BRADENTON -- Entering Bradenton's newest bar is like entering a sudsy new world. World of Beer has brought its huge selection of brews to Cortez Road.
This gives people a craft beer experience that they can't get unless they go to Sarasota," said Mark Broderick, franchise owner of World of Beer Bradenton. "We'll do really well here. Bradenton consumes more beer than Sarasota."
The craft brew bar opened to the public on Monday and held a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday afternoon. A small keg brewed specifically for the event by Darwin Brewing Co. was tapped and served to customers on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston was supposed to tap the keg but was tied up with other business.
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"It'll be gone by the end of today," Broderick said after the beer began flowing.
Darwin Brewing Co. brewer Leslie Shore brewed the firkin-based cask ale with cayenne chilies from Geraldson Community Farm. What makes the San Patricio Caliente Irish
Red ale special is the way it is delivered.
All fermentation for the brew took place in a barrel one-fourth the size of regular beer barrels. The beer is not cold-filtered, pasteurized or carbonated by outside equipment in this process and therefore can more easily take on the unique flavor of the cask itself, according to a release from World of Beer Bradenton.
The San Patricio Caliente may taste flat to some because it has only some of the carbonation normally found in beer, but the lingering minerals and flavor from the firkin more than make up for the lack of bubbles. Tasters will find a pleasant, spicy burn lingering on their palate after sipping the custom brew.
As he poured beers for customers lining the bar on Tuesday, bartender James Buschner said working at World of Beer Bradenton is a dream come true.
"Most of my career has been in nightclubs, which can be kind of a hostile environment," Buschner said. "I love beer and I love craft beer, so this is the perfect job for me."
He also said the knowledge bestowed on him by the company enriches his bartending experience.
"I've opened a few places, like in Phoenix, Vegas and Chicago, and I've never been through such comprehensive training before." World of Beer employees strive to find a beer that pleases each customer's palate.
World of Beer Bradenton also offers a food menu of tavern-style fare.
World of Beer Bradenton means more selection for Bradenton's craft beer fans and it's also a sign of growth in the southwest corner of the city.
"It's the start of many future business developments in this area," said Karen Stewart, economic development program manager for Manatee County's neighborhood services division.
That's good news for area businesses, as well as nearby residents.
"It's a combination of seeing economic development on this side of town and seeing the renewal of growth," said Duane LaFollett, general manager of Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home and member of Manatee County Chamber of Commerce. "We're happy to have another business revitalizing this side of town."
World of Beer Bradenton's grand opening will be fused with the Bradenton Beer Festival on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8. The two-day extravaganza will include live music and 19 local craft beer brewers in the parking lot of the Orange Blossom Plaza at 497 Cortez Rd. W.
The World of Beer at 8217 Tourist Center Dr. was the second World of Beer location to open. The company is headquartered in Tampa. There are now 78 World of Beer locations open in the United States and the company is preparing to expand to China and the Philippines.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter @jayohday.