If you thought Fresno’s craft beer scene was hopping, check out what’s coming next. A slew of new beer-based businesses are in the works, from a restaurant pairing tacos with beer – and tequila on tap, too – to a brewpub by the people who run Riley’s Brewing Co. and Elbow Room.
Some open this week. Some are months away from being finished. Here’s a rundown on the up-and-coming places to get a cold one.
Taps & Tacos
The restaurant has 32 taps, with about half devoted to craft beer and the other half pouring familiar domestic names like Bud Light.
Taps & Tacos is run by the same family who owns Papi’s Mex Grill at Champlain Drive and Shepherd Avenue. Since Papi’s draws a lot of families, the owners wanted to do something to attract a broader crowd and they think beer and tacos is the way to do it, says Jovanie Gutierrez, part of the family who owns the restaurants.
The menu will be similar to Papi’s, but with a greater variety of tacos – lengua (beef tongue), al pastor, carnitas, chicken and asada, along with chorizo burgers, burritos and more.
Gutierrez says they want to appeal to craft beer lovers but other beer drinkers, too.
“You want a mixed crowd,” she says. “You want people that drink their regular Bud Light and they want to have a taco.”
Two of the taps will pour tequila. The family bought a barrel of Patrón Reposado, a tequila that’s aged seven to eight months and has a bit of a sweet taste, Gutierrez says. Putting it on tap keeps it cold.
Expect cocktails made from the tequila and tequila tastings.
Craft Beer Wine Bistro
North Fresno is getting a craft beer and wine place with a restaurant at Park Crossing at Friant Road and Fresno Street.
Scheduled to open sometime this week, Craft Beer Wine Bistro is owned by the same father and son who run The Fort. That’s the liquor store at Fort Washington and Friant roads that carries a hefty selection of craft beer.
Now you’ll be able to drink those beers from the tap at the bistro as you sit down for a meal. Wine will be available, too. The business will serve fast-casual food such as paninis, salads and wraps.
The 16 taps will have craft beers you won’t find at many other places, says Sunny Sandhu. He’s using the connections he already has to get the bottled beer to get beer on tap at the Craft Beer Wine Bistro.
“It’s all specialty stuff. It’s not just the regular stuff you’ll see,” he says. “If you’ve seen our selection here [at The Fort] imagine what we can get on tap.”
Keep tabs on Craft Beer Wine Bistro’s Facebook page for their exact opening day.
Colton’s Social House
At Colton’s Social House in Clovis you will find 20 beers on tap, including many local brews like House of Pendragon, Pine and Palm, Tioga-Sequoia, and the restaurant’s own, Colton’s Pale Ale.
The restaurant at 1150 Shaw Ave. has a causal, upscale vibe with a menu that features gourmet burgers, steaks, salads and interesting appetizers. Customers on restaurant review sites have talked about the fried deviled eggs, roasted Brussels sprouts and the beer-battered french fries.
To keep you up to date on its beer selection, Colton’s actively posts on its Twitter page when it’s replacing its beers on tap with another. Its website also has a complete list of the beers currently available on tap.
Me-N-Ed’s On Tap
Me-N-Ed’s On Tap has 32 self-serve taps, including craft beer and wine. It also includes a beer made especially for them by Fresno-based Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. called Ed’s Red.
Customers pour their own beers, trying as many as they like. Cashiers give customers bracelets when they pre pay for the beer that use technology to monitor how much beer is poured.
Me-N-Ed’s On Tap is at 1731 W. Bullard Ave., on the southeast corner of Bullard and West avenues.
Another place to keep an eye on, is Full Circle Brewing in downtown Fresno. New owners have lots of changes in the works, including adding food.
Riley’s Brew Pub
What might be the worst-kept secret in town is the future plans for the former Clovis Hofbrau at 765 N. Temperance Ave. just off Highway 168.
Madera-based Riley’s Brewing Co. is partnering with Mike Shirinian, the man behind the Elbow Room restaurant in Fig Garden Village to open a brewpub.
Riley’s will brew there and serve pub food.
Don’t expect it to look anything like the old hofbrau with the country western theme.
“We completely gutted it and started all over again,” says Riley’s owner Daniel Riley.
They’re shooting for an October opening.
The gastropub they’re planning is still in the works. It’s named HoP PK, referencing both business’s names.
HoP PK will have all 15 or 16 of House of Pendragon beers on tap, as well as a few “guest taps” for other brewers.
The food by Pita Kabob will be Mediterranean fusion – essentially Mediterranean food infused with flavors and influences from other cultures, like a jalapeno-cilantro hummus.
The owners have been working on paperwork and getting city approvals for months and just started remodeling last week.
“Now that the ball is rolling, we’re hoping things will go a little quicker,” says brewmaster and House of Pendragon Tommy Caprelian.
They’re planning to majorly change the look of the spot, which once housed restaurants Brick and Heroes at 820 Van Ness Boulevard across the street from the spiral garage.
They hope to be open before the end of the year, possibly late fall or early winter. You can follow their progress on the HoP/PK Facebook page or on Instagram at @hop_pk.