by Kathy Eide Casas
Kenny Young, owner and managing Partner at Fresno’s infamous Full Circle Brewing Company, never dreamed he would become a ‘brewmaster’ at one of the tastiest and most eclectic tap houses around the San Joaquin Valley. Over the course of the past 14 years, the Full Circle Brewing Company has transformed from a tiny neighborhood bar to a welcoming thirst quencher for Fresno’s downtown 20-something dwellers, travelers passing up and down the 99, and their loyal regulars, who enjoy the easy atmosphere always found at Full Circle.
Custom-brewed beers, root beer, specialty wines and meads, and of course the sassiest entertainment around is what regulars and visitors alike discover at this unlikely destination. Kenny emphasized, “We provide our customers with the opportunity for new and different tastes, in beer, wine and entertainment.”
The business began in this original location, south of the heart of downtown Fresno, at 620 F Street, and has no plans to move. In fact, this address near the Union Pacific tracks, while uncommon for merchants, will soon be near the planned High Speed Rail station, and will provide a welcome respite for workers and riders alike.
The original partners began the brewery, acquiring the location and the tanks, all the while experimenting with unique ‘recipes’ for all different tastes, with one common trait…a sense of beer camaraderie. Partner Bill McCrory remains the head brewmaster today.
When Kenny came along and joined the other partners several years ago, it was clear he had a knack for finding unique deals. “I’m a self-proclaimed auction junkie,” he explained. “I love the challenge of finding unique and useful treasures for the brewery.” With those talents, he immediately became an integral part of the Full Circle team. Born and raised in Fresno, Ken’s heart and soul has gone into Full Circle and it still has him captivated today. When you hear Ken’s enthusiasm for Full Circle, you quickly realize his penchant for this business and all that he’s poured into it.
Take the worthwhile drive to Full Circle, and you’ll find twelve unique beers on tap. Each brew will catapult your taste buds into beer orbit. Whether you’re a fan of light, hearty, medium or stout, take a taste of any of the Full Circle Brewing Company beers. All the beers are aged for a minimum of two months, before they’re tapped. Explained Ken, “The beginning of the keg will taste a little different than the end.”
Let your taste buds linger on the Fishnet Burn, Droughtbusters, Cluster Fullage Cream Ale, American Wheat, Blaze Red, Mystery Red, Light Scottish Red Ale, Bases Loaded and High Speed Rail Ale, the Double D, Bum Town Brown, the 1850 London Porter, the Russian Imperial Stout and the infamous Bad Ass Barley Wine. The names alone are worth the trip there. Imagine how good they taste!
For those who want a different taste, Full Circle even brews their own old-style root beer, made with granulated sugar, no corn syrup here, for a taste that’s all its own.
For wine lovers, Full Circle bottles specialty and mead wines under the Los Californios Winery Label. Full Circle produces Mead (a Honey Wine), which offers a full bodied robust honey character, the Pomegranate Mead, blended with the juice of pomegranates and golden sweet honey fermented together, the Pulque Fino, a unique blend of high fructose nectar with sheer like qualities. All of these wines are made from fresh all natural wholesome ingredients containing no sulfites or preservatives. The unique Day Glo Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel blended and bottled for Full Circle by Engelmann Cellars. Full Circle is also a member of the Twin River Vintners Association.And then there’s the entertainment…where else can you find acts ranging from the wildly popular Itty Bitty Kitty Burlesque to a Vaudeville Christmas, Open Mic with Original Music, to the American Guitar Masters touring concert series to a Food not Bombs Fundraising Party featuring Blake Jones and the Trike Shop, San Francisco’s The Bobbleheads and art from Aileen Imperatrice. Summertime fun brings a crowd of hundreds to cheer on Full Circle’s Roller Derby Girls and Bicycle Polo, always fun times.
You can find Full Circle beers on tap at many local and coastal establishments in California. For more information or to take a look at the upcoming entertainment, go to fullcirclebrewing.com or find them on Facebook. Full Circle is open Wednesday-Saturday from 4-11 p.m.