American Craft Beer Week may seem like an elaborate excuse to get faced on huge amounts of high-end hopped-up brews (that being the stock-and-trade of most American craft breweries). It’s more than that though.
The week-long celebration (which kicked off yesterday) is opportunity to support and celebrate the small, independent businesses (in this case both the breweries and the retailers that stock them) that advance the area’s beer culture.
Yes, there is such a thing as beer culture.
To understand Fresno’s unique beer culture, you can listen to The Perfect Pour podcast. Then, go visit these craft-beer bars/restaurants/taprooms or liquor stores (it’s a top 10 in no order and totally based on my personal choice):
1.) The Fort — This is outside my sphere of influence, but comes highly recommended.
2.) Tioga Sequoia — OK, this would be my No. 1 choice based on its Rush Hour stout alone. To celebrate ACBW, the downtown brewery now has kegs for sale!
3.) Full Circle Brewery — One of my first experiences with local craft brew. The 1850 London Porter is scary good.
4.) Das Bierhaus — This is a bottle shop. So, drink in or carry out.
5.) Spokeasy Public House — Bicycle themed, craft-beer bar with vintage video games.
6.) Peeve’s Public House — Hip, urban vibe. Bonus for being on (what is still, for now) the Fulton Mall.
7.) BC’s Pizza and Beer — For the beer expert, or someone looking to learn.
8.) Popolo’s Pizza — More pizza and beer.
9.) House of Pendragon — Taproom just opened at the Fresno-Clovis interchange (Willow and Nees-ish).
10.) Eureka Burger — Gourmet burger joint, whose whole concept revolves around the American craft movement (beer, whiskey, food).