HOW WE SOMEHOW
The Lagunitas Brewing Company began on a kitchen stove in Northern California in 1993 and has been crafting hop-forward beers ever since. Welcoming the open-minded with open taps and simple truths: Beer Speaks (for itself), Life Is Uncertain (don’t sip), and It’s Good To Have Friends.
To quote our BrewMonster, “Lagunitas is made up of all kinds and creeds; punk rockers, misfits, ivy leaguers, weirdos, Waldos, Sparkle Ponies, Musicians, and everything in between … Just a pack of stray dogs that found—despite our vast and wild differences—that the love and respect for the freedom to be different is what brought us together and made it all work.”
Whether we’re supporting local communities by turning beer into money for the cause, or simply fueling stories and songs with IPA and other creations—we always have a spot for you at our bar. Come as you are. And bring your dog, too.
Here’s how it all really happened, or at least how we remember it. Heck… we don’t remember a lot, so this is at least how we thought it might have gone or something…
So, You Want To Start A Brewery?
In a kitchen just outside the Northern California hamlet of Lagunitas, Tony Magee was crafting beers on a 5-gal. homebrew kit. Then, a ruined Thanksgiving dinner made him take his hobby to a rented room behind the old House of Richards in Forest Knolls, when he started slingin’ beers to local watering holes.
IPA is Born
To stand out among the sea of Pale Ales in Bay Area bars in the mid-90s, Tony developed a new-world spin on an old-world style: the India Pale Ale, which he shortened to IPA. Palates at the time couldn’t handle the hoppiness, but Tony had a hunch that this was the next big thing…
The Wild Years
Tony quickly outgrew his spot in Forest Knolls and moved to Petaluma. After a few years he needed even more space, so he threw a party and told everyone that showed up to grab whatever wasn’t bolted to the ground and walk it across McDowell St. to where we still brew today!
We started throwing parties in our Employee Loft at 4:20 which raised some brows, including those of the local authorities. After a failed sting and a 20-day suspension, we installed a new line to bottle our Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. Do the crime. Do the time. Get the bragging rights.
Grow, Grow, Grow Your Boat
People were drinking more IPA than ever as we expanded from state to state and our brand-spankin’-new 80-barrel Rolec BrewHouse started brewing up a wholly original little thing under the sun called A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale…
We Should Throw A Circus
Beer Weasel Ron Lindenbusch had one thought: we should throw a Circus! So the Beer Circus was born. Then, we opened up the Petaluma TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary featuring live music everyday, including some special #LiveAtLagunitas shows in the new LaguMiniAmphitheaterette the following year.
When our 250-barrel BrewHouse was destroyed after hitting a storm in the Atlantic, we knew we weren’t able to brew our widely feared Winter Seasonal brew, Shugga’. After a flood of calls, we put out a substitute for our disappointed fans, named around their common message: Lagunitas Sucks.
Petaluma, Chicago, Seattle and…
As a native Chicagoan, Tony was looking for a way to return home. With some help from local legend Nick Mirkopolous, he found our second home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, LagunitasChicago. A few years later, we cut the tape at LagunitasSeattle in Ballard… So, where’s next??
We partnered up with Heineken in 2015 to start bringing our band of hop-forward IPAs to the world (and beyond?), firing up brewing operations in the UK, Amsterdam, Brazil, and more to bring fresh Lagunitas beers everywhere. We hope to see you in your neck of the woods, whatever planet you’re on!
Questions about other schtuff?
Wondering how to find our beer? Want to play our TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary? Or just looking to learn about the meaning of life? Head over to our Regularly Inquired Queries page to see if we’ve got an answer for ya.Visit our FAQ