While overall beer sales are down nationally, local craft beer sales are bubbling! According to the Brewers Association, a trade group representing thousands of small, independent brewers, between 2008 and 2016 the number of brewery establishments multiplied by a factor of six, and the number of brewery workers grew by 120 percent! The Brewers Association reports that craft production grew the most for microbreweries. In less than one decade, the 200-year-old industry has sextupled its establishments and more than doubled its workforce. Now that’s something to raise a glass to!
So what exactly is craft beer and how does it differ from traditional beer? The Brewer’s Association in Boulder, Colorado defines ‘craft beer’ as beer made by a brewer that is small, independent, and traditional. There are other differences between craft beer and beer, including its appearance and taste. Craft beer comes in a variety of colors based on the brew, while mass-produced beers are typically a pale, watery yellow. In terms of taste, craft beers focus on a specific flavor palate that varies with the batch, while mass-produced beers are typically monotone in flavor.
If you’re wondering who to thank for the craft beer explosion, it would be the consumer. Totta Research reported that more people are drinking craft beer and the greatest increase in consumption is among those aged 18-30. Craft drinkers value locally brewed beer and care about how the product is produced. What’s interesting about the trend is that Americans are drinking less beer than they did a decade ago, but they’re willing to pay more for a superior product.
You may not think of Clovis and its cowboy culture as a destination for craft beer, but that’s changing. As this city continues to attract a younger demographic, you’ll notice more and more craft breweries develop. Craft brewers are drawn to Clovis because of its tight-knit community and a growing fan base of craft beer drinkers. Shawn Miller, business development manager for the City of Clovis, said the city is helping when it can, but the breweries are doing the heavy lifting.
ZONE 9 started out as “Two Dudes Brewing,” an American craft beer nano brewery started by two friends in a garage in Clovis California in 2009. ZONE 9 is dedicated to making quality hand-crafted beer and enjoying it with great friends, Clovis locals, and visitors. ZONE 9 is located at 1450 Tollhouse Rd #105 in Clovis.
Tactical Ops, incorporated in 2014, was created to further their desire to bring quality craft beer to Central California. Tactical Ops is unique because they combined their passion for high-quality craft beer with the appreciation for our family members that served our country. In fact, each of the brewers has close ties to the military. For example, Brandon’s father served 22 years in the US Navy Seabees and Justin’s younger brother currently flies F-15’s in California. The military-themed brewhouse offers beers with names like Blonde Bomber, Bunker Brown, Bayonet, Valor, Shrapnel, and Double Nickel Nine. Whether you have a loved one in the military, or just want quality craft beer, visit Tactical Ops at 1131 Railroad Ave.
Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. started as a little brewpub that was created as a place to meet and enjoy friends or make new friends; they now have 3 locations in the valley! Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. gets a 4.7 rating on Facebook for its “awesome food and fantastic beer.” Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. is located at Campus Pointe shopping center (near Maya Cinema), the corner of Herndon and Willow, and their new location is on Herndon and Marks (near the new Ampersand Ice Cream.)
The House of Pendragon Brewing is the highest rated brewery in Clovis, boasting 4.5 stars on Yelp. Yelpers praise the Lancelot IPA and the ‘yappy hour,’ which is where you get a discount for bringing a dog to the patio! The House of Pendragon Brewing is located at 1345 N. Willow Ave, Suite 192 in Clovis. They also have the highly rated and universally loved HoP PK Gastropub in Downtown Fresno on Van Ness, across from the spiral garage (near Chuckchansi Stadium.) HoP PK is a collaboration between House of Pendragon (HoP) and Pita Kabob (PK). They feature their specialty microbrews, beer from other local breweries and the AMAZING food of Pita Kabob. Try the chicken schwarma bowl and the fried cauliflower, trust me, you’ll love it!
559 Beer was the first microbrewery in Clovis to feature eight beers on tap and was the first beer tasting room in Old Town Clovis. Tasting rooms allow for breweries to introduce the public to their beers and test out new and seasonal ones. The brewery recently launched a 168 hoppy pilsner, named after Highway 168, and a hazy IPA. 559 Beer is located at 356 Pollasky Ave in Clovis.
Since 2015, every March Clovis hosts a Beer Crawl to showcase all of the breweries in the city. The event draws approximately 1,200 beer tasters to Old Town Clovis who are able to vote for their favorite beer.
Whether you’re new to the craft beer craze or are a craft beer enthusiast, Clovis is sure to have a brewery that you’ll love.