First Look: World of Beer, Kennesaw

Founded in Tampa, Florida, World of Beer has two new metro locations, and more on the way. The fast-growing franchise, with its mix of multiple tap handles and HDTVs, easily draws comparisons to homegrown Taco Mac. Notably, both the Midtown Atlanta and Kennesaw WOB landed close by an established T-Mac.

The look: Brick walls, plank floors and lots of local beer signs give the strip center storefront space on Chastain Road a surprisingly cozy neighborhood pub feel. A sprawling bar and a combination of booths, communal, hightop and cafe tables offer a variety of seating options, while the covered patio features a circular fire pit with a flickering gas flame.

The scene: One recent Friday afternoon, the lunch crowd was a tad sparse. But a cadre of enthusiastic servers, including several in training, worked the room, explaining the tabletop touch screen beverage menu system, and offering tastes of any of the beers on tap.

The food: Dubbed “tavern fare,” the menu updates pub grub with suggested beer pairings. Sharing plates include a trio of jalapeño cheddar, cracked black pepper and hickory smoked sausages ($15), served with pickled okra and peppers and stone ground mustard. Pizza-like Margherita flatbread ($8 half/$13 full) is a melange of diced tomato, mozzarella, basil and pine nut pesto, drizzled with balsamic and topped with arugula. Among the bigger bites, find a corned beef Reuben ($10) with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, and a chargrilled flat iron steak sandwich ($12) with caramelized onions, goat cheese and garlic aioli.

The drinks: The draft beer list, which is updated daily, boasted a good number Georgia craft offerings, including Burnt Hickory Ezekiel’s Wheel pale ale ($6), Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA ($6), Eventide Stout ($5.50) and Orpheus Sycophantes wild ale ($6.50). Infused drafts ($6-$8) include a Scotch ale with coffee and bourbon-soaked cherries. Beer cocktails include the Beerberry Cosmo ($8) with Tito’s vodka mixed with a splash of cranberry and lime juice and topped with Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale.

The extras: Look for live music, drink specials and events like trivia most nights.

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