Fulton Street Party! Glad that Tioga is around, otherwise this might not have happened.
The Fulton Street Party is Saturday, celebrating one year of traffic returning to Fulton. It won’t be the hullabaloo that was last year’s party.
But thankfully, Tioga Sequoia Brewing pushes for something to happen and is making a day out of it, highlighted by the Battle of the Bands style competition happening all day with all local acts.
The two “best” bands will win slots at next year’s Grizzly Fest.
This will be a great snapshot of the state of Fresno’s music scene and it’s free to check out. Gaze at the flyer above for set times. I definitely have a couple picked out already.
Tioga will also have super fresh Fulton Street IPA (nice and hazy) flowing all day along, with other things going on within the block surrounding Tioga’s Beer Garden. Including the main stage for bands in the lot across the street from TS.
Sounds like a damn fine day to me. Hope I see ya there!
The Northern California brewpub chain, Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, is coming to Fresno at The Marketplace.
That’s the drunk whispers I am hearing. Fresno is adding another brewpub style place to eat and drink and it’s called Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.
I thought Pete’s was going to be on the empty pad along Herndon (near 99), next to the Target and the Panera. Thankfully, Fresnan reader, Redd, pointed out that it will be next to the new movie theater being built during phase two of construction:
It was rumored that Southgate Brewing in Oakhurst was going to open up a second location there but they are planning on building at Avenue 12 & Highway 41.
When Does Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Open?
Summer. Summer of 2019. That’s all I got for now. Things change I suppose. Fall through. Get drunk, stumble around, knock over a few street signs, wake up in the morning and forget it signed a three-year lease. But it seems it will happen.
What Is This Pete’s Brewhouse All About?
I had never heard of this place before but they have 13 freaking locations. They all seem to center around Sacramento but they don’t actually have a Sacramento location.
What Kind Of Food?
It’s brewpub food, people. We all know what that is about. I have not looked at the menu yet but I feel like there will be sliders. Lots of versions of sliders. Okay now, let’s look at the menu and see.
I’m shocked. I didn’t see any sliders. Lots of food. A bit more extensive than the standard restaurant brewery. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes too many dishes is a bad thing. At least there will be choices.
What Kind Of Beer?
For a beer geek like me, usually, the most exciting thing to look for is not the beer that the place makes but the guest taps. These are the beers they serve that are not the ones they make.
Usually, the beer that a brewpub makes is very generic. Just kinda OK. So the beer they offer other than theirs becomes the interesting part. Pete’s other locations seem to lean towards craft beer, which is a good sign.
They serve a lot of Norcal area beers so I assume the Fresno location will have locals like Tioga, Full Circle, House of Pendragon, Dust Bowl and maybe by that point Zack’s.
Fresno Is The New Brewpub Capitol.
Even though Fresno is still underserved for actual breweries, we seem to be doing just fine for brewpubs. We already have chains and homegrown.
We have Mad Duck at Campus Pointe. They are even opening a second location at Herndon & Marks that is being built as we read:
We also have Sequoias (wish we could still call it Butterfield’s) with a Tower District location and an NE Fresno location. There is also the chain, BJ Brewhouse at Fashion Fair.
Brewpub or Brewery? What Is The Difference?
If you’re kind of fuzzy from drinking the night before and were wondering what the difference between a brewpub and a brewery is, I think of it this way:
Focused on making their own beer.
Distributes their beer to other places.
Packages their beer for stores.
Food is not offered or comes second to the beer.
Food is the main focus.
Beer is an afterthought or feels almost like a gimmick to get you in the door.
The beer that they brew is safe and generic, does not push the limits of brewing.
Very little to no packaging of the beer, little to no distribution.
We have roughly the same amount of brewpubs as we do breweries in Fresno. That is odd and I hope the brewery side passes up the brewpub side soon.
Until then I will still be sampling both because beer research is essential to local blogging. Says me.
I decided to ride my bike to a Fresno beer thing last week (Happy Anniversary, Pine & Palm Brewing). One, because obviously, it’s better to ride a bike with a couple pops in ya than drive. Second, because I always preach riding your bike in Fresno but don’t do it enough. So I did.
My route? Fruit, North to Herndon. Herndon to Palm (via trail pictured above). Palm to Bedford. Bedford to brewery.
I begin on Fruit. The same section that some council asshat stopped a fully funded and approved road-diet on because he sat at a corner for an hour and allegedly didn’t observe any bikers. (Yeah, I’m still bitter)
Are We Getting Better Or Was It A One-Time Thing?
As I was stopped at the light at Fruit & Bullard, I chose to rest on the white line dividing the two lanes because there was a car coming up behind me that wanted to turn right so I wanted to give them space to do that. As the light turned green, I went back into the lane knowing there we no cars behind me so I could safely use the lane. But the car that was turning right decided not to and is now directly behind me.
Normally, Fresno drivers get pissed-off that they are having to wait for a bike, even though said bike as a right to be using the lane. I got over quickly for fear of a bottle being tossed at my head. When the car passed, there was no bottle. No finger. No “Get the fuck off the road!” The car uneventfully went by.
Fresnans just might be getting more mellow with sharing the road.
Let The Drinking Begin!
At Pine & Palm Brewing, having some beers, celebrating two years of the brewery in their new taproom, getting slightly annoyed at the soccer fans that have taken over the Taproom.
I now get word that there is a group of Perfect Pour people over at the newest Fresno drinking spot, just around the corner. I leave the soccer fans to their fun and head over.
A Bar In An Industrial Park!?
Yep. There is a new craft beer and wine bar in Fresno and it’s in an industrial park in Pinedale – well, I refer to it as Pinedale anyway. It’s called Tap & Cellar. Check it:
Great beer list. They have kegs of beer that you can’t find anywhere else in town. Good addition to the scene.
Time To Ride Back.
Before I get too deep into day-drinking, it’s time to bike home. I took a slightly different route back and discovered a small, but effective, path that comes close to the Herndon path:
This little trail runs along Harrison Ave, behind (to the West) of the Palm Bluffs area.
Finishing the ride at home, I was pleased with Fresnans because nobody seemed to get pissed at me – at least they didn’t make it known. There is hope. Maybe Fresno can be a bike-friendly place after all.
There is no point to continue convincing Fieldwork Brewing to open a taproom in Fresno. They used up their last available state allowed 5th tasting room spot on some boring Nor Cal place. So I have to move on.
But I am not stopping!
I will always lobby for some cool California brewer to open up a remote taproom so that we can add to our craft beer options, thus helping Fresno overflow its glass of radness.
So, let’s find a new one to convince to come here. A new California brewery to annoy until they open up in Fresno. That pick?:
Why? They have excellent beer. Super cool marketing. Admirable philosophy towards beer culture and being independent. Plus, they have amazingly cool taprooms.
California allows breweries to have five taprooms. Modern Times has three in California, one in Portland (doesn’t count) and one being built in Escondido. So there is a spot left. I want that spot to be Fresno’s.
It’s like an Arthop night but all the time.
The taprooms are works of art. Not all the same, each reflects the personality of the town they are in. A Fresno one would be so fucking rad. It would be a place to brag about.
Look at the main one in Point Loma, nicknamed “Lomaland Fermentorium”, complete with the (pictured above) Michael Jackson & Bubbles mural made entirely of post-it notes:
Aren’t the existing Fresno taprooms enough?
Full Circle has its charms and good beer. Tioga is getting cooler as they are expanding. HOP PK is new and awesome and going down well with Fresnans. Pine & Palm just moved to a bigger cooler location. Tactical Ops is doing their thing near the airport. Zack’s Brewing and 411 Ales are opening later this year (knock on wood).
So brewing and taproom things are happening. It’s great. But we deserve more. Hell, Visalia has a Barrelhouse remote taproom. Fresno has none. We need one before Bakersfield, Merced and Madera all have one and we don’t.
Someday I want to see this on Modern Time’s Instagram feed:
China Bistro. The SW corner of Bullard & West, tucked back behind a fountain. Good soup. Good everything. Sweet people.
Mama Mia’s – Palm & Bullard. All the things are good. Especially fond of the gnocchi. A little greasy but I think it’s supposed to be, yeah?
Almost making the list are Habit Burger and sadly: Chipotle. By the way, these are all places you can sit and eat, I just primarily use them for takeout. Speaking of…
TOP FIVE SITDOWN:
Casa Corona – Bullard & West. One of the better bar atmospheres in NW Fresno, and they finally got a decent IPA on tap (Luponic Distortion), food is not bad either.
Eureka Burger. This is my go-to place. Usually a good beer selection and always good food, I usually have the Fresno Burger or chicken nachos when it’s “hoppy” hour.
Popolo’s Pizza. I will forever miss the old location and salad bar. But the new place still gives me enough to keep coming back. I’m partial to the baked sandwiches.
Edo-Ya. At times, the best sushi in town and the teppanyaki is great too. We all know about EdoYa, come on, just go. L.A. Roll is amaze.
Pismo’s. I’m not fond of fish dishes and I still like this place. On point with atmosphere, food and service. Can’t really afford to go very much but always enjoy when I do.
Honorable Mention to Yardhouse, Benadiction (best breakfast) and to South Gate Brewing for being the best out-of-town but not THAT out-of-town place.
I love craft beer so you won’t find a place here that doesn’t have it.
Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. It is THE Fresno brewery hangout/event space/beer release place. Great beer and Downtown views.
Goldstein’s. Always a great selection of beer, nice atmosphere. Only wish I could go more when it’s not so packed and hard to order beers. (Bar pictured at top)
Spokeasy’s. Maybe the most genuine beer bar in town. Favorite thing is to wait for a keg to “blow” so you can see what new beer comes on while you sit there – they have a small tap system so it enables them to run through kegs rather quickly, keeping the draft list always fresh.
HOP PK. It’s brand new and I have only been once but this one has been so long in coming and so needed that I am including it. Looking forward to more visits in 2018.
Pine & Palm Brewing. It is so tiny but still fun if you are a beer geek. Good news is they are expanding very soon, excited to see what’s next.
Honorable mention to Full Circle Brewing. I wish they could magically move their building over by Tioga and Zack’s, I’d be there all the time.
So that was 2017. The number one Fresno food & drink thing I am looking forward to in 2018 is Zack’s Brewing opening their taproom on Fulton. There is a rumor it could possibly maybe open by May, fingers crossed.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts on The Fresnan this year!