An educator, a telecommunications cabling supervisor, an industrial technologist and a mechanical engineer walk into a bar — or rather, a garage.
Hundreds of gallons of home-brewed beer later, what resulted is no joke at all.
The four men founded Two Dudes Brewing and have proven to be the newest stars of the local craft brew scene. Their beer is so in-demand that customers have to show up early to any tasting event to ensure they get a pint. Good luck getting two — kegs of their award-winning Cold Feet Wheat beer have been selling out within hours of being tapped.
Sean Wolfe puts it simply: “We make good beer.”
Nearly all of the beer has been brewed in Clovis, in Wolfe’s garage. Nine 5-gallon kegs were recently brewed in Tioga Sequoia’s brewery in downtown Fresno.
That collaboration came about when Two Dudes Brewing entered a beer contest and won. Their success came after dozens of recipes, a multitude of batches and several years.
The home brew team started around 2010. Wolfe and Brad Edmunds, who had been longtime friends, had a conversation one day that changed the course of the next six years.
“I knew him for almost 10 years before he decides to tell me, ‘Hey, I used to brew beer,’” Wolfe said of Edmunds. “He said ‘I still have all the equipment; why aren’t we brewing beer?’”
Thus, Wolfe’s garage transformed into a home brewery.
“We’ve had just about every contraption of beer brewing,” Wolfe said. He, Edmunds and two more “dudes,” Dave Maur and Richard Benevedes, reminisced last week about an ice chest, a ceramic pot, a single burner and more items that have come and gone over the years.
Edmunds and Maur, who had also brewed his own beer for about 20 years, are now the group’s main brewmeisters — “They’re artists,” Wolfe said — while Wolfe and Benevedes balance out the quartet with engineering and mechanical knowledge.
“Brad started talking about ‘I’d really like to brew beer and we should think of a name.’ Somewhere along the line we said ‘we’re just two dudes brewing’ and that stuck. We said, ‘That’s our name: Two Dudes Brewing,” Wolfe said.
Next up: the logo. Maur’s brother is a graphic designer and came over once during a brew session.
“We literally gave him the napkin sketch and he walked away with the philosophy behind the beer and the whole Valley and we got our logo,” Edmunds said.
Now the logo is on shirts and hats available for purchase. Two Dudes Brewing holds photo contests on Facebook in which participants post a selfie wearing TDB merchandise in various locations all over the world.
“We have some from Canada, Mexico, Denmark, Kauai,” Wolfe said. There are also several entries from at least a dozen U.S. states.
Two Dudes Brewing label designs feature images that pay homage to the Valley.
“We celebrate the Valley and agriculture and turn of the century Fresno County,” Edmunds said. That’s what our theme is, and making high quality, handcrafted beer.”
Recipes have also featured Beekman Honey and local tangerines and organic oranges.
“We like to use a lot of local ingredients. We made an almond IPA with local almonds,” Wolfe said.
The beer is brewed in small batches. Two Dudes has a capacity of five gallons but hopes to grow into a 100-gallon batch producing nanobrewery.
Edmunds has been buying beer-making supplies from Bencomo’s Home Brew Supply in Fresno’s Tower District. While stocking up one day, he noticed a flyer for a home brew contest.
“We entered two beers, our Five Diamond IPA and the Cold Feet Wheat. There were 50 entries and they selected eight to come to the tasting,” Maur said.
Professional brewers judged the contest, and the public voted on their favorites during the tasting.
Two Dudes Brewings’ Cold Feet Wheat won the People’s Choice award and the opportunity to brew 70 gallons of beer with an established brewmaster.
“Tioga Sequoia took our recipe, scaled it up and brewed it,” Wolfe said. “They kegged that into nine 5-gallon kegs and put it on tap in their tap room on July 23. They’re out.”
The beer was also served at Beach Hut Deli in Fresno’s Campus Pointe — and sold out within 2 ½ hours. The very last keg will be served today, Friday, Aug. 5, at BC’s Pizza & Beer in Clovis.
The positive feedback and collaborative atmosphere of the local craft brew scene is motivating Two Dudes Brewing to move out of the garage as quick as possible. Their dream is for their product to be recognized nationally. But first, they’re starting with a local taproom.
Edmunds, who Wolfe calls the group’s CMO for Chief Motivation Officer, has secured the business as an LLC and is in the process of applying for 11 licenses necessary to open a 15-barrel brewery and taproom in Old Town Clovis.
“We’ve talked to the city planner, the police department and fire department in Clovis and they’re all excited to get us into business,” Edmunds said. “Clovis has been very supportive.”
And so have the wives of the four beer enthusiasts.
“All of our wives help a lot with what we’re doing,” Wolfe said, to which Benevedes added: “And put up with a lot.”
What’s in a name?
Cold Feet Wheat is Two Dudes Brewing’s award-winning, bestselling beer.
While the hoppy wheat beer infused with orange has a taste pleasing to beer connoisseurs, one of the best things about it might be the story behind its name.
“Our oldest son, Tyler, recently got married May 14; a year before that he got engaged,” Sean Wolfe explained.
Two Dudes Brewing offered to create a special beer recipe for Jamie, Tyler Caglia’s bride-to-be.
“She wanted something called Cold Feet for the wedding,” Wolfe continued. “Brad and Dave immediately said ‘wheat’ and Cold Feet Wheat was born.”
The brewers served Cold Feet Wheat at the wedding, along with a Sunnyside Blonde.
Follow Two Dudes Brewing on Facebook