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Never has the West Coast been so at home in the Midwest. Likely because owner and founder Tony Magee originates from the suburbs and long had his eye on Chicago when planning his brewery’s expansion in 2013. With the recent 50% sale to Heineken and a massive third brewery location opening in Azusa, CA (picked for easy distribution to Mexico and beyond), the Southside expansion might appear, in hindsight, more like Manifest Destiny than craft beer growth.
Politics aside, one can’t argue Lagunitas is making damn good beer and doing a masterful job maintaining the pot-smoking, dog-loving mystique that made them famous. Driving that vibe home, the Chicago brewery greets visitors with a black-lighted, Willy Wonka-esque entryway that leads to an elevated taproom made in the image of the original at Petaluma. Drinkers can walk numerous catwalks to peer down on busy brewery production or take a tour to hear the Lagunitas lore.
Lagunitas gets packed on the weekends right around 1:30-2pm, so be sure to beat the rush! Once you arrive, go on the tour before heading to the taproom to sample beer, chow down, and enjoy great music. Don't miss Magic Mike’s magic show; it's a must, both amazing and hilarious.