I May Have Ruined Fresno’s Chance At A Fieldwork Taproom


I’ve been trolling Fieldwork Brewing’s Twitter account.
Occasionally when they announce a new beer being released at one of their taprooms, I re-tweet and add something like “And soon our Fresno Taproom”.

You see, California allows breweries to open up a certain amount of “remote” or satellite taprooms. Remote being a taproom not on the grounds of the brewery or in their home city. Fieldwork has one in Berkley (main brewery) and four remote taprooms: Napa, San Mateo, Sacramento and soon to be Monterey. State law allows five remote taprooms.

Fieldwork has only one left to give. I want it to be Fresno.

Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing is arguably the hottest brewery in the state. They make damn fine beer. It would be a real kickass thing to have them open up their taproom here. We are on the look out for coolass things for Fresno after all.

Hell, maybe a rooftop Fieldwork taproom in Downtown Fresno? Sounds pretty freaking sweet to me and you can add it to the Ale Trail, bro.

But don’t get excited, Fresnan. I may have been trying too hard and messed it all up – the story of my life. 

At first, a recent Twitter troll looked promising.

SUCCESS! They want to take a tour! I’m The Fresnan and on a craft beer podcast, I can show them some cool junk! Let’s do this!

But then they started researching shit.

“Wait until the fall”? That is basically “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” DAMMIT!

But as long as there is still a chance for the one remaining taproom to come to Fresno, I’ll keep trying. I don’t care how many beers I have to drink while waiting. I will not do it for me, I will do it for Fresno!

*pic stolen from thebrewermagazine.com

 

How Are We Going To Make Fresno “Cool”, Yo?

We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.

What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?

If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.

How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.

First. The Immovable Object.

We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.

So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.

The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better?  And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.

Booze May Be An Answer.

Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:

Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”

That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.

Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:

We’re just spitballing here.

The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.

We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.

There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.

So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:

  • Agriculture.
  • Craft Beer – even more breweries.
  • Bitwise and tech.
  • Tacos.
  • Sports – including soccer.
  • Diversity.
  • Leader In Clean Air.
  • Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.

This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.

What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.

Cool? Cool.

 

Places In Fresno That Need Better Beer!

One of the problems with being a beer geek (me) is, you get spoiled with good beer. So spoiled that it becomes almost impossible to drink mainstream beer.

Plus it gets very tiring looking down your nose at people drinking pisswater. [insert laughing emoji here]

A beer geek tends to push eating-out choices to places that serve good beer. But you can’t do that every time. Compromises must be made. Food wins out over good beer. On occasion.

So here are some Fresno spots I often wish had better beer.

Edo-Ya. It’s hard not to make this all about Japanese and Mexican restaurants because they are kind of the worst when it comes to beer choices.  Unless you are at Kuni Sama. That is actually a legit beer geek place AND it’s in the Taint District!

Casa Corona – Bullard & West. I kinda love the bar there (even though it skews old). It has not changed since I was a kid (not that I drank there when I was a kid, just saying). And it didn’t even change when it switched from El Torro. But DAMMIT their beer selection sucks a King Burrito.

Sequoia’s – Tower District. KIDDING! Totally kidding. It’s fine, it’s fine, the beer is fine. It’s fine. Totally fine.

Maroo. Same problem Edo-Ya has. But they do have Hite beer, which is fun to say and order. “Hite! I’ll have a HITE!”

Heroes Comics and Mossette’s Baseball Cards.  All my nerd things in one place. I know they don’t have a liquor license, just wishful thinking. To be able to hang out in these places with a bar and a good beer? Dream fulfillment.

Doghouse Grill. Any chance I have to rip that place, I take it. I have not been there in some time, but I’m guessing their crappyass selection has not changed.

Home Depot. Okay, again I am including a place that doesn’t serve alcohol but I really hate going to this place. Having a beer while I’m trying to find the proper dishwasher hose clamp, would really lessen the hate. Plus, when I have to come back for the inevitable 2nd or 3rd time (because I did not get the right size of clamp the first time), I’ll enjoy that 2nd beer even more.

Please leave your choice in the comments because I would love to hear them.

Speaking of beer, there has been a lot of local beer talk lately by the Fresno Bee. You may want to check out their dedicated beer section. We even had them on The Perfect Pour, a couple weeks back, to talk about it.

Let your ears have a listen. Cheers!:

 

The Beer That Should Be Served In Fresno Movie Theaters

Tioga taps via WhoseCraft.com
Tioga taps via WhoseCraft.com

So I hear that beer is coming to some Fresno area theaters. Yeah I know, Tower Theatre has had it all along during festivals and monthly films, but it’s not your everyday theater. This is different.

This is megaplex beer. A beer you can have while watching a Marvel, DC or Star Wars movie. That sounds pretty damn rad to me.

If things go as planned, Fresno’s Manchester and Clovis’s Sierra Vista, will be serving beer (and wine too but, whatev) starting in August or September.

Since I am part of a craft beer show, I feel a beer obligation, a ‘beerglation’ if you will, to help out with the tap-list. I assume they will have draft beer served in plastic cups of some sort.

Here is what I think the tap list should be and I’m choosing ALL LOCAL, baby! Because #drinklocal. I am going to guess and say there will be ten taps, so I picked ten.

This is not MY dream list, but the most accessable list matching with the best local beer.

REGAL MANCHESTER 16 CENTER TAP LIST
  • 99 Golden AleTioga Sequoia Brewing. This is the kind of beer every beer drinker can enjoy on one level or another. The most universal you can put on tap. It’s a BEER.
  • Bog Man BrownHouse Of Pendragon Brewing. Browns don’t get enough attention, which is odd since most people are OK with them. There needs to be one on tap.
  • Hard Root BeerRiley’s Brewing. If you like your sodas hard, this one is that, plus it’s super tasty.
  • Mt. Whitney Extra Pale Ale – Tioga Sequoia. Best pale in town (if you like them on the hoppy side) and won’t get ya to messed up – aka: you can drink more.
  • Pacific PorterPine & Palm Brewing. Fresno’s newest brewer and showing a lot of potential. This one is getting good buzz too.
  • Tenaya RedSouthgate Brewing. Everything is super nice from these guys, this red is no exception.
  • Lancelot IPA – House Of Pendragon Brewing. At times it is the best IPA in the Valley, hands down.
  • Blonde BomberTactical Ops Brewing. Everybody loves blondes, yeah?
  • Hobo PilsnerDust Bowl Brewing. Excellent pilsner and it’s another universal beer that would sell well.
  • Slauncher Imperial IPAKaweah Brewing. You gotta have at least one beer that’s going to kick ya hard… plus I have yet (I hear it’s pretty damn tasty) to try it and I just want to have it available in town somewhere.

Is this realistic? No. It’s probably going to be Bud Light and Shock Top or something with similar crapness. But a dude can hope.

LETS NOT EFF THIS UP, GUYS

Hopefully, no matter what beer it is, this brings Fresno one step closer to getting one of those kick-ass Alamo Drafthouses:

Pretty rad. They do have about 22 of those Alamo places spread out through the Southwest and one in SF, so it’s a possibility for Fresno.

We must mind our manners though and show people, like Alamo Drafthouse, that we deserve good beer in our movie theaters. Do you think we can do that, kids?

Let me know what beer you would want to have “on” in a movie theater or if you think Fresno can handle beer & wine at the movies! Leave a comment or Tweet me – @thefresnan.

(photo cred: WhoseCraft.com)

How To Deal With Self Service Beer At Me-N-Ed’s Pizza

self service taps

In case you haven’t noticed, the Bullard and West Me-N-Ed’s Pizza has been remodeled and added something Fresno has never seen: Self Service Beer Taps.

Run for the bluffs, post T-Ball pizza meetup, this may be too crazy for the kids!

SELF SERVING BREAKDOWN

Here is how it works. You order your food like always, but you tell them you are drinking like an adult. They ID you and start a tab. Then give you a magic wristband to wear.

You pick out a glass, search for the right beer (with pizza, I recommend an IPA, pale or Tioga’s Ed’s Red, but that’s just me), place your wristband against a certain spot on the tap, the tap gets ‘green lit’ and you can start pouring.

Wow. “Exciting” footage [sarc].

In addition to the beer taps, the place got cleaned up and is sporting a lot of wood.

remodled me n eds

Gone are the video games that the location had. So you might encounter a pissed off child at first. But give them a taste of your beer and it might shut them up.

(Disclaimer: thefresnan.com does not endorse childhood drinking in any way but just needed a mildly humorous line to place in the blog post).

HOW DRUNK CAN I GET?

You can get up to 32 ounces (two pints) but you can ask for more if they can see that you can take on additional juice. It electroniclly tracks how many ounces you’ve poured yourself – Big Brother is monitoring how much you drink, man!

There are 29 taps plus a cider or two and a couple of handles with something called “wine”. I don’t know what that is but I hear it contains alcohol so I guess it’s cool.

A REVIEW

This kind of system feels like a trendy thing, but I’m sure more will be popping up. And this one isn’t going away anytime soon.

It’s still pretty busy, as all new Fresno things are at first. But it’s managable. And if you don’t feel like pizza, you can just show up for the beer. They even have a seperate counter now to handle just the beer.

Not having to wait to get a bartender’s attention is a nice change. Although I can see it getting annoying having to get up everytime you want more beer. 

I wouldn’t want every bar having this system. But it’s fun, glad it is in Fresno, I’ll be back – even if Big Brother is watching how many Luponic Distortions I can put down.

Who The Hell Were All Those Damn People At Fresyes Fest?

Its a great afternoon to be downtown! #FresYesFest #tiogasequoia #craftoutloud

A post shared by Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company (@tiogasequoia) on

Like many of you, I was at Fresyes Fest at Tigoa Sequoia on Saturday. But I came really close to not being there. You saw that line waiting to get in, right? Yeah I saw it too. Forget that noise.

But wait. I gotta blog about something. I guess I will go stand in line and all that crap.

Plus I really like good beer. And it was THE event in Fresno this past weekend.

No it wasn’t the last two nights at Audie’s (although it was pretty epic, I hear). And it wasn’t even Easter. It was Fresyes Fest. Sorry, Jesus, it’s true.

So the main thing I noticed while in there? It wasn’t the food trucks taking up Fulton Street. Or the fine beer TS pours. Or the pro stage. It wasn’t even Swear Bear emptying cups:

File Mar 28, 11 15 10 PM
Photo by Craig Kohlruss (@ck_foto)
It was all the weird, unfamiliar people. Where did all these random Valley folks come from and who are they!?

Seriously though: Who the fuck were they?!  And I use fuck in the sweetest way. Like, when a friend tells you their Great Uncle died last week. “Fuck. I’m sorry man.” That’s how I’m using it. Fuck can still be sweet and pack a punch. It’s versatile like that.

If you looked real close Saturday, you would have seen a few OG bloggers huddled in a shaded corner wondering where the time went. And yes, also still wondering who the fuck these people are.

Fresno FresYes Fest
FresYes Fest crowd at Tioga’s Beer Garden
Old Man Fresno rant!: “Back in my day, the only festival we had was the Fig Gig and that’s the way we liked it! No fancy hipster food trucks. No cute picnic tables inside a nice big Beer Garden. Our “beer garden” was a 50×50 foot taped-off piece of blacktop behind the Applebee’s, and that’s the way we liked it and we were happy to get it!”

That’s right, children. Fig Gig. It… it was something to go to. Technically. And we didn’t have to worry about lines or choices of beer. Sanger Light Bud Light and Bud Ice anyone?

Now you have FresYes Fest. And Grizzly Fest and Whatever Is Happening This Weekend Fest. I think Fresno is doing pretty damn good in the festival department now. Even if I don’t know WHO THE FUCK anybody is at these things.

You don’t know how good you have it, you Fresno Millennials. You have a downtown to be pumped about and a thriving festival scene. There used to be just Bud Light and caution tape.