Today I went on a tour of my favorite brewery in the area. I am talking about Lagunitas in Petaluma. I have been to this brewery many times before but never taken the time to go on their tasting tour and I can tell you I do not know why I waited so long. Although the tour was a lot of fun it wasn’t exactly a tour, it was more of sitting in a loft overlooking the brewery while everyone drank free beer and listened to a brief history of the Lagunitas brewery. The loft that we were hanging out in was totally funky and was obviously the creation of the 126 employees that either still work there or did at one point. Although the loft was much cooler and there is a bar with 8 taps behind it, it reminded me of hanging out in my buddies attic when I was in high school sneaking beers from the fridge. After an hour of hanging out drinking and chatting it up with the other people on the tour as well as playing a game or two of foosball we took a short walk around the brewery. Lagunitas is one of the bigger brew houses that I have been to but including the loft and storage the whole brewery takes up only a small warehouse. The walk consisted of going around the storage area where they keep all of their pallets of beer as well as kegs. Then up a small flight of stair with fermenting tanks on either side and back down again. The walk took about 15 minutes but the overall tour took over an hour.
As I have said before Lagunitas is my favorite micro brewery although I learned that Lagunitas has not been a micro brewery for some time now so I guess the title will have to change. A micro brewery has to make less than fifty thousand barrels and Lagunitas makes a hundred thousand a year and by 2012 they will be producing two hundred and fifty thousand barrels so they will definitely not be one at that point. Lagunitas ranked 22nd last year out of all the breweries in America and that included the big boys like Budweiser and are hoping to break into the top 10 with their new facilities. So don’t worry if you don’t live around the north bay because they are going to be expanding their territory shortly.
So the tour was fun but if you don’t have the time to take the tour the brew pub is more than worth a stop. Although it can get busy they do have a lot of room especially if it is sunny or a nice night because they have a very nice patio area. They have a lot of benches outside so you don’t just sit with your friends you sit with a bunch of people which I really like it makes for a cool social environment. The inside is also nice although it can get a little cramped. They generally don’t get busy until around 7 or 8 so anytime before that is pretty mellow and the service and food is fantastic so it’s a good place for lunch. Lagunitas is a great company and their beer is fantastic so I definitely recommend going to the brew pub if you’re in the area and even if you are not definitely go and buy a six pack, any of their beers are great but I recommend a Little Sumin Sumin.