Valley Craft Beer

Tioga-Sequoia’s FresYes Fest celebrates food, music and (of course) craft beer

Early party arrivals fill the lot at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company during the FresYes Fest in downtown Fresno on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Plenty of beer, food and live music were on hand with bands playing into the night.
Early party arrivals fill the lot at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company during the FresYes Fest in downtown Fresno on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Plenty of beer, food and live music were on hand with bands playing into the night.

In most situations, inserting the term FresYes into a conversation about Fresno will get some serious eye rolls, if only because we’ve heard it a million times.

The exception is Tioga-Sequoia’s FresYes Fest, the annual beer, bands and food-truck celebration happening Saturday at the brewery’s beer garden downtown. Last year, the brewery honored then-mayor Ashley Swearengin with her own beer (a strawberry blonde, no less) and drew somewhere in the vicinity of 5,000 people. There was a line around the block for large parts of the day, which is not a bad problem to have.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin helped with the official release of the tribute beer named after her - the Swearengin Strawberry Blonde Ale - during the 2016 FresYes Fest at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company in downtown Fresno on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

For foodies and fans of the local craft-beer scene, the festival is fully stocked. There will be more than a dozen of Fresno’s best food trucks and 16 beers on tap, including four specialty brews (meaning festival-specific). The event is organized in conjunction with New Rock 104.1’s local radio show “Ozmosis” and also serves as a mini-music festival. This year there are five local heavyweights playing throughout the day. There will also be more than a dozen local vendors, if you’re into buying cool, retro and/or locally made stuff, and a photo booth from Props & Poses that will post directly to your social media. #hipcoolhip

This FresYes primer has everything you need to know before heading out.

Getting in and getting set

This year, there will be two entrances into the festival. One is the beer garden’s main entrance on Inyo Street, just west of Fulton. The second will be set up at the intersection of Mono and Fulton streets. Fulton street itself will be blocked off between Inyo and Mono streets to accommodate the food trucks and vendor. The Bee’s own Brew Buzz crew will have a table, too, FYI.

While entrance is free, the beer does cost money. Beer tickets will be available starting Thursday at the beer garden. Otherwise, they will be available at tickets stations throughout the day.

The beer

▪ Orange U Glad IPA – An unfiltered West Coast IPA infused with blood oranges.

▪ MoMo S.M.A.S.H – A single malt single hop IPA. That’s Maris Otter for the malt and Mosaic for the hops. Now the name makes sense, yes?

▪ Churro Stout – Should be self explanatory, but it’s a churro flavored milk stout.

▪ Take Me Out to The Ball Game – FresYes Fest’s official tribute beer. It’s a peanut and Cracker Jack brown ale in honor of the Fresno Grizzlies’ 20th anniversary.

The full complement of Tioga-Sequoia’s regular beers will also be on tap.

The music

▪ Stoneshiver (1:15 p.m.) – The band is hitting it hard on the local scene, after several years of hiatus. For fans of 2000s era melodic rock.

The Fresno rock quartet Stoneshiver debuts new video before playing the FresYes Fest on Saturday, March 25, 2017 and is a finalist in the Blaze Fest’s Battle of the Bands.

▪ The BOX (2:30 p.m.) – There’s plenty of buzz around this “new, old school” cover band right now. For fans of nostalgic ’90s hip-hop, R&B, dance and pop. You can also see the band at Advised ill’s live karaoke night each month at Fulton 55.

▪ Amoret (4:30 p.m.) – Keyboard-driven alternative pop band for fans of Metric, Florence and the Machine or Paramore. “Ozmosis” radio host Mike “Oz” Osegueda called them his favorite local band of 2016.

▪ John Clifton (6 p.m.) – The solo project from MoFo Party Band’s singer/harmonica playing frontman.

▪ Strange Vine (7:45 p.m.) – The indie rock blues duo has earned some name recognition both locally and regionally. The band kicks off a theater tour opening for Robin Trower in May. This is year two for Strange Vine at FresYes Fest, which played the festival’s first year.

▪ DJ Jess (9 p.m.) – Aka, the mixaholic. As in, the dude who seems to never stop mixing or producing. He’s also a radio DJ, currently doing afternoons at 99.3 NOW FM.

The food

▪ Taste Kitchen – The Mexican-American street food truck is a regular at Tioga-Sequoia’s beer garden. If pork belly tacos are on the menu, order them.

▪ Smokin’ Burrito – Probably the most visible food truck at the event, this is Mexican-influenced barbecue with a World War II theme.

▪ Where’s the Food? – Or, WTF for short. Serves a combination of Asian and Mexican food so you can pair up your tacos with an egg roll.

Henry Wickman of the WTF (Where's the Food?) truck tells how he makes one of his most popular dishes.

▪ Dapper Dogs – Gourmet hot dogs with crazy toppings. It will also have tri-tip sandwiches at FresYes.

▪ Pizza Pit – For those who think pizza is life.

▪ El Premio MayorTaco Truck Throwdown champions. So, the taco are legit. Alton Brown agrees.

El Premio Mayor, a Mexican taqueria which has won the Taco Truck Throwdown in Fresno, partnered with Fresno Grizzlies and others to hand out plates of tacos to the homeless from its trailer Thursday night in downtown Fresno.

▪ La Elegante – Straight-up, authentic Fresno taco truck. For those who want to keep things simple.

▪ Quesadilla Gorilla – Gourmet quesadillas out of Visalia, though two brick-and-mortar spots are planned for Fresno.

Quesadilla Gorilla restaurant in Visalia, California has a name that rhymes in more ways than one. Owner Miguel Reyes says there's a story behind the silly name.

▪ LoCAvoria559 Flat Bottom Grills – yes, that’s a Queen reference. Serves flat-bread sandwiches.

▪ Jay’s Ice Cream – Small batch, hand crafted ice-cream, milk shakes and floats in off-the-wall flavors. There’s vanilla, too.

▪ Casa De Tamales – Artisan tamales, handmade with stone-ground masa. Vegan options available.

▪ Pita Kabob – Mobile version of the Visalia Mediterranean restaurant.

▪ P&R Fusion – Peruvian inspired dishes, a fried pork tenderloin and sweet yams sandwich for example, along with more American fare.

▪ Masala Indian Restaurant – Samosas, which pair nicely with beer, and other Indian food dishes.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

FresYes Fest

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