A couple of weekends ago, we headed over to the other side of the Grapevine for a family visit in the Yosemite area. With beer on our mind and a bit of camera equipment to take some photos, our first stop after a long drive took us to Sequoia Brewing Company in the Tower District of Downtown Fresno.
The Brewery is just one of the places that’s added nightlife to the Tower District, which a few years ago hadn’t really been part of the agenda for any late-night outings. Sequoia Brewing Company has been around since 2003, prior to that it was the Butterfield Brewing Company (1989). They boast a menu of 19 beers with a full range of IPAs, Stouts, Pales, Seasonals, and everything in between. We didn’t sample the food menu, but we’ve heard good things! On the Thursday night we were there, we also got to experience a fantastic live band rockin’ the Blues.
The best thing to do visiting a brewery like this it to order a sampler. We got 10 beers for just under 10 bucks, which is unheard of in Los Angeles.
The sampler included… well, 10 beers. I wasn’t driving, so the most notable brews included the General Sherman IPA,
One of the things I love about the beers is the names – as a local, you know where they came from. The General Sherman IPA is a giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park (all the big ones have names like this), the Half Dome Half-Weizen is, of course, named after Half Dome in Yosemite, and the China Peak Pilsner named after one of the nearby ski resorts. The Irish Stout is pretty darn tasty, and isn’t as hoppy as we find most California microbrews tend to take it. The China Peak Pilsner was a fave and includes the necessary carbonation. The least favorite – the one soldier we left behind – was the Del Oro. While I admire the new fad breweries have to take on our favorite Mexican-style beers, this one… I swear, this one had the finish of a tortilla chip. I just couldn’t get past it.
Feel free to check it out – there are two locations in Fresno. The whole Central Valley is taking on the beer-loving trend, so expect more of these to be popping up!