A whole new world of beer comes to SMU BLVD
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 22:01
“I’ve never seen this many bottles before,” World of Beer first-timer Ron Caterman said. “It’s crazy.”
World of Beer, a recently opened tavern that plays home to 500 craft beers and 40 rotating taps, opened its second location in the Dallas area along the suddenly thriving SMU Boulevard.
“We love craft beer, and there’s no other place that you can get all of it in one place,” Manny Ballesteros, general manager of the new location, said. “The biggest thing is selection, and no one has the sort of selection we have.”
While World of Beer might seem like just another Ginger Man or Vickery Park, the bar is offering a variety of programs to help attract SMU students, including free WiFi, live music Thursday through Saturday nights and ‘WOB University Night’ on Wednesday where college students get half off of all drafts.
The company has instituted a Loyalty Club Program for customers, which offers prizes such as T-shirts and mugs to patrons that try a range of beers. Customers at the top of the loyalty program might see a party thrown for them and 30 of their friends.
“We feel that the loyalty program helps the customers grow closer together,” Ballesteros said. “At other locations, the top 30 members are almost like a family.”
There are 35 World of Beer locations spread among 11 states. The SMU Boulevard location that opened Dec. 11 is the third in Texas.
The newest spot is the second World of Beer that Ballesteros has opened. His first was in Arlington in 2011. The Austin businessman has always had a love for beer, and saw great potential for the idea.
“I saw where the craft beer market was going and I wanted to be part of it,” Ballesteros said. “Since 2009, craft beers have jumped from 7 to 11 percent of the market, and I knew that was where we needed to be.”
A nationwide staple of World of Beers is the 14-day ‘beer’ school that staff members are required to complete prior to employment.
“It was like a legitimate class,” Marla Hegman, an employee who has finished her beer schooling, said. “We had to be there for five hours a day, and the teaching ranged from the science behind making beer to the history of certain brands to the social culture of bars.”
World of Beer is located directly underneath the BLVD apartment complex. Business has been bustling beneath the 417-unit building ever since it opened in May of 2012.
Torchy’s Tacos and The Nodding Donkey both opened last August. World of Beer completes the trifecta of eating and drinking locations for residents of the BLVD.
“Its nice having places right downstairs that I can go to when the hunger rush hits,” BLVD resident and SMU senior Daniel Sanchez said. “Or if I just want to hang out with some friends.”
And better yet, if the tenants from the complex want to bring their food down, they’re more than welcome to BYOF — Bring Your Own Food.
“We understand here that not every beer is going to go with the same meal,” Hegman said. “We offer a starting point in our kitchen, but everyone has their own taste.”
The pub will be having their official grand opening on Saturday. In addition to live music, there will be a raffle with prizes including an iPad mini, Dallas Mavericks tickets, or a house favorite, a private brewery tour of Rahr & Sons Brewery in Fort Worth.
“We delayed the grand opening because we knew SMU got back on the 17,” Ballesteros said. “We wanted to hit them hard when they came back and let them enjoy a fun night in their own neighborhood.”