BY TIFFANY HOWARD – THOWARD@CLOVISINDEPENDENT.COM
Food lovers and beer connoisseurs will find a little piece of heaven as Old Town Clovis kicks off with its first Craft Beer Crawl from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 19, along with the Black Pot Cook-off. Twenty breweries from across California will offer tastings of their brews at Old Town businesses and restaurants — no beer on streets or sidewalks.
“Clovis is centrally located to the many microbreweries in California, so we hope to hold this event once or twice a year to introduce people in the Valley to the craft beer phenomenon,” said Carol Lester, executive director of Business Organization of Old Town.
South Gate Brewing Company of Oakhurst is one of the breweries participating in the event.
“We’re super excited about being there, because we have a lot of Clovis clientele that make it up the hill to see us,” said South Gate owner Casey Hawkins. “We thought this time we’d make it down the hill to pour some beer for them. We really appreciate all the people from Clovis that come up here and wouldn’t miss a Clovis event for the world.”
South Gate’s brewmaster Rick Boucke is brewing up Sawtooth IPA — which can also be found at Westwood’s BBQ & Spice Co. in Fresno — and Honey Badger Wheat to sample at the event. Hawkins said the Honey Badger is a “really refreshing summer beer.”
Some of the other participating breweries include: Ballast Point from San Diego, Kaweah, Lagunitas, Brewbakers, Sierra Nevada, Tioga-Sequoia, Three Monkeys, W (559) Brewing, House of Pendragon, Riley’s, Sequoia Brewing, and Barrel House.
Ronnie and Kayla Silva of Illuminate Hair Studio & Spa will be hosting one of the breweries at the studio off Woodworth Avenue.
“It’s really good exposure for Old Town,” said Ronnie, who sits on B.O.O.T.’s board. “Craft beer is trending right now, and I’m excited to see the people it’s going to bring. It’s going to be a blending of the next generation with the older generation. It’s going to be an interesting, fun event.”
Frost Oak Creek Creations is one of the Old Town businesses hosting a brewery. Tom Frost, co-owner of the store with wife Betty, was on the Craft Beer Crawl planning committee. He said combining the beer crawl and the black pot cook-off — which was suspended for a year but had previously been held for two years — seems to be a winning combination.
“It’s taken on a new life of it’s own,” he said.
Frost said the event will be great for Old Town businesses.
“It exposes the stores to potential new customers who can see what’s unique about Old Town,” Frost said. “In Old Town, I think we forget how unique it really is here. You can come down here and visit a number of businesses and restaurants that are locally owned and have unique items you won’t have anywhere else in the city.”