Welcome back to Fresno, person that moved away and only returns on big days. If you are looking for Livingstone’s to be open so you can run into some girl from High School you haven’t seen in 15-years, sorry it’s still closed – making bathrooms compliant for the 21st Century is not easy. But Stones will be back for you next year *knock on wood*.
So if Livingstone’s is not an option for you, where should you go to find your Fresno people to run into and to brag about how great your life is going in L.A. or Portland? (Even though we both totally know that L.A. sucks and it was a mistake and you should have just stayed.)
Gold’s is the new Audie’s Olympic/Livingstone’s hang out until we can get those two back up and running. I am especially recommending it because they are having a very special Modern Times tap-takeover! This takeover includes kegs of MT beer that you can normally only get in the taproom in San Diego. #stoked
Being a beer geek, I’m pretty pumped and it is actually enough to get me out of my NW Fresno cave.
Being as it is a thankful time, I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and say sorry for the inconsistency over the past few months. I love Fresno and blogging and I’m glad you are here, so thank you!
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.
“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!
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:
I'm totally with you on NE Fresno aka Clovis West. Rooftop Whiskey bars S of Fulton would liven up the place like they did in DT Denver
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:
Craft Beer – even more breweries.
Bitwise and tech.
Sports – including soccer.
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.
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.
Hobo Pilsner – Dust Bowl Brewing. Excellent pilsner and it’s another universal beer that would sell well.
Slauncher Imperial IPA – Kaweah 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.
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.
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.
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.