The Best Breweries In And Around Fresno, California

Photo of Josh Wright
2 December 2016

California’s craft beer boom has been a little late in reaching the San Joaquin Valley, but the wait has been worth it. The San Joaquin Valley Brewfest, held for the first time in 2015, is a celebration of the area’s emerging brewing scene. As Fresno is the epicenter of this development, we have put together a guide to the top breweries in and around the city.

Chukchansi Park, home of the Fresno Grizzlies | © Yamalgo/WikiCommons

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company

Award-winning brewmaster Kevin Cox and his team at the Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company are proud of where they come from. ‘Drink Local’ is their slogan, and a portion of their proceeds go to the preservation of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains that border the San Joaquin Valley. Their popular Mt. Whitney XPA (an ‘Xtra Pale Ale’ with a delightful combination of citrus and hop flavors) is named for the highest peak in the range. Try out their core brands, seasonals, and specialty batches at their tasting room, right across the street from the home of Fresno’s minor league baseball team, the Grizzlies.

Address & telephone number: 745 Fulton St, Fresno, CA, +1 559-486-2337

Full Circle Brewing Company

More than just a brewery, Full Circle is also a lively entertainment venue with bags of character. Its sizable performance space hosts everything from burlesque and belly dancing shows to live music and roller derbies. Nowhere else in Fresno offers as many different brews in their sampler flights – a whole 12 – while root beer and mead are also available. Some of the best beers here are the High Speed Rail Red Ale, which has notes of caramel and roasted malt, and the 1850 London Porter, a rich offering with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

Address & telephone number: 620 F St, Fresno, CA, +1 559-264-6323

Sequoia Brewing Company

Scott and Michele Kendall’s Sequoia Brewing Company has been a Fresno staple for over a decade, and the couple now operate two brewpubs in the city. The beer is brewed at the Olive Avenue branch, but both locations employ a cozy ski lodge-style décor and serve up steaks, salads, pastas, tacos, ribs, wings, and other hearty fare. You can pair the food with one of Sequoia’s brews – the Black Oak Porter is particularly good – or, as the Kendalls have partnered with Tioga-Sequoia, one of the latter’s instead.

Addresses & telephone numbers: 777 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA, +1 559-264-5521, 1188 E Champlain Dr Suite 107, Fresno, CA, +1 559-434-2739

House of Pendragon Brewing Company

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American
Map View
The bar at the 559 Local Tasting Room
The bar at the 559 Local Tasting Room | Courtesy of 559 LocalC
Within the House of Pendragon’s taproom you’ll find a rotating selection of their King Arthur-themed beers and some taps that are reserved for experimental concoctions. The walls and furniture here are made from wood reclaimed from owner Tom Caprelian’s farm (although there are no round tables in sight). Caprelian is a graduate of America’s oldest brewing school, the World Brewing Academy at the Siebel Institute of Technology. His expertise is evident in the taproom’s use of proper glassware in order to optimize the drinking experience, and in quality brews like the Lancelot IPA and the Belgian ale Excalibur.

559 Local Tasting Room

559 is a true family business. Their Raisin Farmer Ale, with its mix of spiciness and dark fruits, is an homage to the Williams’ grandfather, who worked in California’s fields for over half a century. Three generations pitch in at the tasting room, where items of family heritage like wagon wheels and grape trays serve as decoration. Eight beers are on tap here, and guests are invited to sample them in 2oz taster glasses at the bar’s marble counter top. 559 also ensure that the fruit they add to their brews – raisins, figs, strawberries, and peaches – is always sourced locally.

Address & telephone number: 608 4th St, Clovis, CA, +1 559-473-1875

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