Valley Craft Beer

Sudz is back ... in a different city. Downtown Fresno beer fest moves to Clovis

For the first time in its 25 years, Sudz in the City won’t be happening in downtown Fresno.

Instead, the decades-old beer and music festival is headed to Old Town Clovis.

“The 25th anniversary sort of provided us with this platform to do something new and different,” says John Ostlund, with One Putt Broadcasting, which brought the event out of hiatus last year.

This year’s festival runs 2-7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Centennial Plaza at Bullard and Pollasky avenues in Clovis. Attendees can sample 30 or so breweries, including representatives from the Central Valley Brewers Guild. Music will be of the tribute variety, with performances from One Hot Minute, Q-Pop Radio and Lost Highway. Food trucks will be on hand.

Three-hundred early-bird tickets are available for $25. Prices increase once those tickets are gone.

Sudz in the City has long been seen as tied to revitalization efforts in downtown Fresno. Over the years it’s been held at Eaton Plaza and Chukchansi Park. Last year’s event was at the Cultural Arts Park just down the block from One Putt headquarters on Fulton Street.

It was incredibly successful, Ostlund says.

“I’m really proud of the 43 years I’ve been pounding the table about how important it is for downtown Fresno to be fully revitalized,” he says.

“Part of that is going outside,” to spread the word about downtown businesses.

It was Ostlund’s son who told his dad he lived in a kind of downtown bubble and put the idea of moving the event into Ostlund’s head. The hope is that having Sudz in the City in a new locale will expand the audience to include people outside that bubble, some of whom have never been to downtown Fresno, some of whom “couldn’t find downtown without Google Maps,” Ostlund says.

And Ostlund doesn’t see Sudz in the City as tied to any one location, anyway. In fact, he can picture the event moving again next year, maybe to another downtown, say Hanford or Visalia or even Turlock.

“Maybe every year it should be on the road,” he says.