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.

 

Foo Fighters! Foo Fighters Show In Fresno! Foosnooooo!

It’s the kind of news that turns a bad day into a good one. The Foo Fighter’s lifelong dream of coming to Fresno is finally a real thing!

They will be here December 1st. That’s a Friday night show, brotha! Foo on Friday! #FooFriday. Tickets on sale, June 29th, at the old classic time of 10 AM. Check out their website for pre-sale.

The super important question already being asked. Will Dave use the tired “I think this town should be called FresYES not FresNO!” joke?

But isn’t Dave Grohl too cool for such a joke? I hope so. I think so.

I will accept an “I don’t call this place FresNO, I call it FOOno!” joke. But if Dave does the tired and corny “I don’t say FresNO, I say FresYES!” joke, I will boycott the next song by sitting down in my seat, folding my arms and staring Dave down with a very disappointed smirk.

I’m getting away from the fact that it’s so freaking awesome that the Foo is finally coming to Fresno. This news will make the summer so much easier, having this to look forward too in December.

So, good job Fresno. And we didn’t even have to gather all the town’s musicians to convince them to come.

*Pic stolen from here.

THE Bands You Will Regret Missing At Grizzly Fest


I won’t be at Grizzly Fest on Saturday. Probably. But YOU should totally go because you are way cooler than me and deserve to treat yourself to the best music festival in Fresno. Well, best since F.U.S.E. Fest went on hiatus.

Yeah, I probably won’t make it because it’s Saturday and that means I’ll be making one worthless trip to the hardware store and a second trip to get the thing forgotten on the first trip.

I’m going to miss a lot of badassness. Fresno’s own Fashawn will be there, along with plenty of other national acts. I kinda don’t give a shit about those. I like the Fresno bands.

Some of the Fresno music will include Slow Season, Amoret, White Glove Service and one of the biggest Fresno bands of all time: 40 Watt Hype. They have a new video out, btw:

There are more Fresno acts but the two I will miss out on the most are Sagey and Wee Beasties:

Make sure you go and report back to me on social media (@thefresnan on Twitter and Instagram. trenchrun22 on Snap) and tell me all the badass sets I missed.  I think I’ll be busy getting drunk while watching house paint dry.

Now please watch the most genius use of Fresno landmarks ever:

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.

9 Cool Ass Things I [Will] Remember About Audie’s Olympic

Audie's Olympic
Audie’s Olympic – photo by David Prasad

I dunno if you heard about this but Audie will soon no longer be running Audie’s Olympic club in the Tower District. Crazy, right?

Hey, don’t ask me what happened, I’m sure Josh over at Fresno Beehive has something up about it or soon will. Rumor has it that the Audie Camp is saying the owners of the building want to do their own thing there and are pushing him out. The Owners Camp (total rumor, bro, ok?) say they would like him to stay if he met with the obligations of the lease.

Totally not my business. All I know is I have spent a lot of time in Audie’s Olympic. Not as much as of late but I think maybe I’ve gone to… 90? 100 shows there? Yeah, sounds kinda right.

So with that, here are my Ten 9 Cool Ass Things [I Will Remember] About Audie’s Olympic:

  • The Tub Of Beer: Not every place in town has a horse water trough full of ice and cheap beer cans. Even if you are not hipster enough to like PBR (I apparently am not), you had to order one, just so you don’t stand out too much.
  • The Chalk Event Board: I am a real nerd about chalk boards. No self respecting craft beer tap room doesn’t have one. Audie’s has one. Checking out the board during band breaks is a classic past-time for me.
  • The Bathroom Door Sticker Art: I can only assume the girls bathroom is the same but I KNOW the boys has always been covered in band stickers. I really haven’t checked it out close enough to see if they are ever peeled off or if there are years and years of layers.
  • Audie Chilling In the Corner of the Bar: If you look real close, behind the soundboard, you just might catch a glimpse. Always felt like I was looking behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz.
  • The Wall Carpet! Zanny I say (and probably helps with the sound). And all the stuff above the bar. ZANNY!
  • Pool Table/Merch Table: Of all the years going there, including when it was Club Fred, I think I saw the pool table actually functioning as a pool table, twice. Love picking up merch there so that is ok. Always bring cash for band merch, people, it seriously helps the bands survive.
  • The Sidewalk Scene: In between bands, more than half the club spills out onto the sidewalk in front of Audie’s. And most aren’t smoking, just getting some air and catching up with folks. Because have you tried having a conversation inside a rock club?
  • The Couches: It was super rare that I would get the couch in the center of the dance floor. I would occasionally get the one under the control booth. This was always a mistake because you never got up again.
  • Seeing Rising Bands: Whether it was a Fresno act or a touring act just trying to get noticed. There is no greater pretentious dude joy than to be able to say “I saw that band play at a small club in Fresno before they hit big.” Really this is [was] my favorite thing. And you get to talk to the bands outside during the sidewalk sessions.

Seriously, much love and respect to Audie and what he has done for the music scene in Fresno, it can’t be said enough. Safe travels on his next adventure.

Hopefully the space continues as a rock club. It just has too. Even if the wall carpet has to go.

[photo from David Prasad]