Written by Edward Smith
After years of home brewing, two married couples have found a Clovis home for their dream to open a commercial brewery.
Kevin and Kathy Draughon and Rodney and Jody Hayes will open Ish Brewing Co. this fall in time for Oktoberfest, said Kevin Draughon, co-owner.
The brewery will feature beers that “cover the gamut,” Draughon said. “Everything from West Coast IPAs to Scotch ales and everything in between.”
Everything at other breweries is so hoppy, he said, so he wants to take his brews “back to their roots.” They’ll have IPAs, but they’re only a part of the big spectrum. They’ll have European type ales, lagers and pilsners from “every country you can think of.”
Opening Ish has been a dream of Draughon’s. Formerly a sheriff sergeant with Fresno County, he has been brewing for more than 30 years. Biochemistry and biology degrees from Fresno State have certainly helped him in the beer making process.
“Beer is chemistry,” Draughon said. “When you’re trying to figure out why things are doing what they’re doing, it helps to have that kind of background.”
Co-owning the bar with Draughon and his wife is also Rodney and Jody Hayes. Rodney has a construction company, allowing the foursome to bring the 3,200 square foot space to life themselves.
They knocked down a wall to bring two suites together, one that had been a beauty salon previously.
They’re installing a bar and a tasting room and hope to have eight taps to begin.
The build-out will be done in three months, and when all the equipment is in place, federal and state licensers can give their approval and commercial brewing can begin.
The four of them together have been a “match made in heaven,” Draughon said.
Aside from Rodney’s construction company and Kevin Draughon’s brewing expertise, Kathy Draughon’s interior design degree will be apparent in the brewery’s aesthetic, and Jody Hayes’ background in restaurant management will help oversee operations.
Ish Brewing Co. is looking toward an October opening. It will be located at 2700 Clovis Ave. Ste. 104.