Lagunitas Brewing Company
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Ratings: 254 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
2.88/5 rDev -35.1%
I finally visited the Lagunitas Brewery yesterday. It had been on my to-do list ever since moving up to San Francisco a few months ago. I joined JustinA1 and some of his friends in the new beer garden.
Justin and company had just finished taking the brewery tour when I arrived. I wish I could've joined 'em, but the traffic on northbound 101 was awful, and it ended up taking me two whole hours to get from San Francisco to Petaluma (should have taken just over an hour). As a result, I was in a pretty crummy mood when I joined them. I was determined not to let that affect my experience though, and sitting outside in the warm sunshine among good company quickly raised my spirits. A four-piece folk band was playing popular covers just twenty yards away, and that helped too.
The crew had already finished one round of drinks and was ready for another. While we waited for the server, they gave me a quick run-down of which beers I should and shouldn't order. Unfortunately, it sounded like most of the beers (and the list was long) were flops. They had already tasted sixteen different Lagunitas beers (four 4-glass samplers), yet only one - Ryan's Folly - was called "good" by all four members. Everything else ranged from mediocre to undrinkable. I decided to order three beers from the list that nobody had tried yet, along with a Ryan's Folly (as a 4-glass sampler).
After forty minutes of waiting, I finally went inside to get my beer from the bar. I stood there for another ten minutes before being helped. It wasn't a busy day (or didn't seem to be); the bartenders were just lackadaisical. Regardless, I got my beer and walked back outside.
Of the four beers I sampled, only the Ryan's Folly was decent, and it was far from exciting; a typical Lagunitas ale: a sweet, hoppy brown/amber. The highly anticipated, cask-conditioned Tropical Stoopid tasted like a stale version of regular Hop Stoopid; the Ginger IPA was different, but completely undrinkable (I left half of my 6oz. sample behind); and the Fusion II, which was listed as a black IPA, tasted like an imperial red ale (not bad overall though).
We all left Lagunitas disappointed. Most of their specialty beers were unpalatable, and the service was pitifully slow. I won't be back.
08-15-2010 19:29:20 | More by ThreeWiseMen
3.23/5 rDev -27.3%
I stopped in here on the way back to the peninsula after being up in the North Bay.
The location itself is really quite nice. A huge outdoor seating area that features a bunch of long picnic tables and sort of a communal vibe. Lots of families and typical looking brewery patrons as well. The one knock is that the outside area just smells like wet dog.
Inside is pretty nice, but the bar area is quite cramped. Off to the right of the bar is a little seating area and to the left of the bar are some tables as well, but they're so close to the bar that it makes it almost uncomfortable.
The service was spotty at best. At one point I was considering just leaving because it was taking so long to even have a bartender acknowledge me (and I wasn't the only one who had a similar problem). Many other patrons walked up long after I had sat down and were served right away while I was sitting there waiting to place my order.
Once I was helped, it was sort of as though I was an inconvenience. I realize that it is busy on a Friday night, but there were three people behind the bar and at any one time, only one was really doing anything.
I finally got my beers and they ranged from amazing (Farmhouse Gueuze) to not very enjoyable at all (Ginger IPA, Habanero IPA). The selection was quite good though, lots of pub only offerings that you don't find anywhere else.
I didn't order any food, but it looked quite good. I was given some peanuts and pretzels though, which was nice.
Overall, this place was alright, but the service really diminished my experience here. I'm not expecting to be waited on hand and foot, but at least the look of "I see you there and I'll help you in just a minute" would be nice.
08-02-2010 21:27:46 | More by womencantsail
3.33/5 rDev -25%
Wow was this placed packed. As I was told happens weekly during the warm time of year, the brewery was playing host to some bands. While generally this is a good thing, there were logistical issues about; with overcrowding, and difficulty in getting a beer at the forefront.
I was told this night they couldn't so samplers which I had hoped to do. With so many options, it would be a very slippery slope had I been made to try a glass of everything that looked interesting and it would have defeated the purpose of tasting it: any objectivity would be gone.
After two glasses I left. Sorry Lagunitas... you are one of my favorite breweries in the country, probably top 5. But if you want to do things like this you need a bigger place. I wouldn't mind giving it another try but I don't know when I will be in Petaluma again. Maybe I'll check out the pub in Chicago when it opens.
As for now, much too much.
03-15-2013 23:10:29 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
3.45/5 rDev -22.3%
If the "session IPA" is to replace the classic American pale ale in the future- Lagunitas is ahead of the curve with this dog of a low-bodied hop-bomb!
Its innocent enough austere is light gold, nearly emulating pilsner with a caramelized gaze. But with the taste looming, the nose is taken back by the IPA-like scent that squarely focuses on white grapefruit rind, under-ripened orange and a strong grassy and leafy quality. Its grain and caramel sweetness is supportive of the hop onslaught at first but that is all short lived.
The malt sweetness drops out of the middle palate, and leaves creamy malt textures to fend for their own- quickly dominated by the citrus, leaf and herbaceous hop flavor. Strong carbonation brings the vegetative flavors to life and gives the palate a good scrubbing heading into finish.
Closing with strong bitterness that stands tall in the absence of malt- dragging with it the character of citrus pith, grass, stem and leaf. Its chlorophyll bite hangs in the back of the throat and is slow to relinquish its grip. The rest of the flavors are fast-fleeting and leaves the palate clean, crisp and refreshed.
08-19-2014 18:03:17 | More by BEERchitect
3.5/5 rDev -21.2%
Once you're inside, you can't really tell you're in an industrial park. I was inside at the bar, where the vibe was pretty mellow. Lots of people coming and going. Lots of interesting conversations. Heard someone comment that their land lady didn't like "straight weed" but only liked hash.
Beers were fresh, the mason jars serving type is a bit odd, but I guess that's their deal.
Service was good, there were a bunch of guys (and gals) behind the bar. All of them were willing to pour a sample or two.
Selection was pretty standard. I did have a pinot barrel aged stout that was pretty good. The rest was the typical stuff.
Had a panini, it was fine. Nothing special there.
Overall, a nice mellow place to hang out and enjoy some beers. If there was a place like this by my house, I'd be there all the time. Oh, and it's very dog friendly too.
06-20-2011 04:37:58 | More by prg1976
Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA
98 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.