Brew Review: Guri’s Grubhouse and Taps’ local beer selection

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian

It’s official, Guri’s Grubhouse and Taps finally opened its doors Thursday. As exciting as it is to have a brand new restaurant across the street from Fresno State, what is more exciting is that it’s also a tap house.

With a couple of dozen beers on tap, and even more available in bottles, it’s difficult to know where to start. Since this is a farm-to-table restaurant that uses as much local meat, fruit and vegetables as they can get their hands on, let’s look at the local beers they have to offer on tap.

On opening day, Grubhouse had three beers from Tioga-Sequoia on tap.

For reference, their number one selling beer is Golden 99, and they have locations downtown, in the Tower District and in northeast Fresno.

Among the three beers on tap, one of the beers Tioga also bottles, another can only be found only on draft (mostly at the brewery itself), and the third was labeled on the menu as exclusive to Grubhouse.

Double Dry Hopped General Sherman

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This is, by far, the best beer Tioga has to offer. In the beginning, there was simply General Sherman IPA, which was good in its own right. Hoppy. Delicious. Inexpensive.

The original beer was 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, and you could find it all around Fresno with the convenience of a local beer.

Then, the good people at Sequoia Brewing decided to dry hop their already-popular brew to make an amazing drink, also at 7.5 percent ABV.

Hops are what give an IPA its intensely sharp, harshly bitter flavor. Hops are added throughout the brewing process while the beer cooks. The term “dry hopping” means that hops were added after the cooking process and can even have been added into the cask from where beer is actually served.

The benefit for beer enthusiasts is the more extreme hop flavor in the beer. So if General Sherman wasn’t good enough, the Double Dry Hopped General Sherman is far more flavorful than its predecessor.

This beer, originally more of a specialty item, has spread like a wildfire in Yosemite. It’s on tap at more and more places (thankfully), and is on tap across the street at Grubhouse.

Citrus IPA

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Also weighing in at 7.5 percent ABV is Tioga Sequoia’s Citrus IPA.

For a brew called Citrus IPA, this beer sure is boozy.

Now, yes, all beers have alcohol. Well, most. But when a beer is boozy it usually lacks a lot of complex flavors and feels really heavy. Like you’re drinking vodka.

At first, this beer had a hint of lemon to it, but that quickly faded, and soon there was a feeling of drinking a cold glass of hard alcohol.

These types of beers aren’t for everyone, and you generally find this happening in imperial IPAs and barleywines. Neither of which is this beer.

If you’re into heavy IPAs, this beer is for you. Heavier IPAs and barleywines tend to be in the nine to eleven percent ABV range.

Special Gingersnap Tamarack

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This beer was made specially for Guri’s Grubhouse and Taps. Tioga already has a beer called Tamarack, which is an amber lager, but this beer was pretty fantastic.

Sweet. Spicey. Refreshing.

When you drink this beer, you will immediately taste how sweet it is. It’s not so sweet to be mixed up with a dessert beer, but it’s close.

It’s darker than the original Tamarack and a whole lot better.

It has the aroma of ginger, a sweet taste with a touch of the spice you would associate with ginger, and a smooth finish.

The Gingersnap doesn’t disappoint. Even though it has the experience you’d expect with a nice winter beer, it is so refreshing that it would be great on a hot, summer day.

There’s no info on for this beer’s ABV, but we can assume it’s similar, or the same as, the original Tamarack’s 5.3 percent.

Since this beer is special to Grubhouse, you’d better get a move on it before it’s gone.

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