As I walked in Lagunitas brewery of Chicago, I was met with a long, blue-light hallway with windows on both sides. Through the windows, beer was being brewed, packaged and processed. Believe it or not, Willy Wonka’s “Pure Imagination” was playing through the speakers, setting a magical and wondrous tone that continues through every inch of this massive brewhouse. This brewhouse is second to their original brewery in Petaluma, California.
I was then brought to their "adult day care," an expansive room with eight taps, giant Jenga, couches, and the like. I sampled their Cappucino Stout, a delicious breakfast beer. I learned that Lagunitas Brewery has insane distribution; they export to 40 states in America and across the pond to England, Ireland and Sweden!
Lagunitas also creates eight new beers a year in addition to their regular lineup! Like an artist, the beer craftsman are inspired by anything and everything to make new brews. And after touring their crazy-huge manufacturing facility, I saw their gorgeous tap room, which was smack dab in the middle of the glorious 300,000 square foot facility.
To my surprise, beer is completely dependent on water. The PH balance of their water needs to be perfect for ideal flavor, and Lake Michigan water is pretty different from water in California. But according to Karen, Lake Michigan water is so good that the California brewery is changing their water's PH balance to resemble Lake Michigan water. Cheers to Chicago!
To see this incredible wonderland, you don’t need to know a thing about beer. And if you’re open to seeing cool new things, this is right up your alley. Take a brewery tour to meet amazing people and sample every delightful beer free of charge - no reservations needed.