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Lagunitas Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

299 Ratings
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 11.94%
Active Beers: 116
Beer Ratings: 69,064
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1280 North McDowell Boulevard
Petaluma, California, 94954
United States
phone: (707) 769-4495

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @lagunitasbruhws

Notes:
(Master Beer Listing) Now featuring a new outdoor beer garden with light snacks and music

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.01/5  rDev -9.7%

6/29/13

Starting our beer and tree trip north of San Francisco at Lagunitas, my expectations were low but I was blown away by the attitude, history and size of the brewery: I thought it'd be smaller. While I like Lagunitas beers, my impression from their standard beers that make it to Minnesota would be comparable to more of a Summit, a safe regional brewery with solid regulars and a few edgy beers. On walking into the taproom and brewery, the large outdoor and clearly not air conditioned taproom on a 98 degree day did not bode well as a start. We hawked a table in the shade of the loud main bar and ordered a Hop Stoopid and Gueuze quickly since the tour was starting soon. A favorite of mine, the Hop Stoopid lived up to the billing and the Gueuze was more than acceptable as well. Having held off for lunch, we nibbled ferociously on the free bowl of munchies until we could have lunch after the tour.

There's no tour reservations, so we simply showed up a bit early for the 1 pm tour. Not hearing the "call" we were told would come, we took our beers to the front to join the tour as the top of the hour approached. The initial intro to Lagunitas was in the shade of the brewery with Tim our humorous tour guide, storytelling to help us finish our beers (mandatory) before heading inside. Without retelling all of the stories, originator Tony Magee is a bit of a wild card. Starting as a homebrewer because he was unemployed in 1992, he turned "pro" within a year in spite of a yeasty blow up of a 1940s septic tank under his first brewery. Both Censored and Undercover Shutdown have stories to show how Lagunitas has run afoul of the authorities over the years, a bad boy image that I was unaware of.

As told my Tim, this roguish behavior led to all beery magnificence around us, including the massive stand of fermenting tanks that caught my eye and surprise on the way in to the taproom. Also on the tour was the new 250 barrel brewhouse, up from the original 80 barrel system, plus descriptions of the new 300,000 sq foot Chicago based brewery that will be twice the size and will run 24/7 to cut costs on logistics while serving a thirsty Midwest. Between the origin mythology and clear growth of the brand, Lagunitas is a much different brewery than I had in my head from drinking them at a distance. Another thread in Tim's storytelling was the importance of relationships to Lagunitas, including employees, regulars and the community around the taproom. This included charity events with donated beer for good causes, most recently raising $20,000 for a local fisherman whose boat sank. I found myself fascinated with how far off my perceptions were and wondering why the Lagunitas story and image had never really reached me.

Too far from another stop, we had to have lunch before leaving, so we headed back to fight for a seat at the bar to hide from the sweltering heat. While some at the bar were seemingly locals in the taproom, there were also a large number of sampler trays going out from the bar, so we were not the only tourists in the place. We staked out a spot at the corner of the bar, in part, with the help of Dave and Meredith from Salem, OR, our new beer friends by the end of the stop. They were at the end of their beer trip as we were on our first day in the same basic area, so they gave us advice, including how to get a beer at Russian River by standing at the end of the bar instead of behind the throngs. While we all chatted, Gloria and I had the roasted veggie avocado sandwich for lunch, which was fabulous; it good enough that we almost stopped again on the way south back to San Francisco.

I started with a draft of the IPA because Tim the tour guide said it was the engine of their expansion at 57% of production and I couldn't remember its taste: off white head over a mostly gold ale with amber highlights; floral nose with biscuit; good bite on the tongue with a very strong malt base. While refreshing in the heat and a more than adequate IPA, it's not a beer that will find a home in my beer fridge.

On to the specialty samples, an excellent Farmhouse ale and Lucky 13. Then came three barrel aged beers, all good, but the Rye Barrel Aged Gnarly Wine was spectacular, which significantly delayed our departure because of the need to have a draft: amber and brown with gold highlights; nose is full of hot alcohol and flowers with rye and dark cherry over a heavy malt; sweetness on the tongue, dark fruits galore that blends perfectly with a spiciness from rye or hop, not sure which. Big wonderful beer that I would love to drink when it was 50 degrees cooler outside, but hard to complain when it's rare to find any barleywine on our summer travels.

Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/08/lagunitas-brewing-petaluma-ca.html

FightingEntropy, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of enloe28
5/5  rDev +12.6%

enloe28, Today at 01:32 AM
Photo of MIrvine
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

I love their beer, but HATE the open seating policy. The place is so popular that no matter when you go it's very difficult to get a table because you can't make reservations. I really wish this wasn't the case, because I would be there very regularly. Instead I usually avoid the headache and buy the beer in the store, unless I am meeting a group because they take reservations for groups.

MIrvine, Yesterday at 07:08 AM
Photo of Jaffy22
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Jaffy22, Tuesday at 10:51 PM
Photo of Devman171
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Devman171, Monday at 05:48 PM
Photo of mjc3151
4.75/5  rDev +7%

mjc3151, Monday at 01:59 AM
Photo of Gonzo916
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Gonzo916, Saturday at 10:09 PM
Photo of Eryk
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Taste good. Sort of like Pliny the Elder.

Eryk, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of cuvtcuv
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

cuvtcuv, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of stencom1
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

stencom1, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of sbrock22
4.75/5  rDev +7%

sbrock22, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of DGSchmitt
3.5/5  rDev -21.2%

DGSchmitt, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of kmanjohnson
5/5  rDev +12.6%

kmanjohnson, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of Vlaminck
4.75/5  rDev +7%

My wife and I went here on an anniversary road trip. shes a good beer wife. Although the tour was quick and the tap room closed we decided to try the tour. The tour was not so impressive but what was impressive was the beer as usual but more the story behind Lagunitas that I never knew. The tour guide was great, the old tap room even cooler but the stories where the best. Under Cover Shut Down, High "Astronaut man"!!! A Little Sumpin Sumpin!!! The Waldos!!! Censored AKA: The Kronik!!! Never have I been on a tour that provided some much down to earth, anecdotal, realistic, informative information about the brewery, owner and conception. We spent most of our time in the tap room asking our guide questions which she eagerly answered and provided history. I now have some truths and some myths to share with my friends and now I feel like a part of the tribe. Ill keep making up my own stories about some...

Vlaminck, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of SF_Posse
1.68/5  rDev -62.2%

SF_Posse, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Herr-Messer
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Herr-Messer, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of sean_paul
3/5  rDev -32.4%

sean_paul, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of JulianTellez
4.75/5  rDev +7%

JulianTellez, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of danxbar
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

danxbar, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of mrbigpappa
4.75/5  rDev +7%

mrbigpappa, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Totalpackage411
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Totalpackage411, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of midnightcowboy818
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

midnightcowboy818, Sep 25, 2014
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Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA
98 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.