Bethany Clough

Craft beer is coming to Fig Garden Village. Bay Area business plans Fresno taproom

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Fresno’s craft beer boom is about to hit Fig Garden Village.

A small craft beer taproom is in the works, slated to open in the former We Olive olive oil shop, between The Vault Fine Jewelers and Talbots.

Out of the Barrel Taproom already has a location in Campbell in the Bay Area, where it showcases craft beers from around the state and world. It plans to open its second location here.

At 1,300 square feet, the Fresno location will have 22 taps, along with bottles and cans that can be consumed on site or at home, said owner Evan Jaques.

A beer garden-style patio will seat about 30 people. Out of the Barrel will have snacks, but is not a restaurant.

“We try to find the best breweries out there and bring as much as their beer back and really let our customers explore what their beer is about,” Jaques said.

The beer they feature is from small independent breweries, wherever they happen to be – in California, outside the state or outside the country, he said.

That will include local breweries, if they meet Out of the Barrel’s standards, he said.

The beers and breweries featured will rotate. Lately, they’ve included breweries like Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, Moonraker Brewing in Auberry and Barebottle Brew Co. in San Francisco.

Out of the Barrel will also feature one winery at a time, usually with two red and two white wines available. It will also have kombucha (a fermented tea) and hard ciders.

“We try to create an atmosphere that is really welcoming to everybody,” he said. “We don’t want to be the beer snobs. We want to be the people who get excited about beer and fall in love with it.”

Jaques said if all goes as planned, he hopes to open Out of the Barrel in December. The business is close to getting its conditional-use permit, and still needs a building permit with plans to start some work inside the building next month.

The existing Out of the Barrel location is located in the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell. At 1,000 square feet, it’s smaller than the one planned for Fresno.

Fig Garden Village’s owners reached out Jaques after seeing the Campbell location, he said.

“They said, ‘Hey, we’re looking for a beer concept and we really like what you’re doing in Campbell, and would you consider doing it in Fresno?’”

Jaques came for a visit.

“Within an hour I really fell in love with the area and it … totally reminded me of the Pruneyard in Campbell. What really is missing is a big craft beer taproom like what we’re bringing,” he said.

Craft beer in Fresno

In recent months, a flurry of craft beer businesses have announced plans to open in Fresno.

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. of Paso Robles recently announced plans to open a taproom in Fresno, but isn’t saying where just yet.

The others are in downtown’s growing brewery district.

That includes 411 Broadway Ales & Spirits’ plans to open an as of yet unnamed rec room-style tasting room at 721 Fulton St. (in the same building where Modernist cocktail bar plans to open).

Procreations Brewing Co. is also planning a brewery in a little building at 1929 Santa Clara St.

South of Shaw Beer Co. just announced plans to open a brewery in the Peerless Building at Broadway and Amador streets.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.
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