Bethany Clough

FresYes Fest debuts beer named for Mayor Swearengin

The Swearengin strawberry blonde ale beer will be debuted at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.’s FresYes Fest on Saturday, March 26. The beer is the first in a series of FresYes Tribute beers that will honor important people in Fresno.
The Swearengin strawberry blonde ale beer will be debuted at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.’s FresYes Fest on Saturday, March 26. The beer is the first in a series of FresYes Tribute beers that will honor important people in Fresno. SPECIAL TO THE BEE

From Filipino eggrolls to a beer inspired by Fresno’s mayor, food and drink options at the upcoming FresYes Fest are diverse and yummy.

The free festival runs from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., 745 Fulton St.

Although much of the festival celebrating downtown and Fresno revolves around music, there will be so much food and drink for sale that it deserves some attention of its own.

More than 20 beers will be available. Nearly as many food vendors will sell a diverse array of food, ranging from smoked meats to raw vegan dishes and ethnic food.

If you’re a beer geek, you want to get there right when we open.

Michael Cruz, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.

First, let’s focus on the beer. Tioga-Sequoia will unveil the first FresYes Tribute Beer, a new series honoring important people in Fresno.

The first person to be honored is Mayor Ashley Swearengin. The beer: a strawberry blonde ale.

“The inspiration for the style of beer was obviously (Swearengin) and her likeness,” said Michael Cruz, the brewing company president.

They chose the mayor because of her efforts to revitalize downtown.

“We picked her because it’s her last year and there’s just been so much momentum with downtown and that’s been a big part of the success of this event as a whole,” Cruz says.

They’ll create a tap handle with her image on it, and the mayor is expected to stop by.

The beer itself is made with strawberry purée and is light and refreshing, Cruz says.

Two new beers will also be released at 1 p.m. that day: Abuelita’s Chocolate Cake, made with Mexican chilies, cinnamon and chocolate, and Churro Stout, made with cinnamon and vanilla.

The Peche Noir, a peach sour ale, will also be available, along with the hugely popular and award-winning dessert stout Piece of Cake.

It’s fermented with strawberry purée, so it’s got some sweetness to it.

Michael Cruz, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.

There are also many more food vendors this year. The food trucks and stands will be in a blocked off portion of Fulton Street between Inyo and Mono streets.

The organizers tried to make the food options diverse, so you may see some vendors you’ve never encountered before, such as Lumpia Hut from Visalia, which makes a Filipino version of eggrolls. Smoke House Catered Meats and Guadalajara will be there, too.

4,000the number of people who attended FresYes in 2015

Pita Kabob, the Visalia gastropub, will serve food there, too – a preview of what’s to come for Fresnans who are unfamiliar with its Mediterranean food and craft beer.

Pita Kabob is partnering with Sanger brewery House of Pendragon to open a gastropub nearby on Van Ness Boulevard near Inyo Street.

The two businesses were the winner of the Downtown Fresno Create Here Business Plan Competition, and the new location is expected to open later this year.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

Food vendors at FresYes Fest

Dusty Buns

Benaddiction

Taste Kitchen

El Premio Mayor

La Elegante

Pita Kabob

Locavoria 559 Flat Bottom Grills

Meltdown Bistro

Jay’s Specialty Ice Cream

Raw Fresno

Cowboy Shaman

Lumpia Hut

Smokin’ Burrito

Bosca Wood-Fired Pizza

Smoke House Catered Meats

Guadalajara

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