Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewing CompanyLagunitas Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing CompanyLagunitas Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1843 S Washtenaw Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60608-2423
United States

(773) 522-1308 | map

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 111 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GoBearsWalter34
GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This place is an absolute blast! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme walking in. Huge areas that can satisfy all your partying needs. Super friendly people and world class beer. Gift shop is accessible and staffed with great people. A must visit!!

Jan 04, 2020
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Huge production brewery with a cozy taproom and a pretty cool tour. Solid selection of Lagunitas beers in the tap room, and some Short’s cider options for the non-beer types, which is cool. The tour was quite fun with a pretty animated tour guide. A cool trip if you’re in Chicago.

Aug 28, 2018
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Lazhal from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Walking in to this place is a bit of a hike, but they have made it pretty neat.. I won't spoil it for you though.

Dog friendly in case you are wondering.

We ate at a table near the catwalk which was pretty cool. It was hot though, maybe 85-90 degrees. Pretty good food. I had my normal sampler. They didn't anything special on tap while was there. Just the staples and a seasonal or two.

We also went on a brewery tour. Didn't take long, maybe 20 minutes. The tour guide did a good job.

There was also a magician. He had the kids attention for at least 15 minutes. They loved it.

Looking forward to visiting again.

Aug 06, 2018
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

The vibe here is slick and impersonal, it’s huge and loud like a cafeteria with long communal tables. A live band with a cellist stood in the corner on a tiny stage like marionettes. Some interesting decor, psychedelic murals in the entry hall and some Dead posters. A few staged furniture ensembles and a nice beer can collection, but ultimately it’s too huge to feel remotely cozy. It's the brewery equivalent of a rich old uncle still trying to be hip with the kids.

First attempt to order at the bar while standing, the bartender silently pointed me to a line of people standing on the opposite side. That’s odd I thought, as I took a seat then just ordered from a different bartender. A firkin and 4 seasonals available, otherwise it’s what you can find at most local stores.

Skip the food and get authentic tacos nearby from La Chaparrita, El Milagro, or any number of other quality establishments nearby in Little Village. To me, the experience felt overly manufactured, as if a carpetbagging mega-brewery sank all their Heineken buyout money into a shiny new brewery to saturate midwest distribution, with a flashy showroom to pull in the tourists. Apparently it's working.

100% of the time i'd rather support the local breweries: Marz, Whiner, Lo Rez are all better options nearby. If headed to a Sox game, Maria's/Kimski is always my #1 pre/post-game one-stop for food, drafts, and beer-to-go.

Jul 22, 2018
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

5/3/18: First visit to the brewery, Willy Wonka greets you. Tap room on the second floor. Somewhat crowded for midweek day, service was great. Peanuts and pretzels served complementary, did not order from the menu. Had three seasonal beers, all well priced and were very good. Band was setting up but had to leave for the White Sox game. Was able to walk around and check out the brewery before heading out, very cool and large operation. Will definitely want to stop by pre-Sox game in the future.

May 13, 2018
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nofreepass99 from New York

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | food: 5

Of all the breweries across the country I've been to, this was the coolest. I wasn't in love with any of the beers in particular but it was like willy wonkas in there. Amazing experience for any beer fan

Feb 26, 2018
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

A surprisingly enjoyable experience at this Heineken-owned massive brewery. The complex is truly ginormous, with a large taproom on the second floor. A dozen-or-so taps ranging from a pilsner to one-off brews like rum-barrel Brown Shugga.

Funky and cozy, and some good food to boot- an excellent meat-and-cheese plate with homemade smoky jerky.

Aug 25, 2017
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

They actually found soul in a warehouse.
Great vibe. They treat you special from entry to exit.
Even the space between the entrance and the stairs to rise to the shop and pub is decorated. I felt like a kid with the almost Geisel artwork and theme music of Willie Wonka. The colors and lights are transporting.
The waiting room just outside the pub has lots of comfortable seats and a view above the production line.
The pub itself is large with about 30 stools surrounding the central bar, approximately 15 high tops around the outside of the room, and substantial, not flimsy, communal picnic tables that seat another 40 or so. There is also a balcony of sorts for private parties, or for anyone looking for another view of the works, that could easily accommodate 50 people.
The menu is simple and the food is delicious.
Employees were happy to be there, competent at their job, and made me feel welcome.
After I left I had an overwhelming feeling of wonder. I looked back at the stark white warehouse wall with the 8foot tall lettered Lagunitas edict and I asked myself if that just happened.

Jul 15, 2017
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vikingpillager from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Best vibe of any downtown Chicago brewery, bar none! Big shoutout to Burly for being an awesome tour guide! The brewery isn't in the greatest location but once you get there, it's a giant warehouse full of fun!!!

Jun 19, 2017
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RockRuler from Mississippi

3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

What jumps out immediately as you pull up to the place is the sheer size of the facility. It’s a big brewery. Everything inside is slick and clean. The Willy Wonka “Pure imagination” song is playing as you walk through the door and soon you’ll realize the music is completely appropriate. It’s a trip. I did not take the tour as I was there to only have a few brews. I’m not a huge fan of Lauganitas beer but I wanted to check out the place and see if they offered any “brewery only” beers and was disappointed to discover that was not the case. I walked my way through the cavernous space to the brewpub upstairs. The only thing that stands out about the space is its incredible views of the working brewery below. Other than the view, the space is your typical looking bar/brewpub area. The service was alright and they had many offerings but as mentioned earlier, lacking in the way of brewery only releases. I enjoyed the visit but probably wouldn’t return as there are so many options in the area. A must stop for Lagunitas fans and brewery enthusiasts.

Dec 12, 2016
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98green from Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Did the brewery tour. Less of a tour and more of a free beer tasting and light comedy show. 5 taster pours to begin and a full pint for the tour. The tour is just a loop of the catwalk and commentary is more a stand up act than tour. But that was a nice change of pace from a normal brewery tour. Highly recommended and can't beat the price of free.

Jul 05, 2016
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BSiegs from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Great all around visit to Lagunitas. Great selection, great service, and good food to go along with it. The vibe is laid back and the hallway on the way in is a bit trippy. Looking forward to going back.

Jun 02, 2016
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DJChaseTheBase from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

There free tasting tour is where its at. Great atmosphere and a whole lot of fun. Starting with Wonka theme and taking you upstairs to great views of the brewery from there taproom, to a fun tasting room, to a great tour of the brewery with awesome stories and information about Lagunitas. Katie did a great job of letting it rip on the mic while giving the tour. Can't wait to go back and do it again.

May 03, 2016
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.89/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

It's like Disneyland for beer geeks. Great atmosphere and friendly people. Taproom is fun and full of great offerings. Free tour which was nice for novices and beer snobs alike. Will definitely revisit.

Apr 05, 2016
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3fdread from Illinois

4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Place is huge!!! Good beer, better food, with live music. All the hipsters did not appreciate the live blues act playing on stage. Nobody even paid any attention. I'm sure they went to they're next gig and made fun of the young skinny jean selfie crowd ignoring them. Beer is good, but you can find Lagunitas everywhere, plenty of yummy treats and the magician is awesome. Located in a not sweetheart neighborhood of Chicago, probably why they close early.

Feb 26, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

While competitors of sorts and with similar evolutions, Lagunitas and Goose Island have very different characters. (You can refer to my GI Places review.) Similar to how I toured GI as part of Open House Chicago 2012, I toured Lagunitas as part of OHC 2015.

It was a mob scene. (The OHC annual weekend is promoted by Chicago's largest media.) Since my tour overflowed, I bailed and never got to the samples that, I presume, were at the tour's end. When I got to the restaurant and looked at the menu, the waiting list told me I would die of hunger before I could eat. So I went to the gift store and bought a few of their rarer offerings (they are all unusual) and Tony Magee's book "So, You Want To Start A Brewery?", a cautionary tale for people who get themselves into difficult situations.

The rest of this review tests the theory that brewers are important to cities. The theory gets stature from James Fallows, one of my generation's (we be The Baby-Boomers) most prolific and insightful writers of politics and culture. As part of an emerging book, he lists "The 11 Signs A City Will Succeed." Number 11 is: "They have craft breweries. One final marker, perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries." Here is the link:

Knowing the value of craft brewers, Lagunitas was lured to Chicago by two things. First, we are still the rail hub of the nation and Lagunitas (with Heineken money to expand rapidly) could reduce its costs as it expanded using Heineken's distribution heft. Second, Lagunitas got some sweet tax deals to resettle a neighborhood still seared by the 1960s' riots. On the east side of the tracks two blocks away from the Lagunitas plant, property values have recovered and the vacant lots are being rebuilt. On Lagunitas' side, it is still a real estate depression. We will see how effective this economic theory is.

But in general, Chicagoland is becoming a center of what I call the 3rd generation of brewers; at least two dozen breweries started in this century, most of whom are revitalizing abandoned industrial buildings. Let's look at those in the future.

Feb 22, 2016
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MNJR from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is one of the weirdest and most interesting places I have ever been. It is a building within a larger enormous building. You are in a bar, quite literally above the manufacturing floor of the brewery. The scale of this is unimaginable without being there. A football stadium or an airplane hangar are the only comparisons I can come up with. The pub itself is nothing spectacular -- a big rectangular bar surrounded by tables, and that's about it. But the location and context is quite amazing. You have to see it to understand it or really believe it. So, that's all good. But, the food was so-so, nothing great. Both sandwiches we had were very overspiced. I had "marlin" but I could not taste the fish. It was very spicy and salty, and the fish was either not good so they wanted to hide it, or good fish was ruined by the excessive spice. The comment on the burger was "OK," and my friend said he thought something (spice?) was mixed in with the meat. Not sure about that personally. They were out of a couple things we wanted, too. It doesn't seem really great food is their strong point. But it is true I have only had three menu items. Maybe others will find things better, which I hope is true. The beer is of course good, but not much besides their normal roster was available when I went. It's an experience more than anything else. Anyone who has an interest in beer and/or brewing should go here at least once.

Jul 27, 2015
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Jaszucs from Indiana

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

It's like Charlie and the Beer Factory in there, with kegs instead of candy. Interesting tap room on the 2nd floor of a massive warehouse. The brewery tour is neat though, and a great selection in the Schwag Shop.

Jul 10, 2015
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southsidejoe8089 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I am a big fan of Lagunitas beers. Have been for years. I just feel like if they had more pub-only beers once in awhile, I would be drawn to go to the brewpub more often. I can get just about everything on the menu at my local liquor store or supermarket (I'm not complaining about that). So, considering the not-so-convenient location, the hard-to-find and confusingly color-coded parking lot, and the labyrinth that you have to walk through to get from said parking lot to the brewpub, I don't think I will become a regular. That's not saying I won't stop in from time to time. The beer is fresh and delicious. The food and the service are typically very good. I guess I would just like to see some offerings outside of their normal rotation.

Apr 08, 2015
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DaBrewski from Texas

4.95/5  rDev +17%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Had to visit this place while my wife and I were in Chicago. First, make sure you have a ride or bus into this location because I just did not see many cabs in the area. I think the buses stop heading back into the City in the evening. That said the place is worth going to. The beer you know will be wonderful. A big surprise was the food. Very good. Deserts were excellent. I went on a week night so it was not crowded. My buddies from Chicago that I went with told me that its jammed on the weekends.

Jan 27, 2015
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SWChi from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

We were there on a Saturday night... place was was great. . Food was above average. . We had mussels and nachos with carnitas.. would have liked more carnitas.

Jan 10, 2015
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Redrover from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

Wow, this place is huge! We headed over to the tap room after doing some eating and shopping in nearby China town.

There is a large parking lot on the north side of the brewery. The entryway for the tasting room is clearly marked. You walk down a long hallway that has windows allowing you to see the brewery, keg storage area, etc. Then turn a corner down another hallway and then head up some stairs and on to the swag shop and tap room.

The tap room is massive with a large rectangular bar in the center of the room. There are a ton of community tables to share as well as a few smaller tables. The background music was great and played at a low enough volume so you could really talk. I saw one TV so you can keep up with a bit game.

There is a small stage at one end of the room. I think they have free music very night. They had a nice blues duo the Sunday we were there. Music started at around 4:00 p.m.

Note that there is another section of the tap room overlooking the brewery. There are picnic tables and plastic glassware in this section. There are also catwalks to stroll while observing the brewers at work.

They have a nice section of regular Lagunitas beers and by my count 5 rotating specials. I enjoyed a Sucks and a couple of the Imperial Reds. You can also buy growlers to go and the gift shop sells 6 packs and bombers.

The staff is very friendly and helpful. Note that this place closes pretty early (I think last call is at 8 p.m.).

They have a decent looking menu. I didn’t eat this time but what I saw go by looked and smelled good.

This is just a great place and fantastic addition to the Chicago beer scene.

Dec 15, 2014
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KC9LDB from Illinois

5/5  rDev +18.2%

Had a complete blast, free tour beautiful facility very informative in a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. Brewery was tip top clean, shows the care that goes in to the facility. Tour guide was extremely outgoing, very cool, didn't have that "know-it-all" vibe youget from some people. I strongly suggest stopping in some time!!!!

Nov 11, 2014
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snaotheus from Washington

4/5  rDev -5.4%

Huge place. Weird and very industrial. Interesting, but not as quirky as the California location. Food menu is small, but of course their beer is quite good. Server was nice, but fairly clueless, and unfortunately tried to fake it.

Sep 07, 2014
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BertSugar from Indiana

4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

This place is absolutely amazing. Being a lover of small local breweries, I was not prepared to take in the scope of what they are doing here. This is a big ass factory. The upstairs tasting room seats maybe 200 people, with a bunch more out on a mezzanine overlooking the brew house. There is a large central bar with 50-ish seats.

That size allows a lot of freedom of movement and easy bar sitting. The service was very prompt and very friendly. Had a couple of decent snacks (chicken liver pate and a good sized pretzel), and the actual sandwiches looked really good. No complaints there.

The beer? Well, you've had it a million times and know what to expect. Each one is a one note Johnny with only gradations of hoppiness. I heard a great analogy: Lagunitas is the AC/DC of brewing. They've been making the same album for decades and it's still at least entertaining.

Aug 10, 2014
Lagunitas Brewing Company in Chicago, IL
Brewery rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 107742 ratings