By Carole Grosch | Reporter
Sunday, March 12 was a perfect day for a Craft Beer Crawl; sunny and clear with just a light breeze.
“We’re glad we moved the date to March,” said Carole Lester, coordinator of the event. “The weather was great and everyone was anxious to get out after the rains.”
Presented by the Business Organization of Old Town (B.O.O.T.), and sponsored by Dreamscape Pools, Inc., the Craft Beer Crawl has proved to be a popular event. From 2 p.m. through 5:30 p.m., hundreds of people came out to enjoy the day, listen to live music by Brian Smart and the Country Outlaws, relish taste treats from food vendors, do a little window shopping and yes, experience some of the newest and exciting brews this area had to offer.
It worked like this: Tickets were purchased online or from select Old Town merchants for $35 before the event and $45 on event day. The ticket got you a program and map of all participating restaurants and merchants where tastings were being held and participants also received a commemorative beer glass as your tasting vessel. Guests were free to visit tasting locations whenever they wished during the event. This year, there were 14 breweries on hand, plus five home breweries housed in their own tent and hosted by the San Joaquin Worthogs.
“I really enjoy getting a preview of new brews,” said Ryan Baldwin, a Southern California resident. “There’s always something different. Craft beer can spoil you, absolutely.”
Many merchants had hors d’oeuvres to share and brewers were delighted to discuss their products. Some of the brews were new and made a first time appearance at the Beer Crawl.
Craft breweries on hand Sunday included Two Dudes, Zack’s, Tioga Sequoia, Full Circle, Sequoia, Barrel House, Tactical Ops, Riley’s, Three Monkeys, 559 Local, Mad Duck, Fortiter and BrewBakers.
Beer tasters had the chance to vote on their favorite breweries which resulted in Tactical Ops taking first place Fortiter coming in second and Riley’s finishing in third.
What makes craft beer special?
Healthy ingredients, for one thing. Antioxidants, fiber, vitamin B and silicon which plays a role in increasing bone mineral density, all add up to beneficial nutrients. These nutrients can lower the risk and the severity of rheumatoid arthritis plus help lower cholesterol by raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
Craft beer has higher alcohol content than mass produced beer – usually 5-10 percent and up to 20 or even 40 percent compared to regular beer at 2-3 percent alcohol content. This means less water content, less calories and less bloating.
Better taste is another advantage. Craft brewers put a lot of care and special ingredients into their products. They don’t cut corners and the quality is palatable.
Funds raised Sunday benefited promotions for the city as well as cancer support group Fresno County Pinks Heals Chapter.