Local Brewery Branches Out with Fruit Flavors

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A Clovis brewery is branching out with new and unique flavors, looking to locally-grown fruit for inspiration. (KFSN)

559 Local looks to local produce for inspiration.
A Clovis brewery is branching out with new and unique flavors, looking to locally-grown fruit for inspiration. And the peachy partnership is getting national attention.

Millions of pounds of fresh peaches are processed at Wawona Frozen Foods every year. Most of them supply the nation's largest food manufacturers and school lunches too. But some of these peaches also head to "559 Local," a family owned and operated micro brewery in Clovis.

Brewmaster Rhett Williams uses them to brew his Wawona Peach Ale: "All of our beers are completely unique and smooth and tastes like those fruits and look like those fruits." 559 has quite the lineup of fruit-infused beers, including Strawberry Ale, Raisin Farmer Ale and Fig Garden Stout. And every beer has a unique story behind it. But it was the Wawona Peach Ale that was featured in the October issues of Food & Wine magazine and Sunset magazine. "I mean, a lot of people thought this was just a crazy idea, that this was never gonna go anywhere. And it's the craziest thing to pull up Food & Wine and Sunset, wow that's really cool."

The national recognition has been a boon for both businesses. Wawona's CEO Bill Smittcamp recalls, "We had a customer come from Sacramento after reading the article come down to the Peach tree to get fresh peaches." But both families agree -- the pride of this partnership, is that it's a win for the entire Valley. Bill says, "It's really good for the community, it's great for the Valley to educate the population of what we really do here in agriculture." Rhett adds, "Makes you proud to be from here, even if you're not a farmer, or into the beer scene, it's about being from Fresno and Clovis."

559 Peach Ale and the other brews can be found in grocery stores including SaveMart, Costco, FoodMaxx, Food4Less and soon Vons, from Chico to Bakersfield, and the Central Coast. The beers are also served in the Williams' family's tasting room in Old Town Clovis.
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foodcraft beeragriculturebrewerycentral valley
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