A quickass review of Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co’s new brewpub in NW Fresno: It’s cool.
There. There’s a quickass review.
Alright, a little more reviewing…
So, there are many areas of Fresno that are underserved, most certainly. Sometimes it feels like Fresno is only River Park, Downtown, Fig Garden Village, Tower, and Fashion Fair. If a place isn’t in one of those areas then it doesn’t exist. Small city ways.
NW Fresno has been begging for a place like Mad Duck, even if it didn’t know it. The new location is at the NE corner of Herndon & Marks (across from Taco Bell, behind the Starbucks and new Ampersand Ice Cream.
They picked a good spot.
It’s small, or at least feels small, in comparison to the Campus Point location. Before I saw it I was bummed that it was small. Small means more waiting for tables, in my eyes. While that may be true, I like the vibe the small gives. It feels more social and neighborhood than Campus Point.
The combination of the North West Fresno crowd and the Mad Duck brewpub atmosphere, if I could pick one band that could describe the vibe it would be Fleetwood Mac.
I can take or leave Fleetwood Mac but that feeling you get when you’re in a good mood, just starting to relax and forget life, you have a couple of beers in ya and the perfect part of a song comes on and you’re like “Yeah, man, this.” That is Mad Duck NW Fresno. Classic rock in new packaging.
The patio is big enough and cool but it’s not shaded properly. I don’t understand, in Fresno, if you have the budget to build a patio but don’t shade it properly, it makes zero sense. There were two people on the patio, huddled against the wall trying to bleed any full shade they could from the building and the only reason they were out there at all was the fact that they had a dog with them. So, hey, I guess they allow dogs on the patio if you were wondering.
Shade your patios properly, Fresno. In case you have not noticed, the sun is a bastard around here.
So the food seems to be the same as the Campus Point location, along with the beer. Since this location also has brewing equipment, I hope that each location will have its own beer. Meaning, one you can only get at THAT location. That would be cool for us beer geeks.
If you’re wondering what the best beer they make is, I say it’s the Citra. And The NW Fresno location’s is very solid, so far. The almond brown and the “Dog Daze” are too bad either. Hope the guest taps start getting more interesting.
Overall, solid fun neighborhood place. Fresno needs more neighborhood spots, like ALL Fresno neighborhoods, and hopefully, this proves this part of NW Fresno deserves more. See ya there.
Is there Russian River beer in Fresno? YES! Where can I find Pliny The Elder in Fresno? I’ll tell ya in a sec. But right now I just gotta yell something: “Fresno is finally a Russian River Brewing town!”
Only Russian River approved businesses and distributors (thank you Delta Pacific Beverage for being worthy) are allowed to carry Russian River beer. The major requirement being that the beer must always be refrigerated and cared for properly.
Let me say it again because it’s damn awesome: Russian River Brewing Company beer is now available in Fresno.
We were the last major region in California to get it, but that is okay. It’s here now. The past is past, we are now a Russian River town and it is incredibly awesome.
If you’re wondering, “What the hell is the big damn deal about this “Pliny” guy and why is Russian River beer such a thing?” that is okay. You’re not a beer geek. Cool.
Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing is probably the greatest Beer Geek brewery of all time. Their IPA, Pliny The Elder, ushered in a whole style of beer called “West Coast IPA”. I consider the beer the Godfather of the modern IPA.
For a while there (if it isn’t still) Pliny was the number one most traded beer in the beer geek world. If a beer is heavily traded (shipped illegally to regions where a person can’t get the beer), that means it’s highly sought after – aka damn good.
Not only do we get the core Russian River beers now, we even get cool colab beers like the one Russian River and Karl Strauss did recently:
Flavorless beasts. Lettuce and/or cabbage add nothing but sadness to tacos. So why the hell are they automatic for every damn, otherwise delicious, taco?
Before we get too far down this hole, I do want to make it clear that I prefer cabbage on a taco over lettuce. It simply holds up better. Still sucks, just holds up better. Anyway, proceeding…
I get that there would be a certain amount of people that like cabbage or lettuce on their tacos. Feels like that is a small group. That group should have the option of ADDING cabbage or lettuce.
Cabbalettuce should not automatically be on the taco. It sucks rotten lemons. Yeah, I have now put cabbage and lettuce together as one word because I am tired of saying “and/or”. Anyway, proceeding…
You get a taco for the base protein; asada, chicken, fish, or whatever. Add the salsa and lemon or lime. Done. EVERYTHING else should be options.
If I knew how to cook things, had some guts, started my own taco truck, this is how I would roll:
CILANTRO: No! But leave it there as an option.
ONIONS: Again, NO! But leave it as an option.
LETTUCE: No, bro. Say no to lettuce. Won’t even have it there as an option.
GREEN PEPPER: On the side.
Has anyone ever EVER said “Oh man, that’s some damn good lettuce!” “Ohhhh those tacos have the BEST cabbage!”? No, of course they fucking haven’t!
They haven’t because, at the very least, a person is indifferent to cabbalettuce, but NOBODY ACTUALLY WANTS IT! No person has ever said “They don’t put enough cabbage on their tacos.” NOBODY!
Sure, you can say that cabbalettuce adds a little crispness or something. That’s cool for you. But hey, I bet you wouldn’t miss it.
I know what you’re thinking; Yes, I can and do ask to leave off the cabbage or lettuce or onion, please. But that is annoying. I need my life simpler, okay!?
Oh, and if you want to have cilantro, so be it. I don’t agree and don’t want it, it sucks like cabbalettuce. But I get that it does add a flavor component. Should be offered, not forced. Why ya gotta force your cabbalettuce agenda on me, bro?
I’m fond of the truck that shows up to Zack’s Brewing often, I believe it’s El Tapatio. They have the best setup because they give you the base taco you ordered and they have a condiment style bar that let you add the things, like cabbage or onions, yourself.
Let the world decide about Cabbalettuce
This year’s famous Taco Truck Throwdown is happening soon in Fresno. Hopefully, the one with the most cabbaletucce will lose.
My AC unit went out this Summer. The first string of hot days revealed that the compressor in my 25-year-old beast died. It was not going to be worth it to replace it.
I need a new air conditioner. But it’s not always that simple.
Paying for things like a ‘crane fee’ and taking on a loan, was not something we are into this Summer. Beer Slushies at Tioga? Sure. $15,000 central air units? No.
So, we are going to have to get through a Fresno Summer without traditional air. With only a swamp cooler. Ol Swampy (pictured above). Pray for us.
Never thought I would be glad to have a swamp cooler as a backup
We are lucky to have Swampy. The previous owners had both units hooked into the vents. Use the Swamp when things are in the 80s, switch to the Central AC when things start getting ripe.
Those with evaporative cooler experience know, when the triple digits hit, swamp sucks.
Luckily, Fresno does have a good base condition that swamp coolers like: dry heat.
Joke about it all ya damn want but dry heat is hella better than humid heat, for many reasons. One of them is you can tweak your cooler for max coolness:
The best tip from that video? Starting the cooler early!
Blowing swamp when it was already warm was my biggest mistake. It is too much of a struggle for Ole Swampy to cool things down once the house is warm. Starting the cooler at 8 am as opposed to 2 pm makes a big difference.
Yeah, you have the cooler running all day and that can be an expense. But it’s still much cheaper than running an old AC unit.
The frozen bottles and soaking the pads make a small difference but not really worth it for me since my unit is up on the roof.
But what about at night?
Right? Sleeping in a hot room is the worst. I want it cold enough to need a blanket. Being warm during the day is one thing. Trying to sleep when it’s super hot feels like trying to sleep on top of Blackstone asphalt.
That’s why I broke down and bought one of these bad boys for the room:
If you love ‘hotel style’ AC, this is something to look into. It won’t work for the house, but it will keep one bedroom cool and it’s damn nice.
Go turn your swamper on now!
Keeping the cooler in good order and turning it on in the morning, that’s all ya really need to know. Ad the room unit and everything is chill.
Of course… I have not been through August yet. Check back later. In the meantime, I’m feeling like heading Downtown for a Beer Slush: