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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Beer for breakfast? Tioga-Sequoia unveils new breakfast stout

breakfast stoutFresno brewery Tioga-Sequoia is releasing its Rush Hour breakfast stout this weekend. Hold on a minute. A breakfast beer? While die-hard beer fans are probably rolling their eyes right now (yes, breakfast stouts are a thing), this is a new concept for a lot of us. I’m sure there’s people out there who drink beer for breakfast. (And they may not be who you think. I’ve heard several stories of doctors or emergency medical folks who work the night shift popping open a cold one at the end of their shift — which just happens to be at 6 a.m.) But you certainly don’t have to drink it for breakfast. This beer is more about pairing two flavors together — the chocolately sweet stout with the taste of roasted coffee beans, says Tioga-Sequoia marketing manager Michael Cruz.

“It’s like you’re drinking breakfast,” he says. “When you pop open a bottle and pour it into your glass, it’s like smelling a cup of coffee.”

The brewery partnered with local coffee roaster and coffee shop Cafe Corazon in the Tower District. Owner Leo Rios got some hard-to-find Colombian beans that he roasted specifically for the beer. Tioga-Sequoia cold brewed them along with the beer and the result is the limited release of Rush Hour (rush hour referring to both the time of day and the rush you get from caffeine in coffee).

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

If you’re not out looking for a missing airliner

5thing-3-14-1`41.) “Veronica Mars
This is being dual released in theaters and on video on demand. It’s not opening in Fresno, but you can get it on all of your digital devices. For those into marathon watching TV, you could watch the complete series AND the film and never have to leave your couch.

2.) Tool
Rumor is, the band will play just seven songs. BUT, it’s Tool, so that could be more than an hour of music.

3.) Visalia Irish Fest
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early. And with good beer.
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4.) Absurd Masterworks
I’m not extremely well versed in absurdist theater. I did read Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinocéros” during my college days (in its original French). I also have a translated copy, because it’s good stuff. Here, Fresno state presents short works from Ionesco and Samuel Beckett.

5.) Cloudship
Cloudship is Brandon Freeman (Local Honey, Luchador) + Jonathan Napole (Gods and Kings, Before Perils).

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

5thing1-17-3Now that we are getting that drought thing pretty much handled

1.) Nitro Circus
Dude hits a 50-foot ramp in a wheelbarrow. And lands it. Or does he? The DVD series-turned MTV show brings its first-ever US tour to Fresno.

2.) Cherry Blue Storms
Los Angeles band looks to bring back the iconic guitar riff, with its brand of psychedelic power pop. A fundraiser for Food Not Bombs, featuring Blake Jones and the Trike Shop.
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3.) Sour beer week
BC’s Pizza and Beer is always up on the brew trends. For fans of rare, won’t-get-this-anywhere else beers.

5things1-17-2 4.) Bunny Brunch
Tower Urban Family Farm does a kitchen take over to create a farm-to-fork brunch. And yes, it features farm-raised rabbit. Though a vegetarian option is available. Here’s what food tastes like when it doesn’t come from a supermarket wrapped it plastic.

5.) Random writer’s workshop
Let’s face it, your novel could use work.

Tonight: The Normal School release party/benefit with Lance Canales and the Flood

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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 jacquelinew@csufresno.edu to reserve a spot and a parking pass.

Tonight: Brew Bingo at Peeve’s Public House

1236062_540558375998859_422588061_nYou 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.

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BC’s Pizza & Beer’s 4th annual IPA festival

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.

On tap for the event (pun intended):

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The Fresno Craft Beer Festival isn’t in Fresno

Craft-Beer-LogoThe Fresno Craft Beer Festival bills itself as “the ONLY craft beer festival in Fresno.” Just one problem. It’s in Madera.

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?

Upcoming: St. Patrick’s Day

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 jtehee@fresnobee.com and I’ll add it in.

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Tonight: Green Flash tap takeover at BC’s Pizza

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 is a test market for Modelo Light

UntitledFresno 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.

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A letter from the new Mike Oz

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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.

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Taco Truck Throwdown 2: Everything you need to know

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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.

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Fres-Know: And the song you’ll be singing all weekend is …

GREEK FEST PROMO OF THE WEEK: Don’t Drop that Baklava. [YouTube]

IF YOU MISSED IT: Valley meat plant under fire for abusing animals. [The Bee]

THE LATEST: Congressmen want meat plant re-opened. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Video review of Fresno’s Ani Jam. [YouTube]

(DON’T) WATCH THIS: It’s good school is back in session. [YouTube]

GET INVOLVED: Citizens Academy looking for its next class. [City of Fresno]

CANCELED: This year’s Tri-Tip Cook-Off. [TasteFresno]

HAPPENING: Drink beer to benefit IBikeFresno. [The Fresnan]

YUM: Food-centric events coming this weekend. [TasteFresno]

NEWS: Work has started on Highway 180 renovation. [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: He’s excited for Taco Truck Throwdown. Are you? [Fresno Bites]

Fres-Know: Sorry, it’s one of our pre-existing conditions

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LOCAL REACTION: To today’s Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. [The Bee]

CHIME IN: What’s your take on today’s ruling? [Opinion Talk]

BLOGGINGS: Decision is business as usual. [Business Journal]

EEK: Fresno 99th out of 100 in economic recovery. [The Bee]

NEWS: Pro soccer match sets attendance record at The Chuk. [The Bee]

SPORTS: Fresno Grizzlies players make Triple A all-star team. [The Bee]

CROWDSOURCING: A list of Fresno fireworks stands. [Nerd Family Things]

KICKSTART: A local guy’s Burning Man project. [Kickstarter]

HELP: Local businesses like Longbox.fm get $250K. [Mission Small Business]

GET FAMILIAR: With Joe Taylor, playing Fresno this weekend. [Fresno Famous]

REVIEWED: Doughnuts2Go in the Tower District. [Good Bad Fresno]

SAVE THE DATE: For Visalia’s first craft beer fest. [Visalia Beer Fest]

[photo: Associated Press, totally 'shopped -- poorly too]

New Eats: Cask & Cork Bistro & Pourhouse

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Up at Friant and Fort Washington, the Cask & Cork Bistro & Pourhouse has recently taken over the space previously occupied by Yalla Yalla and Bentley’s Bistro before that.

It’s a swanky sort of place with a nice patio, some craft beer and interesting menu items. Oh, and bacon.

Here’s a bit of background from Bethany Clough’s recent story in The Bee about Cask & Cork:

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.

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Fres-Know: Audra McDonald rules!

YAY FRESNO: Audra McDonald wins another Tony, makes history [The Bee]

SAD: Dad dies trying to save drowning son in Kings River. [The Bee]

COOL: Warren Armstrong in D.C. to interview President Obama. [ABC30]

SPORTS: Margie Wright’s legacy celebrated. [The Bee]

MMM BEER: A look at Fresno’s craft brew scene. [The Bee]

CROSS YOUR FINGERS: Interesting raffle from The Grizzlies. [Business Journal]

ARE YOU HUNGRY? More for the ‘Fresno Eateries to Try’ list. [The Cured Ham]

LISTEN: Local podcast jumps into that conversation too. [The View Looks Good]

ANGRY YELPER O’ THE DAY: Cracked Pepper needs e-mail reservations. [Yelp]

GOOD READ: Day trips around Central California. [The Full Moxie]

WTF FRESNO: Teens fighting and an irate mom. Not safe for humanity. [YouTube]

Announcing: The Great Fresno Tweetup 4

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Once again, The Beehive and the Fresno Grizzlies are happy to announce the annual convergence of the Fresno Twittersphere that we’ve dubbed The Great Fresno Tweetup.

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.

Wanna go? If so RSVP to @fresnogrizzlies on Twitter. While you’re at it, be sure you’re following @fresnobeehive and @fresnobee too.

Watch our Twitter accounts for some pre-Tweetup fun — like a chance to throw out the first pitch. Oh, and be sure to tag all your Tweetup-related chatter with #GreatFresnoTweetup.

The Beehive’s Guide to St. Paddy’s Day

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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.

Watch out for Post No Bills for more weekend happenings.

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R.I.P. Thirsty Thursdays … Hello, Tecate Thirstdays

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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.

7Qs #4 at Fresno Brewing Co.

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?

Fresno Brewing Co. takes over the place that used to house Milano, Come & Get It Chicken & Waffles, Mom & Pop’s and various others.

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.

PREVIOUSLY IN 7Qs: Fulton 55 | Dead in 60 Years | Travis Sheridan

Five things we’re likely to see happen in the post-Pat Hill era

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Well, Fresno State shaved its famous fu manchu. Pat Hill — in a move that was only surprisingly in how quickly it happened after season’s end — was fired as Bulldog football coach on Sunday, ending a sometimes tumultuous relationship with the program and its fans that lasted 15 years.

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.

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Yard House Fresno: By the numbers

We’re another day closer to Yard House opening its River Park location — 11 a.m. Sunday. We gave you videos yesterday. Today, here’s a Half Yard’s worth of factoids about Yard House — including its menu, beer selection and much more. Shout out to Bee artist John Alvin on the design handiwork.

View the full-size PDF below. Or, if you just want the text, go to fresnobee.com.

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PDF: Yard House — by the numbers

Your first look at Fresno’s Yard House

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.

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