World of Beer makes Cortez Road debut Saturday; job fair this week

MANATEE -- Beer enthusiasts will have another place to meet, greet and sample when World of Beer opens July 20 on Cortez Road in Bradenton.

General Manager Lino Cortes says he hopes World of Beer will introduce people to new brews and new experiences.

"It's just a real experience -- taking a tour around the world to sample a lot of the more popular beers that are out there," Cortes said.

There isn't anything like World of Beer in Bradenton, says Cortes, and World of Beer wants to cultivate Bradenton's beer community as the microbrewery business builds nationwide. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of breweries in the United States grew by 18.6 percent, according to the Brewer's Association.

About 60 draft beers and more than 500 bottled beers will be available at World of Beer Bradenton. They'll feature brews from local breweries including Big Top Brewing Co., Darwin Brewing Co. and Motorworks Brewing.

Cortes has made a few of his own hires, but they're still looking to fill positions. On Wednesday, they will hold a job fair at the Cortez Road location to place the rest of the 50 to 70 bartenders, bar backs, servers and kitchen staff. The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"People can just apply that day and bring their resume and show up," co-owner Dean Lambert said. He's already received about two dozen resumes and applications.

The food menu at World of Beer in Bradenton will be very similar to the World of Beer location on Main Street in Sarasota, Lambert says, but they plan to provide variety by making quarterly changes to the menu.

World of Beer has planned to open the tavern at 497 Cortez Road W. since last spring. Because the building used to house Wacho

via bank, said Lambert, they had to gut the interior and exterior of the 6,000-square-foot space to equip it with plumbing suitable for a restaurant.

Grand opening events are planned for Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 to coincide with Bradenton's Beer Festival. On Aug. 7, country bands will play on a stage set up in the parking lot. On Aug. 8, for Bradenton's Beer Festival, rock bands including AC/DC tribute band Highway to Hell will be featured. All proceeds from the festival will benefit Wildlife Inc.

World of Beer has more than 70 other locations in 20 states. Other World of Beer locations set to open soon include one in Spanish Springs, Florida and Chelsea, New York.

Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.