true.

“World of Beer leased 2,209 square feet of retail space in Clermont Landing.”

I live in Clermont, and often lament to other Florida beer geeks that it’s still as much of a craft beer wasteland as the entire state used to be. Sure, there’s a decent tap here and there, and a couple of liquor stores have some craft beer on the shelves, but finding a wide selection requires a road trip into Orlando or Tampa. I’ve often wished that my little city would become home to a nice craft beer bar.

The Clermont Landing shopping center is only about 10 minutes from my house, and World of Beer bars boast a few dozen taps and hundreds of bottles.

World of Beer is the chain of craft beer bars that started in Tampa in 2007 and now has nearly 20 stores across the state and beyond – new WoB franchises recently opened in Arlington, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio

Clermont is not listed in the “Coming Soon” section of the WoB website, but I’ve sent an email to the corporate office seeking clarification. There are four pubs scheduled to open in Florida next year – Altamonte Springs, Pensacola and two in Miami – and four more coming to other states: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Savannah, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Columbia, South Carolina.

Clermont Landing currently has a movie theater, retail stores and several restaurants, and it’s on heavily traveled U.S. 27, just south of Highway 50. Clermont itself is in South Lake County, about 30 minutes from Disney World and a just a little more than that from downtown Orlando.

If I get more information, it will be shared here.

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5 Responses to Into Every Wasteland, Some Beer Must Fall

  1. brett andress says:

    “craft beer bar” is a bar which only sells craft beers…….

    a “craft” beer is one in which is hand “crafted” and unique and small batched…..

    NOT massed produced and owned by corporations not running day to day operations.

    World of beer is NOT a “craft” beer bar….

    just saying…….

    • Gerard Walen says:

      You bring up a valid point, Brett, but your definition may be too limiting.

      Theoretical examples. Bar No. 1 has 100 taps, 95 of them dedicated to American crafts, five tucked in a corner with BMC products, and coolers with 1,000 beers in bottles, with a few lines of BMC, Corona and Heineken on a bottom shelf. Bar No. 2 has BMC products all over the place, making up the bulk of its beer business, and one line each of bottled Sam Adams and DFH 60-minute in the cooler. I would be comfortable calling the first a “craft beer bar,” but not the second.

      (I would note that though these bars are hypothetical, they are based on various real-life establishments I’ve visited). In that spectrum, a World of Beer falls in-between, closer to Bar No. 1 than Bar No. 2. The Brewers Association does not define “craft beer bar,” though it does set parameters for “craft brewery,”

      Bars such as World of Beer are, I think, important to craft beer growth as they bring in traditional drinkers of mass-market beers, but allow them to try different crafts, if they so desire, and hopefully turn them into drinkers of hand-crafted domestic beers.

      Face it, craft beers will never take over the industry, but the more places that offer the option, the better it is for fans and brewers alike. If we spend too much time wrangling over definitions and labeling places as not worthy, it will turn off a lot of people who might otherwise give craft beer a try. It’s pretty well-established that extensive wine lists leave most people confused and intimidated; let’s try to avoid having that happen with beer. More options and well-trained staff should be the priority in the bar/restaurant business.

      You are lucky enough to run a business in a community with a large population base and many more options for the craft beer drinker, so you have the luxury of being more selective; Clermont is not so lucky, and the establishment of a World of Beer here is great news for local craft beer geeks. I’m hopeful that it will succeed and will encourage other local bars and restaurants to take notice.

      That said, I haven’t had a chance to visit your place yet, though I’ve heard great things about it. Please call me if you want to open an Ale & Witch in South Lake County – I’ll be your biggest fan!

  2. brett andress says:

    Gerard, great points. Labeling and defining things are always broad and always will be. Options are great for everyone and having a place with them to enjoy is priceless because everyone has different preferences and tastes. You can never go wrong by offering a great selection that is fresh and priced at a reasonable price. The more options that folks are able to try the better it does become for the smaller brewers to get their own products into the customers hands. Then the demand does sprout out from the consumers willingness to support it.

    I think that is the greatest thing that happens when places like World of Beer enter into a market. They provide a great amount of options from the normal selecttions found in 99% of establishments. This indeed gives everyone in the craft beer industry a huge win from the farmers growing hops to the home brewer turned local brewer all the way to the customer who loves a variety of great beers.

    With over 1800 Breweries operating in the USA today we are experiencing a great growth in this industry and lots of possibilities exist for it to grow more and more into markets all over the Country. Slowly consumers will dictate what tap handles flow from establishments with their passion for regional beers and seasonal selections. The more they are able to expand their drinking experiences the more places will follow the lead if you will and begin offering better selections themselves.

    I think distribution and production are going to be the speed bumps for the industry. Each area can only offer what is available and some markets don’t have the luxury to be able to offer as many unique selections as others will. So when places do offer the unique smaller crafted brews I do hope the customers take notice and support those places whomever they might be to increase what is a fantastic industry. By buying a brew like Midnight Oil from Swamphead in Gainesville rather than a Guiness Stout is beneficial for absolutely everyone involved… but if Guiness is the only option then we beer drinkers don’t have choices. Gladly places are now offering choices and yes defining such a place is not the discusion but rather the discusion is did you try Left Hand’s Fade to Black this year.

    Cheers to good beer always and if options are there support American Craft brewers first and foremost, one of the few industries in our great Country that is experiencing growth.

    • Gerard Walen says:

      Cheers to that!

      Perhaps some day we won’t have to worry about whether a bar is a “craft beer bar” because most bars will have a wide enough selection of local and crafted beer available that there will be no need for the label.

  3. Pingback: Catching up on Florida Craft Beer | Beer in Florida

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