New brewhouse offers hundreds of beers, and other restaurant news

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World of Beer opens September 22 offering 57 rotating beer taps and more than 500 bottles. Photo: Michael Johnson World of Beer opens September 22 offering 57 rotating beer taps and more than 500 bottles. Photo: Michael Johnson

 Tap dance 

The latest World of Beer location, nestled into the first floor of the swanky new student housing complex at 852 West Main, has settled on what managers are calling a “solid” opening date of September 22, after they missed an initial target of September 6. Good thing—the residents of The Flats at West Village are no doubt quite parched with all the construction dust flying around.

Once open, the 62nd outpost of the Florida-based craft beer bar conglomerate will offer patrons 57 rotating beer taps and more than 500 bottles to be enjoyed in a 3,800- square-foot tavern or 1,800-square-foot outdoor space. (That’s roughly 0.1 distinct beers per square foot for those keeping score.)

World of Beer’s brew offerings walk the line between international and local, in the same breath promising to take tipplers on a tour of the world with its foreign selections while being devoted to its local sponsors, which include Three Notch’d, Champion, Devils Backbone, Blue Mountain, Starr Hill, Wild Wolf, and others.

“We know the locals well,” general manager Dan Bednar said. “We live and work within the Charlottesville area. Although it’s important to educate the community about beers from around the world, we still like to stay true to our roots and serve the many local brews that Charlottesville has to offer.” The saloon’s servers should be well equipped to live up to that mission, as every employee across World of Beer’s 19-state empire goes through two rigorous weeks of brew school before getting to work.

World of Beer will complement its beer, craft spirit cocktails, ciders, and wine offerings with pub-grub like Bavarian pretzels, Guinness brat sliders, craft bourbon chicken, and brew-infused desserts. All of this can be had daily at lunch or dinner, and World of Beer expects to launch live jam sessions on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays soon after opening. On September 22. They promise.

Asian fusion

The 105 Grill & Pub opened its doors in the former Sakura Sushi and Noodle spot on 14th Street in late August, meaning the new resto should be greeted by great foot traffic from UVA students, but the rest of us are unlikely to have set foot near it.

Under new ownership, the former Japanese-influenced restaurant has been transformed into an entirely different kind of Japanese-influenced restaurant, serving up Far Eastern takes on gastro-pub classics in an atmosphere featuring a large Asian mural facing off with a flat screen TV and Wahoo swag.

Patrons of the newest Corner joint can enjoy artfully plated, Asian-inspired dishes like Wagyu beef burgers, pork belly, and noodle bowls created by a man known simply as Chef Hollywood. The requisite local suds, wine, and cocktails are on tap to wash it all down.

The 105 Grill & Pub recently lowered its prices in response to what new ownership described as a somewhat underwhelming opening, and rumor has it the menu may have other changes in store in the near future. 

Garden party

It’s been seven years since Josh Hunt and John Woodriff opened the Charlottesville staple Beer Run, and the stepbrothers are taking their beer obsession across town. Last week they announced that Kardinal Beer Hall and Garden will be the first new tenant in the Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue.

“It’ll be a modern, American take on a classic beer garden concept,” Hunt said.

A bar with more than 20 taps will feature seasonally rotating brews, plus classic European beers, a few American crafts, and a sprinkling of other options like ciders, rattlers, and maybe even meads. Food-wise, the menu will include house-made pretzels, local sausages, and charcuterie platters. And while you’re waiting for your grub, you’ll have a couple of bocce ball sets and ping pong at your disposal.

Hunt said he’s anticipating a late-spring-to-midsummer opening. And we know what you’re thinking: Will the bartenders wear lederhosen? We don’t know yet.

Hop to it

For the fifth year running, all your favorite beers—plus probably a few dozen you’ve never heard of—are taking over the Pavilion. On Saturday, September 20, reps from more than 60 breweries will be stationed behind their tables, ready to fill (and refill and refill) your little two-ounce beer stein at the Top of the Hops Beer Fest. If you haven’t already bought a ticket you missed your shot at the early bird special, but through September 19 you can order a ticket online for $45. General admission tickets include the souvenir sampling mug and unlimited sampling of more than 150 craft beers, plus access to the Devils Backbone Brew University Area, which will feature brewing and cooking seminars.  

If you’re feeling indulgent, spring for the $75 VIP ticket. You get into the festival an hour early, with complimentary food from Sedona Taphouse and beer selections not available to general admission ticket holders. And for those of you who drew the short straw and agreed to schlep your friends to and from the Downtown Mall that evening, your $15 designated driver ticket gives you access to the classes, games, and live entertainment, and there’s some free soda and water in it for you.

Gates open at 3pm, then you’ve got four hours to fill that little plastic mug as many times as possible.