Today is Giving Tuesday (or #givingtuesday, for the hashtag crowd). I could give you a long list of support-worthy causes. Instead, I will suggest The Normal School, the bi-annual literary magazine based out of Fresno State.
The magazine is the type of thing Fresno needs more of. It features nonfiction, fiction, poetry, criticism and journalism and is a great catalyst for local talent, especially given its emphasis on boundary-challenging and/or innovative content, form or focus.
To get a feel for what the magazine is about, show up 7 p.m. tonight at Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall to celebrate The Normal School’s 11th issue. It will be literary — with readings from Corrinne Hales, Randa Jarrar, Steven Church and Fresno State MFA students. There will also be music from Lance Canales and the Flood. The event is free and open to the public, but you can subscribe or donate to the magazine, which goes a long way toward printing issue No. 12.
Before the party, Canales will be at Fresno State to discuss songwriting, music making and the like. The discussion starts at 3 p.m. in the Peter’s Business Building, room 194. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot and a parking pass.
You may recall a piece I wrote back in July on the rising popularity of bar games–specifically Brew Bingo. Brew Bingo is pretty much like it sounds. You take your grandma’s game of luck, mix in a few tasty alcoholic beverages and … BINGO! (to make that bad pun).
At the time I wrote the story there was a monthly game hosted at Fresno Brewing Company, the coffeehouse/bar down on the Fulton Mall. It was a successful weeknight event that drew a large and diverse (relatively speaking) crowd. Well, Fresno Brewing Company is gone, but the game will continue. Peeve’s Public House and Local Market, which took over the FBC space will host its first Brew Bingo, 8 p.m. tonight.
I mention this because it’s another opportunity to get a sneak peak at the place — it’s not open officially until Sept. 16 — and because I will be tonight’s guest caller, along with nonprofit-volunteer-master Hilary Malveaux from Creative Fresno, Friends of the Library. The grand prize for the night is a round of golf (and a cart!) for four at Airways Golf Club.
Peeve’s will open at 6 p.m. for the event. Game time is at 8 p.m. In case you missed it last time, here’s a quick video of some Brew Bingo action. I will not be wearing a mank.
There was a time (and not too long ago) when asking for a Sierra Nevada at most restaurant/bars would get you a weird look.
You want an IP-what now? We’ve got Bud, Bud Light, Coors and Miller. Luckily for those of us with taste buds, those days are over and you can find a decent hoppy brew just about any place.
Not that BC’s Pizza & Beer is just anyplace, as is evident to anyone who’s ever seen its extensive beer menu, or been around for its annual IPA festival. The Clovis pizza/beer joint hosts the fourth annual IPA Beer Festival starting 11 a.m. Thursday. It will feature more than 60 IPAs available on draft and in bottles. These are beers from around the world. Some of them are hard to come by, so for the hard-core connoisseur (as opposed to the guys who will drink any old swill), this is going to be a treat.
The event, which runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 11 and features 30 breweries, is at ApCal (which some may know as Appellation California). The wine tasting and event venue regularly hosts live music and other events on its big lawn with the 100-year-old oak tree. ApCal isn’t that far from Fresno. In fact, the boundary between Fresno and Madera counties follows the San Joaquin River and ApCal, on Avenue 7, is only 1.3 miles from the river via Highway 99.
The festival’s logo features the city of Fresno’s flag, though. And Facebooker Kiel Thomas Schmidt points out this language on the website promoting the festival:
“No more hot parking lot festivals or trying to find a parking spot in scary part of the city. Our place is beautiful, spacious, safe and FUN!”
Says Schmidt: “It also seems to slam both the Downtown Fresno’s Sudz in the City and Tower’s Oktoberfest. Though, I bet there won’t be any craft brewers at this one that weren’t at the other two.”
So what do you think, dear readers? Does it matter that the Fresno Craft Beer Festival isn’t in Fresno or is ApCal close enough? Are you offended by the apparent dis of the other beer festivals?
I never really liked St. Patrick’s Day. While, I enjoy the story about the dude chasing snakes with a stick, there is that whole “wear-green-or-else” thing that puts me off.
Don’t pinch me bro.
People do celebrate the day (for an entire weekend it seems), so I put together a quick Post-No-Bills-style collection of event fliers for you. Feel free to included others in the comments or shoot a link to email@example.com and I’ll add it in.
UPDATE: This event is actually TONIGHT (Thursday). If you thought you missed it, you still have time.
Image borrowed with gratitude from BC’s.
An admission: Until a few weeks ago, I had never been to BC’s Pizza and Beer. But people talked about its selection of import and craft beer, the hard-to-find stuff that most places have never heard of, much less carry.
Those people were right. I was not only impressed by the beer selection, I was a bit overwhelmed.
That’s preface to The Green Flash Tap Takeover happening at 4 p.m. at BC’s tonight. Green Flash is a San Diego brewery that has some of my favorite beers. The Double Stout is particularly amazing. Tonight, on tap, BC’s with have six Green Flash beers:
Green Flash 1st Anniversary American Strong Ale
Green Flash 5th Anniversary Double IPA
Green Flash 8th Anniversary Surf’s Up Symposium IPA
Green Flash Palate Wrecker Double IPA
Green Flash Le Freak Belgian Style IPA
Green Flash West Coast IPA
Order a pint and you get to keep the glass because that’s how these things work. If you go, please tell us all about it.
Fresno doesn’t have an IKEA or a Dave & Buster’s, but guess what we do have that you won’t find pretty much anywhere else in the U.S.? Beer! Specifically, Modelo Light.
Fresno is a test market for Modelo Light. The Mexican beer Modelo has been around for a while, but Fresno is the first place to get the 90-calorie light version. It’s available in Mexico for years. The company that imports Modelo Light is pretty sure it’s going to do well here (the test is mostly of its marketing) and already plans to roll it out to the rest of the country. And yes, I realize this is the perfect opportunity for a Fresno joke. I’ll leave that up to you guys, but I personally think it’s kinda cool we’re getting the beer first.
The guy from the importing company described it with words like “bold flavor” and “refreshing attributes.” I bought a six pack last weekend to test it out and the word “yummy” is how my amateur beer-drinking self would describe it. For a bold beer, it wasn’t overpowering.
You can get the beer at several local Hispanic supermarkets that I’ll list at the end of the blog. Tower Sports Club also serves Modelo Light.
For those following the count-down clock, we’ve hit the zero hour (to the chagrin of at least one user). Those following me over from my previous gig at Fresno Famous will need no introduction, but the rest of y’all probably want to know what I am about.
First off, I like lists. So:
Downtown. When the Vagabond Lofts were built in 2006, I was the first to move in. Literally, the very first resident in the complex (OK, I had a roommate). I was what then-council member Henry T. Perea called an urban pioneer. I fully buy into the idea that a city is only as good as its downtown, and that Fresno can be (heck, it already is) a vibrant, cultural hot-spot. To that end, I’ll be keeping up with the city’s efforts to get people back to the urban core. For now, check out I Believe in Downtown Fresno. You don’t have to take the pledge, but you can at least get informed.
To keep from being all north Fresno vs. south, I also have an affinity for Fig Garden Village and the Tower District and have no problem hanging out at River Park when I need to.
Two cool things happening this Saturday night that you should start planning for now: this year’s third annual Zombie Pub Crawl in the Tower District and the new-look Sudz in the City, which has to the Fulton Mall and is now more focused on craft beer.
This year’s Taco Truck Throwdown 2 is Thursday (Aug. 30). So if you haven’t started your pre-TTT fast yet, I’m going to recommend you do that ASAP. This year’s event, organized by us and the Fresno Grizzlies, promises to be bigger and better than last year’s — which you might remember was a monster.
People will, no doubt, have questions though, so I put together this handy-dandy guide to all things Taco Truck Throwdown to help you prepare for the event.
Keep on reading. Then come out and fill your face will tacos at Chukchansi Park.
Clovis beer oasis BC’s Pizza & Beer kicks off its third annual IPA Beer Festival today. It’s expected to last two weeks — unless someone goes there and drinks everything up real quick. Point being: Don’t wait around if you’re looking to sample some rare IPAs.
Chef Daniel Renteria previously ran a food distribution business that sold gourmet cheeses, meats and other high-end food. Now his menu reflects some of those foods, such as a baked goat cheese appetizer made with black truffle oil, and a charcuterie plate with chorizo, salami and prosciutto.
It’s happening May 3 (that’s two weeks from today) at the Grizzlies game. The tweetup returns to the centerfield pool this year, which seemed to be a big hit two years ago. Expect the usual tweetup good time — a special $5 ticket with our very own $1 beer station (it’s Tecate Thristdays, ya know?), prizes and more.
Saturday is one of the biggest bar days of the year — and accordingly, there are parties all over this town. Here’s our rundown of events to help you figure out what fits your fancy. Consider it your virtual pot o’ gold.
Clubs, live music, bars and more club — all in the gallery of fliers below. Happy and safe travels on your St. Paddy’s Day green beer quests.
The Fresno Grizzlies’ popular Thirsty Thursdays been nixed for this season. But fear not, fans of $1 beer. You can still swill hops on the cheap at The Chuk during Thursday night home games this season — you’re just going to have to change your vernacular.
The $1 beer night is now called Tecate Thirstdays. On the surface, it might appear that this is just a marketing change to satisfy beer vendor Tecate, but that’s not the case.
In fact, Thirsty Thursdays is trademarked by another minor league baseball team, Asheville Tourists. Rather than dealing with a list of licensing requirements to use the name, the Grizzlies just came up with their own.
So, in short: Name is changed, but the point is the same: “Fans can purchase $1 12-ounce Tecate and Tecate Light through the end of the 5th inning, as well as $1 soda all game long,” the Grizzlies said, in announcing this year’s weekday promo schedule.
For the next in my 7Qs series, I cornered Ephiram Bosse to ask him questions about his recently opened Fulton Mall business, Fresno Brewing Co. It’s a coffee place with plans for beer in the coming months — hitting both ends of the brewing spectrum, ya know?
One update to something Bosse talks about in the video: Twee Boutique, the cool Tower District boutique, has opened a second location next to Fresno Brewing Co., in what sounds like it’s going to be a commune of cool stuff.
On Sunday, athletic director Thomas Boeh said: “We’ve been evaluating data after each season for the last several years, and we saw a trend that was not reflective of us being able to pursue the goal of a conference championship, and our community was not responding any longer to the record that we had.”
In a press conference this morning, Hill said, among other things: “I feel that I gave it my best shot for 15 years, it wasn’t good enough. I hope the next man can come in and take you all where you want to go … So as I say goodbye, I thank you for everything. I think the Fresno State football program is in a great position to make a run. … Thank you for everything you gave me. Goodbye, Fresno.”
As the Pat Hill era comes to a close, we at The Beehive have identified five very important things that are likely to see happen in the post-Pat Hill era at Fresno State.
We’re just a few days away from Yard House opening its doors in Fresno. The SoCal-based chain — known for its huge draft beer selection and rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere — opens Sunday at 11 a.m. at River Park, near the old Border’s. It’s open until 12:30 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Yard House location is more than 13,000 feet, gobbling up what was three empty spaces at River Park. You can read a whole lot more about Yard House in Friday’s issue of The Bee, but for now, here’s a virtual tour of Fresno’s Yard House and a look at its famous “Half Yard” beers. Videos by Eric Paul Zamora of The Bee.
Between now and Sunday, Fresno is turning into a food festival hotbed. There’s is no reason you should go to Applebee’s or any other mundane place.
Instead eat here:
TACO TRUCK THROWDOWN: It’s tonight at Chukchansi Park. Eight taco trucks from around the Valley — from Madera to Visalia — all selling tacos inside the stadium while the Grizzlies have their final Thirsty Thursday of the year. You can buy ticket packages with game tickets and t-shirts ($18 or $23) or individual tacos for $1.50 each. Then you can vote for your favorite to help crowd a winner. Gates open at 6 p.m. Game is at 7 — but you might wanna get there early to beat the rush.
FRESNO BBQ AND FUN FEST: Remember that rib cook-off that attracted 10,000 last summer? Well, this is that — just with a new name, the Fresno BBQ and Fun Fest. Three of last year’s ribbers are back and five new ones are bringing their barbecue specialties to town. It’s underway now and runs until 9 p.m. at Eaton Plaza. Then 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. There’s no admission charge, but you can buy $75 VIP tickets that get you into an all-you-can-eat buffet with food from each vendor. More info here.
FRESNO GREEK FESTIVAL: The veteran of this bunch is the Fresno Greek Festival, an institution of Greek food and culture (and Kopi-watching!) It starts its 51st year on Friday and runs through Sunday at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. There’s all sorts of food to try, made right here in Fresno, with lots of love. The festival even offers a “Greek Food To-Go” option for Friday’s lunch. It runs ’til midnight Friday and Saturday and ’til 6 p.m. on Sunday. Everything you need to know is right here.
In addition to whatever antics The Growlers have planned, it looks tonight is looking a bit partial to T & A. While it’s not as dirty as it sounds, Sequoia Brewing Co. is hosting a Beer for Boobs event at its North Fresno location. Rockville will be playing and money will be raised for breast cancer research.
Confession: I’ve never been to Sudz in the City. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been in Fresno the weekend of Sudz in the City. I’m always out of town. Just one of those peculiar happenstances.
I often hear mixed reviews on Sudz. Some people love it — perhaps even loving it a little too much, in a fall-down, act-a-fool kinda way. Other people complain that the lines are too long and the beer runs out and, of course, people start to act a fool.
Beehive reader Dave sent me his report from this year’s Sudz and wanted to hear from others. So we’ll happily oblige. Dave writes:
I went and it wasn’t bad, lots of beers and food but the set up was odd and there’s rumors that there was a lot of disorganization outside the gates, which led to long line getting in. Was just curious what people who went thought of it and perhaps some feedback would help the Downtown Association for next year.
So, Beehivers, who got their Sudz over the weekend? Was it worth it? Would you go next year? What could be better?