LTH Home

Lagunitas opens in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood

Lagunitas opens in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Lagunitas opens in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood

    Post #1 - August 16th, 2014, 9:50 am
    Post #1 - August 16th, 2014, 9:50 am Post #1 - August 16th, 2014, 9:50 am
    Although it's already been opened a month and a half - I just recently got a chance to go
    see what they are up to- and sample some amazing "Craft-Beers" (If you see how huge their
    operation is there- you will find it difficult to call them a "Craft-Beer Brewer")

    Image
    Tap Room> Lagunitas >Chicago by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    The entrance is @ 16th & Rockwell, although the address is on the 1800 block of S. Washtenaw.
    The building is part of the complex where Ryerson Steel used to be headquartered,
    just behind Mount Sinai Hospital, and just to the west of The Midland Building
    on Western and 15th- home of some of Chicago's top Furniture Maker Workshops & Studios.
    The surrounding buildings house the Cinestage where many movies and TV shows are filmed, including Chicago Fire.

    From the minute you leave the parking lot- you see happy people.
    Everyone's in a good mood..... maybe, the beer helped?
    Maybe it's the culture they've "crafted"?
    Dunno- but I was curious -and curiouser- even before I crossed the threshold to the factory.

    Following many laser-printed paper signs :wink: indicating The Tap Room is ahead you are led down a variety of hallways surrounded on either side by the working brewery factory. Oh- and laser light shows too!

    Image
    Lagunitas Weekly Tour Schedule by Man_of Steel, on Flickr
    ITS HUGE!

    An Amazing testimony to mass- production.

    Image
    Tanks @ Lagunitas Brewery by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    Finally- you get closer to the elevators & stairs to go to the 2nd floor Tap Room!

    Image
    Lagunitas Seasonal Beer lineup by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    The eating area (also may be used for just plain ol drinkin-too!)
    features communal tables- smaller round & square 4-tops flank one wall-

    Image
    Tap Room @ LAGUNITAS-CHICAGO by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    Image
    The Tap Room @ Lagunitas Chicago by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    After getting a few smaller "tastes" I started w/ a flight of beers that cost $11.00.
    Taylor- an exceptional barkeep and server (& Uncle Tony's niece!)- was as HAPPY and accommodating
    as the HAPPY people I saw leaving- what's in the Kool-Aid here I wondered.....
    My favorite was a Red Ale called Lagunitas Imperial Red.
    We ordered the Chicken Liver Pate, while consuming peanuts and pretzels served in a complimentary basket...
    and found the Pate's texture and flavor excellent, savory & well prepared - artfully served on a rectangular platter.
    All the while we engaged in friendly talk w/Tony and Bob-
    Tony being the owner of Lagunitas and Bob his long time friend and now employee of Lagunitas Brewery.
    Amazing for a man who hires 600 people (OY- :lol: Imagine The OVERHEAD!) how calm and approachable Tony is.
    I had seen a Phil Ponce/Chicago Tonight interview w/ him and was impressed
    by his turning down State of Illinois money and the City of Chicago offers of "help" as well-
    for as much ethical reasons as personal business philosophy.
    A very mellow businessman- and quite approachable as well.

    I highly recommend a visit here- ASAP!
  • Post #2 - August 16th, 2014, 2:56 pm
    Post #2 - August 16th, 2014, 2:56 pm Post #2 - August 16th, 2014, 2:56 pm
    Nice write up.

    I visited the brewery & tap room for the first time on Friday. I enjoyed the "wurst of the day", which was a lamb sausage. The food menu isn't extensive, but has the sort of items you would expect at a brew pub. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, mussels, salad, etc.

    If you attend one of the "tasting tours", you are given samples of 4 of their beers. The tour itself was pretty low key. After hanging out and enjoying the beer samples for a while, a guide took us around on the catwalk and pointed out various pieces of equipment. The scale of the operation is pretty impressive.

    For the tours, take note that only some tours during the week are tasting tours. Not sure what happens on the other tours.

    I'd also recommend a visit.
  • Post #3 - August 18th, 2014, 11:26 am
    Post #3 - August 18th, 2014, 11:26 am Post #3 - August 18th, 2014, 11:26 am
    I went to their taproom 2 Saturdays ago for the first time. I went to their Beer Circus earlier this year so I already had an idea of how big the whole facility was but the taproom wasn't opened yet.

    I was impressed with how large it was and how efficient the service was with the size of the crowd. I was also impressed that flights of 4 of any of their beers on tap were only 5.50. Hombre, I assume you had 8 beers in your 11 dollar flight?

    My buddy and I were there for a couple of hours and we were both really surprised when the bill came and it was only 42 bucks. We only had chips and salsa to eat but we both had several flights and a couple of individual pours as well.

    I didn't take any pics when I was there but someone needs to post a picture of that Waldo mural made out of beer caps that's at the end of the long hall as you're heading to the taproom. I thought that was pretty cool.
  • Post #4 - August 19th, 2014, 12:13 pm
    Post #4 - August 19th, 2014, 12:13 pm Post #4 - August 19th, 2014, 12:13 pm
    The night we visited they were playing "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka" in the long hallway with laser light show leading through the brewery to the TapRoom. Someone there has a playful sense of humor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2pt2-F2j2g
  • Post #5 - August 21st, 2014, 12:54 pm
    Post #5 - August 21st, 2014, 12:54 pm Post #5 - August 21st, 2014, 12:54 pm
    RobS wrote: they were playing "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka" in the long hallway


    So you can imagine my disappointment when I never came across the waterfall of beer...
  • Post #6 - August 26th, 2014, 9:07 pm
    Post #6 - August 26th, 2014, 9:07 pm Post #6 - August 26th, 2014, 9:07 pm
    @Pancake- Thanks !....sounds like you had fun there as well!
    @Gorac-
    Image
    Lagunitas Brewery = on the way 2 the Tap Room. by Man_of Steel, on Flickr
    and upon closer
    Inspection- how they are fastened- one-to-another...gotta be some Company in China or India that produces
    these- 'cause there's a whole lotta hand-work involved in these....

    Image
    Bottle Cap Mosaic Art Piece @ Lagunitas Brewery + Tap Room by Man_of Steel, on Flickr
  • Post #7 - August 27th, 2014, 9:59 am
    Post #7 - August 27th, 2014, 9:59 am Post #7 - August 27th, 2014, 9:59 am
    Nice, we didn't even realize it was made out of beer caps until we were on our way out. On the way in I think I was just so focused on getting a beer (we walked from the blue line so I was thirsty) that I just walked right by the thing. Then on the way out we noticed it was all done with beer caps. Pretty awesome. Thanks for posting it!
  • Post #8 - September 14th, 2014, 7:36 am
    Post #8 - September 14th, 2014, 7:36 am Post #8 - September 14th, 2014, 7:36 am
    Really enjoyed a last minute decision to head into the city on Friday and hit Lagunitas. Pretty cool place, lots of parking, and the laser and music thing they have going during the walk to the tap room is pretty cool. It is a short hike through the factory and up 2 flights of stairs.

    Easily found a seat at one of the long communal tables. Had 2 beers - Lil Sumpin, Liked this beer quite a bit. A bit different than the beers I usually drink but really nice. 2nd beer was Daytime, lighter, but still a lot of hops and flavor. At $5 a pop very affordable. Didn't eat, snacked on the pretzels and peanuts at the tables and listened to some live blues. I can see heading back here as a regular stop.

    At first I was surprised how not crowded it was on a nice Friday night, then I remembered we were south of I290.
  • Post #9 - September 16th, 2014, 7:25 am
    Post #9 - September 16th, 2014, 7:25 am Post #9 - September 16th, 2014, 7:25 am
    jimswside wrote:At first I was surprised how not crowded it was on a nice Friday night, then I remembered we were south of I290.


    It seems to be more of a weekend day-drinking destination. I've only been once, on a Saturday afternoon, and it was pretty slammed. And the friends of mine that have been, have all gone on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
  • Post #10 - September 16th, 2014, 7:42 am
    Post #10 - September 16th, 2014, 7:42 am Post #10 - September 16th, 2014, 7:42 am
    Actually- like any bar or Public Space, it varies. (size and density of crowds there)

    The images that I took in my Original Post- were on a Friday after work, and
    it seemed pretty- "hoppin" to me!

    If I were planning a visit- I'd check to see when they have Tours (with Tasting Samples, 'cause not all Tours do)
    and use that as a "prime-the-pump"- base
    to later enjoy more of their finely made Hop-Forward-Craft Beers,
    produced w/water from Lake Michigan- in their Tap Room.
  • Post #11 - September 18th, 2014, 7:21 pm
    Post #11 - September 18th, 2014, 7:21 pm Post #11 - September 18th, 2014, 7:21 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:Actually- like any bar or Public Space, it varies. (size and density of crowds there)

    The images that I took in my Original Post- were on a Friday after work, and
    it seemed pretty- "hoppin" to me!

    If I were planning a visit- I'd check to see when they have Tours (with Tasting Samples, 'cause not all Tours do)
    and use that as a "prime-the-pump"- base
    to later enjoy more of their finely made Hop-Forward-Craft Beers,
    produced w/water from Lake Michigan- in their Tap Room.


    The tasting sample tours are weekdays only. I was there this last Saturday and it was definitely "hoppin" at around 4 PM. We sat at one of the tables "outside" and observed that at times the bar was 3 deep. It's a very cool space and we agreed to come back for one of the tasting tours. The band that was playing was pretty good, too, but we were glad we were on the other side of the walls for easier conversation.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #12 - September 9th, 2015, 4:21 pm
    Post #12 - September 9th, 2015, 4:21 pm Post #12 - September 9th, 2015, 4:21 pm
    So, now that Lagunitas owner Tony Magee has sold 1/2 his Company (worth a (conservatively) estimated $800K )
    will he keep interest(ed) in what he's created here.....
    or find another business to invest in- with his cool ~$ 400,000,000.00 ?
    Wall Street Journal Article
  • Post #13 - September 9th, 2015, 5:29 pm
    Post #13 - September 9th, 2015, 5:29 pm Post #13 - September 9th, 2015, 5:29 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:So, now that Lagunitas owner Tony Magee has sold 1/2 his Company (worth a (conservatively) estimated $800K )


    Calling that estimate conservative may be the understatement of the year.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #14 - September 12th, 2015, 2:10 pm
    Post #14 - September 12th, 2015, 2:10 pm Post #14 - September 12th, 2015, 2:10 pm
    Tony Magee gave what I feel was a very eloquent explanation behind the deal on his Tumblr blog:

    http://lagunitast.tumblr.com/post/128642135601/the-future-will-not-be-like-the-past
  • Post #15 - September 12th, 2015, 4:41 pm
    Post #15 - September 12th, 2015, 4:41 pm Post #15 - September 12th, 2015, 4:41 pm


    Interesting. Every single note (= "response" in our language) is positive. Is that how tumblr works?
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #16 - September 12th, 2015, 8:13 pm
    Post #16 - September 12th, 2015, 8:13 pm Post #16 - September 12th, 2015, 8:13 pm
    a VERY well written piece- I'm quite amazed at how cogent Tony's argument is- for this deal-of-beer-lovers..
    Also- I find it curious how Tony's looked at his own "shelf-life" and realized that he may
    not be able to "buy-time"-in how quickly- he could expand Internationally-
    solo.

    After reading of how Goose Island Founder John Hall just sold his Apple Cider creation- to
    Budwiser...it seems like the BIG BOYS want-in....in a BIG WAY!

    The entire "CRAFT BREWING" industry- could be a case study for lots of MBA students
    at Wharton and Kellog....for how a small thing- when it gets popular- and's enjoyed by lots of people,
    is no longe "cache" or niche- but-
    now- sold at Ballparks and Stadiums?!
  • Post #17 - September 12th, 2015, 10:42 pm
    Post #17 - September 12th, 2015, 10:42 pm Post #17 - September 12th, 2015, 10:42 pm
    As much as I might have been opposed to the Budweiser/InBev acquisition of Goose, I will say that the availability of Goose IPA at Wrigley and Busch has been a nice development. Overall, cannot complain about the way the "big boys" have handled the Goose brand (yet).
  • Post #18 - September 13th, 2015, 2:39 am
    Post #18 - September 13th, 2015, 2:39 am Post #18 - September 13th, 2015, 2:39 am
    Matt wrote:As much as I might have been opposed to the Budweiser/InBev acquisition of Goose, I will say that the availability of Goose IPA at Wrigley and Busch has been a nice development. Overall, cannot complain about the way the "big boys" have handled the Goose brand (yet).

    I agree. AB moved the brewing of Goose's "easier" brews, like 312 (ironically), Honkers, and IPA to other AB breweries, but have left the more distinctive brews, including the barrel-aged stuff, on Fulton Ave.
  • Post #19 - September 13th, 2015, 10:25 am
    Post #19 - September 13th, 2015, 10:25 am Post #19 - September 13th, 2015, 10:25 am
    Heineken was a craft beer once.

    And now it's available all over the world!

    Isn't that marvelous?
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #20 - January 7th, 2021, 3:15 pm
    Post #20 - January 7th, 2021, 3:15 pm Post #20 - January 7th, 2021, 3:15 pm
    Lagunitas taproom likely to stay closed until 2022 because of coronavirus pandemic

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more