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Lagunitas to build 3rd brewery in Azusa, CA

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by deanzaZZR, Jun 24, 2015.

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  1. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (119) Jan 8, 2015 California

  2. chrisjws

    chrisjws Champion (819) Dec 3, 2014 California

    Awesome. From what I've heard them say, they're currently producing way less than the demand from the market. Since its still in CA its probably mostly about adding capacity. The Chicago brewery coming online allowed the Petaluma one to start doing more fun stuff like barrel aging, so hopefully this makes it even easier for the mothership to do some more experimental stuff.
  3. Geuzedad

    Geuzedad Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2010 Arizona

    Love me some Lagunitas. They are regulars in my fridge. Just had their new release Citrusinensis. Outstanding and I am looking forward to more great things from these fine folks. Glad to hear they are expanding to bring us more hoppy deliciousness!
  4. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (152) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    Good for them. The only thing I wonder about is the water situation going forward in CA. I don't think it's going to get any better. But I'm certain they factored that into the decision.
  5. Bradley_BizKutZ

    Bradley_BizKutZ Initiate (131) Jul 7, 2014 Arizona

    Very exciting! Just went to their Petaluma location the other day and it was awesome. More awesomeness to come I'm sure!
  6. charlzm

    charlzm Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 California

    Azusa? As in here?

    Cool. That's almost but not quite close to where I live!
    Brolo75 and 2beerdogs like this.
  7. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (757) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    Considering it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to grow 1 pound of almonds in California, beer is the least of their concerns.
    Boca-X and VictorsValiant like this.
  8. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,210) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Well aside from the water issue, as @bostonwolf mentioned, I'm down...better have a tasting room.
  9. chrisjws

    chrisjws Champion (819) Dec 3, 2014 California

    You're assuming we have our priorities in order. Silly you.
  10. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (119) Jan 8, 2015 California

    Shoot, if we want the biggest payout per cubic foot of water we'd be growing bud for the whole country. :sunglasses:
  11. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Good news. But seeing that they have a brewery in CA and a brewery in IL, an East Coast brewery would balance out the country.
    RobNewton and KhakCane like this.
  12. CO-Bloom

    CO-Bloom Disciple (318) May 3, 2014 Colorado

    I got to visit their brewery in Petaluma with my wife in May. What was cool is they recently installed a system that treats at least a portion of their post brewing wastewater so it can be reused to clean their equipment. While it cannot be reused in their beer it does help them save a bunch of clean water that would otherwise be used for cleaning purposes. It allows them to use way less water than other breweries. While I am sure it had much to do with their bottom line since they are a business - I thought it was cool they are actively responding to their local environmental concerns, especially at the size they are. I read that one barrel of beer takes 3-7 barrels of water and it is great they can recycle a good portion of that otherwise useless wastewater.
    russpowell, ABW and charlzm like this.
  13. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,409) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Some of that is for the tree, the shell, and husk. The number is more like 1929+ gallons/lb. though 2000 is not far off and easy to remember.

    The numbers for beer are pretty high if you count the water for growing and malting barley, growing hops, and propagating the yeast. 296 gallons water for one gallon of beer. The hops and Barley are grown in other states for the most part. The brewery is in 2.5 to 10 gallon range depending on the technology used by the brewery.
  14. rails

    rails Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 California

    Azusa is at the Base of the The San Gabriel Mountains. Figure that's the reason they are building there almost all of there water comes from the San Gabriel River and the Aquifers it recharges, not Nor Cal water.
  15. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (258) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Are they really growing at that rate? Those numbers are astonishing. I fear for when beer isn't cool or popular anymore. All these places plan for growth, growth, growth. I kinda like RR's way about things
    turbotype and hoppymcgee like this.
  16. hoppymcgee

    hoppymcgee Crusader (750) Oct 18, 2008 Maine

    If any sort of hop shortage ever strikes, Tony T will just use bud.
    RobNewton likes this.
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,442) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That was the reason General/Lucky Lager, then the largest brewer in the West, built their third brewery in Azuza in 1949, according to their supervising brewmaster, Henry Henius (son of Max Henius, of the Wahl-Henius Institute of Brewing), say in an 1952 newspaper article "Mountain Water is Used in Brewing Lucky Lager" that their Azuza site was "...ideal because of the abundant supply of fine mountain water...".

    Miller bought General's Azuza brewery in the mid-60s, eventually expanding it to over 2m bbl capacity (closing it in 1980, after building a new brewery in nearby Irwindale).
    rails likes this.
  18. fearfactory

    fearfactory Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2012 Massachusetts

    Agreed, it's not a shortage issue here, it's freshness. But still good news!
  19. 1ale_man

    1ale_man Initiate (182) Apr 25, 2015 Texas

    Hey! They should've come here to my hometown. We still have a defunct brewery still standing. A little remodeling, and plenty water! I'd be happy!
  20. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (525) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Logistics win.
    russpowell likes this.
  21. Boca-X

    Boca-X Zealot (529) Jan 21, 2014 Missouri

    Yes! and the amount of water to make 1 pound of avocado...74 gallons.

    At least with beer nearly all the water used is in the final product to be used for consumption.
  22. sjverla

    sjverla Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    I'm not going to debate the quality of Lagunitas' beer - they're outstanding. The thing I'm skeptical about is their (lack) of variety, at least in distribution. They've got one stout, a hoppy pilsner, and an 'alt' in regular rotation. Just about everything else is somewhere in the IPA range. I think if they're going to have such a huge amount of capacity, it'd be smart to expand the portfolio some.
  23. DogTown

    DogTown Initiate (0) May 17, 2006 California

    Greetings BA'rs.... Lagunitas here. I hope I'm not going to bum anyone out, but here goes...

    First, the reason for the Azusa Brewery is because Petaluma has run out of expansion room. We just plunked down the last ten sevenhndredandfiftyfuking-barrel fermenters that the site can manage a couple weeks ago. Like all CA brewers, we are growing in CA and the PacNW too. Chicago is perking along at about 50% capacity and growing, but I don't want to be stupid and diesel beer back west from there. It's inefficient and it's irresponsible. In any case, the eastern part of the U.S. is growing like crazy too, not just for us, for all, so I don't want to make plans that sap LagunitasChicago's potential either. But there's an even bigger element too, and it applies to the Azusa thinking as well, and I'll get to that in a minute.

    The post above suggests that we increase our portfolio before we add capacity. That's kind'a funny, actually. Which is the chicken and which is the egg? No capacity, no one-offs. We do make a lot of interesting one-offs, they are not the largest part of our business, if they were they wouldn't be very unique, would they? 835k barrels of one-off? There aren't quite enough of you to quaff all of that.

    You all love the part of Craft that is fascinating, unique and unobtainable. So do I, but I also like the business of it all and that part of it is on fire, it is for all craft brewers. You all lit the fire and now soccer moms in Cedar Falls Iowa have found craft beer too. You'd be surprised how much beer they drink! My point is; in the human debate over whether or not better beer should be made and loved and consumed, you have won! But sometimes winning is not as much fun as competing, but that's another conversation, isn't it?

    Pundits cheering from the sidelines say Craft will someday be a 20 share of all of beer in the US. That's 40 million barrels. I think they're wrong and I think it because of what is happening to us, an insider's view. I think it'll be a 60 share. That's 120 million barrels. More than even just that, I think the things you and we have birthed here are already going global. There are over 500 craft breweries in the UK alone now. Hundreds and hundreds more open or opening all over the world. I want to present our beers in those distant places alongside those new brewers because they're doing our thing, it's cool and it's exciting for beer lovers, but it is the thing that we do best, so I wanna be there doing it too. Now we're talking about an entire planet. One-hundred-and-twenty-million barrels of U.S. demand considered in a global context quickly becomes 500 million? 700 million? One billion...? I can only guess.

    A bunch of us are already going global, lots of breweries ship to parts of the EU and Sweden and Asia and Australia and Brazil and, and, and...even to the far flung Isles of Langerhans. I'm 55 years old a couple of weeks ago and I'm feeling ambitious. Time is running out. At some point one goes from counting up to counting down. Fifty-five isn't even middle age unless one thinks they'll live to 110, which I don't. This is the best time in the last thousand years to be a beer lover and because of that it's the best time in the last thousand years to be a brewer too. The opportunity that was gestated in the U.S .now includes the whole of the habitable human universe: Planet Earth. Wouldn't you be excited to think of your own favorite home-brew recipe being enjoyed by some bugger in Belarus or Lyckklansvandik or CapeTown? It gives me goosebumps and I want more of 'em before they ring the bell.

    I have a big plan that I'm working hard on and it would give anyone goosebumps. Maybe that's the part that will bum some out here. Small is indeed beautiful, but even the most lovely infant wants to grow up and learn to drive so that it can engage with the world. We are, all of us beer lovers on both side of the brewing/consumption equation, standing at the edge of a revolution.

    Has anyone on this board ever thought about how it is that no US craft brewer sells drop one in Mexico? I've thought about that. A lot. I believe that we will sell Lagunitas in Mexico. I'll need a brewery to brew that beer, and Petaluma has about 18 to 24 months before current situation exhausts it's bandwidth, and I still wanna let Jeremy and his crew make one-offs!

    Some serious-minded beer lovers and some brewers have a legitimate idea that growing in a modest way is the 'correct' way. But that is pious thinking if it excludes other approaches to salvation. Small is great and big, if done thoughtfully and without compromise, is beautiful too. Ask any architect. Personally, I like to think of business in the way a pilot thinks about flying. You have only two friends inside the sky: speed and altitude. If you have one or the other you have options. If you have both you are blessed and you are safe. For my sake and the sake of the people who have promised their careers to me I want to keep it high and fast. If you begin to taste thoughtlessness or compromise in my beer then you should judge my thinking. In the meantime I'll try not to let you down.

    The water situation is another thing....

    We spent four or five months talking to the thinkers behind the state's water strategy, and to our surprise, it actually has one. We learned things we didn't expect, and one thing we learned is that tiny Azusa is pretty special. The Miller plant (the former Lucky Brewery) is there for a reason and we will be too. By the way, the City Manager told me that in the 80's the town of Irwindale somehow annexed the tract that the Miller Brewery sits on (probably a tax issue) and Azusa lost it to their neighbor. The brewery didn't move, the assessment district did. In any case there is sufficient H2O in CA to build another brewery, even a bigger one, and I suspect ours won't be the last.

    I hope you read this with a generous spirit and see the things that are happening in Craft from the perspective of a parent watching their young'n riding without training wheels. You all, operating from the demand side, have actually succeeded in bringing better beer to the whole world. Me and all the other forward-looking brewers want to live up to our end of the deal...

    And I promise we'll make more one-offs and keep it fun for both of us....

    Chairs, BA'rs....
  24. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Defender (621) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    Chairs indeed, Tony, you crazy SOB.
    MrDave, funhog and CO-Bloom like this.
  25. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (8,780) May 24, 2005 Arkansas

    Never saw the Mexico angle, interesting...
  26. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,987) Oct 14, 2009 Texas

    This was... Beautiful.

    Lagunitas in Mexico? I love it. There's enough of us (Raza) drinking it here!

    @DogTown: I've always felt like you could give the beer away and still turn a profit. Part of that is from the magic that is the Petaluma brewery tours I've been on. I want to say annually, but more like every other year since moving to the bay area a decade ago. "Meteoric growth" comes to mind, but I don't think that cuts it.

    Trendy branding? Fancy advertising? Forget it. That's where the B(MC)ig boys got it wrong and craft is getting it right. I would love to see sixty percent--and growing. I think most of us here would too. Thank you for this. And on a personal note thanks for the tickets to the Jessica Hernandez show. Can you bring out some conjunto? Maybe Santiago Jimenez, Jr., or the Tex-Maniacs?

    Looking forward to the next decade.

    blastoderm55 likes this.
  27. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Devotee (471) Mar 19, 2012 California

    One of the best posts ever! Thanks for taking the time to share your vision! It provided great insight and details on operating a business, setting a vision, and going for it.

    While I have been drinking Lagunitas for years, it was primarily just your IPA and Hop Stoopid. Last year, I bought a four pack of bombers at a Costco. Loved everyone (Imperial Red, Maximus, Imperial Stout)! I'm on for the ride!

    Sadly, I haven't made it to the Mothership even though I live in the Bay Area. It's on my list for this year...
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,442) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    According to MillerCoors website, their Irwindale brewery at 15801 East First Street opened in 1980. The General/Lucky plant in Azuza, was at 819 N. Vernon Ave - construction began in 1949, Miller bought it in 1966.

    Newspaper stories at the time of the groundbreaking for Irwindale in November, 1977 (part of the site was the former Irwindale Raceway) noted that Miller planned to convert the Azuza plant to a aluminum can or bottle manufacturing plant - possibly the source of some of the confusion? I don't know the geography or municipal borders of the area (though I do recall driving past the Miller brewery in the 1970s when I drove for a downtown LA tool distributor) but it does seem that breweries themselves were different facilities.

    That groundbreaking, by the way, was the first such ceremony attended by the new California governor, Jerry Brown. Whatever happened to that dude, anyway? :wink:
    bozodogbreath and dagimp like this.
  29. kwakwhore

    kwakwhore Zealot (535) Nov 1, 2004 North Carolina

    They need an east coast brewery.
    HattedClassic likes this.
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,409) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    No, just in the brewery the ratio is 2.5 to 10 gallons used for every gallon of beer produced.

    That does not count the raw material water inputs.
    Boca-X and jesskidden like this.
  31. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    It is very difficult to grow almonds or avocados in the Eastern US. It is not so difficult to make beer in the Eastern US.
  32. HattedClassic

    HattedClassic Poo-Bah (2,519) Nov 23, 2009 Virginia

    Challenge accepted.
  33. MisterGone

    MisterGone Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 California

    Is there something happening in Mexico that suggests that the current power structure is losing ground such that American brewers and even local craft brewers (I'm thinking of Tijuana's growing group) will get distribution soon?
  34. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (307) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Go Lagunitas Go.

    As the luster of trying new brews wears off, I see so many people defaulting to Lagunitas because their product is consistent, tasty, and considerably cheaper than inferior brews from newcomers, or similar offerings from other industry leaders.

    I noticed they sent out a ton of Highwestified and it flew off shelves. I can't wait for whatever comes next.
  35. nicholasofcusa

    nicholasofcusa Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I lack the words to express how much I love this. Hell fucking yes! Written as I imbibe a bottle of Sucks, CHEERS!
    dirtyhalos likes this.
  36. Boca-X

    Boca-X Zealot (529) Jan 21, 2014 Missouri

    Nearly? Yes or no...semantics...much less than 74 gallons for 1 avocado?
  37. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,409) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Include the growing of barley and hops, and the water intensive malting process, it is more like 295 gallons/gallon of beer.
  38. TheGaddrow

    TheGaddrow Initiate (85) Dec 24, 2006 Nevada

    Well done.

    Fanboy... and proud as fuck.
  39. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    Of course the barley and hops do not need to be grown in drought afflicted Ca. Not sure if any mating is done there. However I still find the comparison to avocados inapt. Laguna taste could expand in the east. Hard for an avocado farmer to do that.
  40. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

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