Clovis beer maker spreads passion for brewery

559 Beer owner Rhett Williams gives a tour of his 356 Tavern in Old Town Clovis. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Students at Reedley College get to enjoy a rare privilege – making and tasting beer in class. That class is Plant Science 21, led by instructor Rhett Williams. With decades of experience in beer making, Williams has fully embraced the chance to share his passion with his students.

Williams’ passion for beer extends throughout the local community, where he thrives as the founder of 559 Beer and owner of 356 Tavern in Old Town Clovis.

“It’s the first brewery in Clovis,” Williams said. “In addition, we make beers for the Central Valley ag-inspired beers.”

As the first microbrewery in Clovis, 356 Tavern offers eight beers on tap to sample. The company is family owned and operated, producing unique craft beers.

Inside 356 Tavern, the lounge area provides a view of Old Town Clovis. The counter testing area is complete with pictures of the family and brewery tanks which provide the backdrop for tasting beer.

Williams said the interior reflects the Clovis tradition and the early 20th century, the time when his family established their place in the Valley.

For Williams, promoting 559 Beer is a way to promote the places and culture of the San Joaquin Valley.

The brewing is inspired by German processing, using the same the same methods and processes to achieve a balance of ingredients.

“I was inspired by the different communities of the breweries in German villages,” Williams said.

At the same time, Williams said he strives for originality, applying eye catching graphics and unique stories on each bottle.

Tomas Kassahun
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