Local brewers bringing big crowds to Downtown Fresno

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Fresno hopes the expansion of the Downtown Ale Trail is making the area a viable option for visitors thirsty for craft beer (KFSN)

Local breweries housed inside century-old architecture are drawing big crowds to Downtown Fresno.

Tioga-Sequoia says Saturday's annual Fres-Yes Fest brought 12,000 thirsty beer drinkers to its brewery alone.

"The last couple of years, there's been this exciting vibe about coming to Downtown and this urban industrial city," said Tioga-Sequoia President Michael Cruz. "I think people want to come and experience a good time in Downtown Fresno.

Currently, there are three different Breweries within a one-mile area in Downtown, with plans to open at least two more later this year.

It's all part of the city's effort to establish the area near Chukchansi Park as a destination for beer drinkers called the "Downtown Ale Trail."

Think of Madera's Wine Trail, but with locally crafted beer instead of wine.

"Anytime we can get people down here, having a good time, getting attached to downtown, it's always a good thing," says Dan Zack, the Assistant Development Director for the City of Fresno.

Zack says Tioga-Sequoia has become the perfect anchor for the neighborhood after opening almost a decade ago.

He says the goal is to get the local brewing industry and downtown economy to rise up together.

"The craft beer scene and Downtown revitalization all fit together perfectly. The same crowd that likes one tends to like the other. It's a really symbiotic relationship."

A relationship that organizers estimate brought in $250,000 during Saturday's Fres-Yes event.
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