Beers I drink, Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

South Gate Brewing Co.

My April Fool’s Day brewery tour, aka #roadtrip 2016, came to an end at the South Gate Brewing Company located in Oakhurst, California.  This was not my first time at this gastropub and it won’t be my last.  Not because they are the only game in town, but because they make incredible #craftbeer and fresh food with vegetarian options.  That’s all I ever really want: beer and veggie food.  When it comes to these good things in life, @SouthGateBrewCo scores a hit.

We came up from #Fresno and we were in dire need of refreshing drinks before completing the last leg of the trip.  Even though we got there close to 9:00, South Gate was packed.  But this came as no surprise, it is just par for the course.  South Gate has never not been crowded.  Since it opened in 2013, it has been consistently attracting customers that include locals and #Yosemite tourists.

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The old man and I both ordered a James Blonde IPA, mostly because we were attracted to the 7% ABV it boasts.  We managed to find seats in the brewery area where you can spy the fermenting vats and all the inner workings of a brewery.

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I am not amused at the tanks of beer behind me

At first, Sean and I had the same opinion of the beer.  We didn’t like it because it was too bitter and sour.  It was harsh on the tastebuds.  It was light in color so I think we both just expected something a little lighter and smoother.  After a couple of drinks of this IPA, we disagreed.  Sean still wasn’t into it but I got used to the strong taste and enjoyed it after a bit.  The table-talker write-up says it was cold fermented like a lager and double dry hopped, which explains the utter hoppiness of James Blonde.

In the past I have tried the South Gate’s Gold Diggin’ Blonde, which is a golden ale and an all-day lasting 4.7%.  The Gold Diggin’ Blonde is very light and refreshing, I know, I had more than my fair share of them at one time.  Another beer I’ve sampled is the Tenaya Red IPA which is more malty than hoppy and a little piney.

South Gate not only crafts delicious beers, they offer a menu board with all kinds of options.  That night, they had a veggie rice burger that sounded tempting, but we were already full.

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I just read an article from the Sierra Star that talks with South Gate and goes over their plans for expansion.  I say, “Too soon is not soon enough!”  They are always crowded and I have to hunt to find a spot to rest my weary feet.  South Gate is planning on doubling the size of the kitchen and dining areas and they want to feature full-serve dining as well as new, vegan and vegetarian options for the menu.  The tasting area where you can see the fermenting vats will remain the same.

The gastropub is not currently affected by the construction which is scheduled to end sometime in late June.  Just in time for summer season!  So don’t let the work get in your way of having a great time at the South Gate Brewing Co.!

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

@TiogaSequoia Brewing Company

The spacious Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company’s Beer Garden was my second stop on a #roadtrip up to Oakhurst, California.  Tioga Sequoia is located in #Fresno close to the Chuckchansi Park and in the middle of two freeways.  It’s easy to get to and BIG! There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the fare!  It’s a relaxed environment, to say the least.

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As evidenced by the populated menu board, you have your choices wide open.  The first beer I went with was the FireFall Red.  It is a 5.5% red that is also available at the other brewery that’s ten minutes away.  Regular readers will remember my review from last week and new readers will just have to catch the fuck up!

The FireFall Red is named after a phenomena in the nearby Yosemite Valley in which Horsetail Falls is lit up by the setting sun in such a way as to make it look like liquid fire is falling down from the mountain.  This event only happens a couple days out of the entire year so if you are ever lucky enough to see it, consider yourself enlightened.  The beer version of FireFall is wonderful.  It has a brick red coloring to it, especially if you hold it up to the light.  It tastes mellow and malty and smooth.  It went down easy and got me ready for my next pint.

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There are two General Sherman IPA’s available and they are both 7.5%.  The difference is that one is double dry-hopped.  According to the Tioga Sequoia website, double dry hopping lends extra flavor and aroma to a beer.  It increases the bitterness also and there is a difference of almost 20 IBU’s between the original and the DDH version.  So I tried both of them, expecting there to be a big taste difference but it was very hard to tell.  The DDH General Sherman is obviously more hoppy tasting than the original but both of them are excellent beers.  Hoppy at it’s bittery best!

I was here on a Friday night and there was no food truck.  I was glad I had eaten at the other place so I could get my drink on with a full belly.  The address is 745 Fulton but the taproom is more off of Inyo St.  You can see Chuckchansi Park right across the street from the outside seating area.

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Here is a crappy picture of the view towards Chuckchansi Park with the sun setting…how inspirational.

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I love this brewery.  I prefer it over other ones because it is spacious enough to where you can sit anywhere you want.  It is more about the beer and gathering experience than about the food.  They’ve got a pub quiz night on Wednesday’s and an events board up to let you know the exciting happs.

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They have a contest going on right now that you can enter on Tioga Sequoia’s website.  It asks you to snap a picture or a video of you and your craft and post it on social media with the hashtag #CraftOutLoud.  Sounds awesome, maybe I will enter…

This was the second time I had been here and I enjoyed it this time better because the weather was fairer.  The big, open warehouse and outside seating area are not good in the extremes of weather that Fresno goes through.  That is really the only complaint I have about visiting Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co. and that’s nothing they have any control over.

I travel up to Oakhurst a couple times a year and I will definitely be back for more beers at @TiogaSequoia.  I ended up polishing off two pints and grabbed some 22 oz. bottles to take home with me and share with my friends.  I can’t wait to go back for more!

 

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