Lagunitas Brewery Chicago - A Great Tour and more

And so we were

Chicago Splash Magazine journalists share the Chicago scene-plays, music, dance, restaurants and much more, and now we can add our Lagunitas Brewing Co - Chicago  experience.  In its short time in Chicago, the brewery has not only become an extremely popular destination but it has also positively impacted the neighborhood in which it is located. One great attraction is that you can hear great music every afternoon. Another really special event is the Beer Circus held once a year at different times, in both Chicago, Illinois and Petaluma, California.   Our tour guide, Jake, was the best!

Lagunitas Brewery Chicago website

The entrance to the Brewery and TapRoom

As Wikipedia tells it- “The brewery was founded in 1993 by Tony Magee in Lagunitas, California and moved a year later to nearby Petaluma, California when they quickly outgrew their original rural West Marin location.


On May 2012 it was announced that owner Tony Magee had signed a lease for a location in the city's Douglas Park neighborhood in North Lawndale, "that will put him in a space owned by film studio Cinespace...for at least 20 years."[6]The Chicago brewery started producing beer on April 18, 2014, and opened an on-premises taproom a few months thereafter.[8]“  However, according to Karen at Lagunitas,  "the first bottles rolled off the line on April 18th, 2014". To make this happened, we started producing beer in Mar of 2014."



Our group gathers in the restaurant before the tour

The magician entertains

As they say, “the rest is history”.  The space is vast and the rate of growth is astonishing. Everyone was impressed with the tour, the beer, the snacks and more as you can see below.  Lagunitas Brewing Co- Chicago has big plans.  I highly recommend the tour as well as the Tap Room and Gift Shop.  Lagunitas loves friends and dogs and is very generous in offering their space to non-profits on Mondays and Tuesdays.  If you take the tour, which we highly recommend, you will be able to learn impressive and interesting facts about this unique brewery and its role in Chicago.


Jake introduces the tour

The TapRoom is open week days

Chicago Splash Magazine journalists shared their favorite things about Lagunitas Brewing Co- Chicago...



Jake charms the Chicago Splash Magazine journalists

Debra Davy: The thing I liked best about the Lagunitas tour was the obvious dedication of the tour leader, Jake. He clearly was devoted to the owners and the programs and success of the enterprise. The plant itself begs to be shown off, well organized, spotless, cheery and humming along with industry. What was most impressive to this non beer-drinker was the fact that the brewery makes free space, drinks and snacks constantly available for not-for-profit groups.


More of these huge tanks coming this way

Sharon Sultan Cutler: A hidden find to visit with family or friends offering frequent tours led by young enthusiastic beer guides.


The brewhouse is shipped from Germany, Photo: Peter Kachergis

Justin LeClaire: I had several favorite experiences while at Lagunitas. I had no idea it was there of how huge it was. I think once the amphitheater there opens it will be amazing. I loved learning that they support PAWS and will allow non-profits to use their venue for free. The samplers were nice, but I especially loved the Pilsener beer. Czech beer is hard to find in the USA, and this was one of the best tasting ones I've had.


Barrels of beer, Photo: Peter Kachergis

Amy Munice: Even as a non-beer drinker it was fascinating to see how it is made.  It was heartening to see this economic growth in Chicago.


The gift shop

Jenny Lunz: I thought Jake was humorous and knowledgeable. I learned a lot of interesting facts about the place. Also I loved the large warm Bavarian pretzels with the cheddar, provolone cheese and Pilsner dip! I loved the entrance hallway with the wall colors, graffiti, laser lights, and hearing Willy Wonka's song Pure Imagination. At the tasting, my favorite beer was the Imperial Stout (dark, thick and scary). It was a perfect dark stout: nicely roasted barley taste with a smoky accent. I liked that- (Note: each beer tank  after and employees dog that has passed away). I thought that was a wonderful tribute.


Our very accommodating server

Jackie Bookman: I really like the tour guides. They are funny and make the tour interesting each time, so it's never boring to repeat it. And I like the entryway with lights and music and as a non beer drinker, the beer is pretty good.


A beer sample (flight)

Stephan Pasek:The best thing about Lagunitas is the friendly spirit of everyone involved in the operation.  A sense of humor and conviviality pervades everything they do, exemplified most by the annual Beer Circus, a literal circus held every Spring within the brewery grounds.  This extends also to the humorous and sometimes self-deprecating names of the products, which are nonetheless of very high quality and well-respected among beer afficionados.


Lagunitas love dogs - goodbye

Lisa Newcomb: A Willy Wonka atmosphere complimented with great beer and entertaining staff.


Photos: B. Keer unless otherwise noted.


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