After a beautiful day of running (and who are we kidding, walking) the Half Full 5k, we settled down and did what any healthy people would do: eat food from Vanchetta, Melt Mobile, and Lobstercraft, and drink our fair share of Peach Wheat, Toasted Ambers, IPAs and Bright Ales. Yeeeeah, and, what better way to celebrate an arduous 5-hour day of drinking and eating than having more beer at World of Beer, which conveniently happened to open for the first time JUST as the Half Full 5k beer fest ended?!
Now, we’re not normally a fan of chains, but our love of beer wins out on this one. Just like the rest of Fairfield County, we’ve been anticipating the opening since we broke the news in late September. So when we finally had our chance, we beelined through the door for a seat right by the bar and tap list (smart!), and the TVs so we could enjoy the Greece vs. Costa Rica game. Speaking of games, there are helluva lot of TVs, so this just might turn into your new favorite place to watch a game. And, they will regularly have live music, which we got to enjoy after the game from Mark Zelenz, of Short Bus with his own band, The Easy.
Ok, so back to the beverages. It was tough because there are 50 drafts and over 500 beers in bottles from all over CT, America, and the world. Ahhh, that’s why they call it World of Beers…we see what they did there! They also have some cocktails and even wine if you need to chill out sans hops and barley.
We had to take a break from beer for a bit, so we went with some cocktails and got some food. First up Kristien and our friend Christine had the Gin Jam, a drink made with gin, simple syrup, a berry jam, and freshly muddled berries. It was nicely balanced in terms of sweetness, not too fruity, and the gin wasn’t overwhelming. Very refreshing. Dan was interested in the MargarIPA, a margarita with IPA poured over the top. Surprisingly, it was a great drink with fresh squeezed lime adding some sweetness with a little sourness coming through from the beer. Again, also refreshing. There are other cocktails, too, but our server only knew those two and the cocktail menu wasn’t printed yet.
But, since this place is really about beer, let’s talk about your options. First up, there’s a rotating list of 50 brews on tap that go from local, to other states, to other countries. And, there are a staggering 500 bottles of beer up for grabs. While sorting through the menu can be overwhelming, check out their iPad menu that’s sortable by style, color, abv, country, and more. If you’re the super serious beer kinda person, you can also get the WoB app on your phone to search beers, keep track of what you drank, and even check out the menu. Pretty awesome! And, if you can’t decide on just one beer, they offer up some flights of 4 for $10 including Spring Seasonal, Drink Local, a tour of Belgium, and an Intro to Hops for $8. Dan ended the evening with an Oskar Blues Station 3 Hefe that had a nose of banana and funk. As for taste, it had a strong forward banana taste, with bits of clove coming through. Definitely a great brew for summer time drinking.
Now onto the food. There is a nice selection of standard beer garden-esque food (apps, sammys, salads and soups), including the token giant pretzel. We went with the WoB Chicken Wings first, which you can order mild, medium, or hot with blue cheese or ranch. We ordered hot, but we’re not quite sure if we actually got hot because they weren’t spicy at all, barely a tiny tingle. We would’ve like to have seen more sauce, though they were pretty buttery and moist. The skin was a bit chewy, not crispy, which makes us wonder if they were from frozen. Then we went onto the Tavern Taters that were just like nachos, but on top of crispy tots instead. The tots were golden brown and crispy with a nice hearty amount of beer cheese, bacon, scallions, and sour cream. They also had jalapeños on them, but not nearly enough for us pepper lovers. We ordered some more food, but unfortunately we didn’t get to try it because it took so long to come out we had to cancel so we could get home to walk our dog. Oh well, it was the first day after all.
The Harbor Point area of Stamford is a growing Colossus with the opening of World of Beer and the soon to arrive Paloma. And, with Fortina and Bareburger on the horizon, this little piazza will be hopping and buzzing like crazy. Because of this excitement, you’ll need to plan ahead with parking. There is always street parking, but the more dependable option is the parking lot off of Washington. When you get to WoB, you probably want to sign up for their reward card which costs $15 up front, but also gets you a WoB t-shirt. From there, you can earn all kind of awesome rewards just by buying beer…1 point per beer. 50 points gets you a “50 Club” shirt, 100 gets you a “100 Club” mug and shirt, 250 gets you on their wall of fame with a personally engraved plaque and a gold shirt, and the ultimate is the 500 reward which earns you a party at WoB with a $250 bar tab built in.
Again, like we said, the service was slow when we went, but it’s important to remember that this was a soft-opening event and they were still working out the kinks. Even though they had just opened, the place was already packed with people lined up for the opening (yeah, we were one of them). So, we’ve got to imagine that things will be slow at the start as they figure their way through the restaurant and how things work. And, in terms of food, it was some good bar grub, but don’t come in expecting to be blown away by the fare. Instead, set your expectations and realize you’re there for the awesome beer with some decent food to help you keep drinking more and more.
World of Beer
Noms: TBD after more food
Address: 18 Harbor Point Road
Phone: (203) 290-4317