On its face, Fresbrew is simply the Tower District’s newest hangout – a skate-themed craft beer bar.
It’s four taps (with plans for more) with a focus on Fresno breweries. On the board for the grand opening Friday night were two beers from Zack’s Brewing Company – a guava sour and a blue cheese double IPA. There was also a ginger saison from Silva Brewing in Paso Robles and an IPA from Dustbowl brewery in Turlock.
“Right now, we have like a weird flavor journey,” says owner Nick Jones, who expects the taps will be switched out periodically, even daily.
There will always be at least one Fresno brewery on tap. Eventually, he hopes to work with the breweries to create exclusive short-run beers for the bar.
Of course, Fresbrew isn’t just a bar.
Coming through the front door, its feels more like a small art gallery or museum. The walls are covered in colorful murals and Jones’ collection of Fresno memorabilia. One could spend hours looking at the pieces, which Jones picked up at estate sales over the past year or so. There are black-and-white photos of Fresno landmarks like the old Fresno Courthouse, the roller coaster at Zapp’s Park and the Old Fresno Hofbrau. There are several maps of old Fresno, a copy of David Carr on the cover of Sports Illustrated from 2001 and a set of VIP tickets for President Jimmy Carter’s visit to Fresno in 1977.
New stuff will get swapped in at some point. What’s on display is just a small percentage of Jones’ full collection, which also includes some vintage skateboard decks.
Skating is more than just the theme at Fresbrew.
The business is an evolution of Shredworthy, the skate shop that Jones opened when he moved back to Fresno in 2014. Back then, the focus was on merchandise and the store was stocked with a full selection of skateboards and apparel.
But the store was always about the community, Jones says.
“Even when they weren’t buying anything, they would just be there to hang out.”
So, Fresbrew is also a functioning skate shop. Jones still has his contacts with the skate companies and there will still be boards, wheels and bearings and the like, for those looking to get a skateboard set up. Part of the bar will act as a sales counter.
“A lot of people have just adapted to this online retail,” Jones says. “But there is a customer out there who is interested in actually knowing the person he’s buying from.”
Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee