News Lagunitas To Open Brewery In Chicago!?!?!

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Jason, Apr 10, 2012.

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  1. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,192) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Ah, I see it similar to what happened after WWII in the brewing industry, when the breweries were really able to start expanding after Repeal, the Depression and the wartime restrictions. Schlitz, Pabst and A-B all opened or bought breweries in the Northeast (NJ-NYC metro area) where the main population market was (obviously more so then than now). The Northeastern-based breweries (Ballantine, Rheingold, Schaefer) that made up the other half of the Top Six brewing co.'s did not need to reciprocate because they were already based in the heart of the prime market. A few decades later that came back to bite them as the industry became more and more national.
  2. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,400) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    So in a sense, did the post-Prohibition/WWII growth and entrenchment of these big breweries in the densely populated East pave the way for the growth of more craft breweries in the West, where competition was less fierce? I'm trying to understand if the growth of craft beer over the past 30 years has been more demographic, cultural, or economic - although really I'm sure it's a combination of all three.
  3. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Illinois

    All the fresh Hop Stoopid I can drink? Yes please.
    BarryMFBurton and nrs207 like this.
  4. timseagrave

    timseagrave Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2011 Illinois

    If this really is 250 bbl it will be 5 times bigger than Goose Island Fulton and bigger than GI, FFF, 2 Bros, Half Acre, Metropolitan, Revolution, Haymarket and 5 Rabbit combined.
    sacrelicio likes this.
  5. infi

    infi Devotee (447) Apr 4, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Lagunitas Sucks.
    afrokaze likes this.
  6. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    In CA, you can find their IPA in just about any grocery store, liquor store, and drug store that I can think of.
    I'm not sure how widespread they are in other parts of the country, but I'd imagine their intention is probably similar to what they have going on out here.
    Now if they would only change their recipe of their IPA... one of their worst beers IMO.
  7. fmccormi

    fmccormi Meyvn (1,272) Oct 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Some speculation regarding the Sierra Nevada second location is related to exports, and I think it's worth considering that in Lagunitas' expansion, too. Not sure if Tony Magee has any real intention to ramp up exports, but when you have two brewhouses with a combined potential capacity of somewhere between 1.2-1.5 millions barrels, then I have to imagine that overseas markets are at least somewhere in the equation.

    Either way, I'm psyched. It'd be cool if prices dropped a bit (I know, I'm aware that Lagunitas is already one of the best values out there, but I'm poor man!) and we saw greater diversity of six-packs, that kind of thing. Maybe a barrel program? Who knows. Sky's the limit, apparently.
  8. DogTown

    DogTown Initiate (135) May 17, 2006 California

    The sky is the limit now... not withstanding tjensen3618's feelings, Chicago has been very cool to us... tjensen3618 is not correct though about my intentions... we're easy to find in CA because we've been at it for 19 hard freakin years... In Chicago we are with Windy City Distributing and they are a band of truly soulful craft beer reps all born out of the rugged Two Brothers Brewing... The big 250 barrel brewhouse is because it will be brewing for the whole eastern US, not just Chicago. Close to ports? Well, Chicago is a heck of a lot closer to the EU than Petaluma is!

    But I'm not building there to be huge... we are just bigger now than many midwest brewers, and the history you all touched on earlier is part of the reason why... OR and WA and CA have very different rules for brewing and for distributing than IL and most other states have. In CA a brewery license comes with a pub privilege, it allows you to self-distribute and big brewers are strictly prohibited from giving away lots of free stuff. Those three things alone allow a little brewer to get up and going and meet customers and get the beer delivered and on the tap. Chicago wasn't so free so consumers didn't even get the chance to nurture many breweries. In a lot of ways, all of the beers from out of the area coming in to Chicago are why so many Chicago breweries are now opening up! It is a self-reinforcing thing... I think this is going to be way fun and can't wait to get started...!!
    GHC, pudgym29, stevegoz and 11 others like this.
  9. callmeishmALE

    callmeishmALE Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2010 Colorado

    Definitely excited for this, can't wait to see some Lagunitas in my neck of the woods. I've only tried one, but from that I'm pumped to try more!
  10. leedorham

    leedorham Defender (696) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    You seem kinda excited. ;)
  11. fmccormi

    fmccormi Meyvn (1,272) Oct 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    WestSideAmish likes this.
  12. callmeishmALE

    callmeishmALE Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2010 Colorado

    I guess i could drive to missouri or ohio, but I don't really want to. I'm playin hard to get, waiting for the breweries to come to me.
  13. averagejake872

    averagejake872 Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2011 Illinois

    In regards to the question of will they have a taphouse:,0,4644630.story

    "Magee said he plans to open a tasting room in the center of the new brewery that will be surrounded by tall equipment. They'll likely offer tours and sell typical brewery swag — T-shirts, keychains and the like — but, more importantly, sell the freshest Lagunitas beer Chicago has tasted, most likely in growlers."
  14. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I'm confused about your numbers then...
    The Chicago Tribune reports: "The $15 million to $18 million facility, with an eventual 600,000-barrel capacity is being built as an exact copy of the Petaluma brewery."
    Meaning combined, you'll have an eventual capacity of 1.2 million barrels a year.

    Sierra Nevada Brewery produced 860,000 barrels last year, and from what I understand they most certainly are a beer that you can buy in just about any store in the country that carries beer.

    So, did you intentionally buy more property and brewing system than you ever intended on using, or were the reported numbers I was looking at incorrect?
  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,192) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    And, that's about 10 times the barrelage for Lagunitas for 2011.

    Pretty ambitious - enough capacity to brew 10% of all the craft beer sold last year.
  16. fartmaster

    fartmaster Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2011 California

    they should use this
    yamar68 likes this.
  17. fmccormi

    fmccormi Meyvn (1,272) Oct 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ha, fair enough. I thought the original post said more in your neck of the woods. Regardless, I still love your avatar.
  18. DogTown

    DogTown Initiate (135) May 17, 2006 California

    When you put in a serious piece of brewing equipment, a brewer hopes to use it for more than just a few years... A number that is big today will not really be so big in 10 years... Compound out to ten years the current growth rate for all the craft brew made and you start to get into some large numbers- and then there are tipping points that will, and always do eventually, kick in when the density within the system reaches a certain threshold.

    For instance, in Oregon a full 50% of the beer sold on tap is Craft and the dollar share (I believe) of ALL beer is 40% Craft! San Francisco and Seattle have similar stats. Chicago will surely look like that in the near future if your enthusiasm continues the way it is going!

    Does this brewhouse and our total capacity still seem so ambitious to you or does it seem like we might be building towards the likely future? It is funny that while we all hear so much about craft brewers being out of capacity and overwhelmed and having to pull out of markets and when we hear about brewers unable to fill orders it is a negative thing, but when we step out in front of ourselves a bit it is seen as ambitious... as over reaching... hubris... The next ten years are going to be fun and I hope you'll have some fun along with us!
  19. KingBiscuit

    KingBiscuit Disciple (373) May 30, 2005 Illinois

    They took note of how much Sucks H.A. I bought late last year/early this year and figured that this well runs deep.

    It doesn't. Unless they bring back Sucks.
    ewright likes this.
  20. bahns

    bahns Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 Illinois

    "Make no little plans" and all that... Welcome back to Chicago.
  21. demgoth

    demgoth Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2011 New York

    I think they should make plenty of Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale there, maybe rename it Lagunitas Windy City Ale or something Chicago-y and make it year round.. and plenty of Imperial Red too.
    libbey likes this.
  22. ravot

    ravot Devotee (422) Mar 20, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    i'm wondering if the movie studio is hurting. i dont see much movement happening. hopefully it's not a bad sign for them. i know transformers 3 had vehicles stored there, pretty sure no filming took place. if they did, very very minimal. by the time transformers 3 was being filmed in chicago, the studio had been 'bought' from ryerson and me driving by there everyday, i never saw remodeling. up until the filming. then i saw a lot of action during playboy filming. currently right now, that facility is still movie studio space and it's huge. there are currently movie production vehicles and supplies.

    there's even a 'park', more of a huge yard where i take my dog to run around and play. it's gated and the gate entrance doesn't have a lock. i don't think it's private property either. not the greatest of neighborhoods, but not terrible. this only means it gets better.

    once again, bragging on how i pass through there as a shortcut to get to my house, i promise to post pics of any action going on.

    pretty awesome stuff.
  23. leprakhan

    leprakhan Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    That makes alot of sense now as to why east coast/midwest brews never make it west yet west coast distro is pretty abroad
  24. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    I'd think the Emanuel administration would be unlikely to grant much in the way of tax incentives for new productions compared to the Daley administration. Especially given the current state of Illinois gov't budgets.

    I was curious about the neighborhood and crime. Based on this page (page) it's somewhere in the middle of neighborhood crime rates, placing the location on the border of the near west side and lower west side. Disclaimer: I can't vouch for the reliability of that page (which is a year and a half outdated) and I'm a suburban guy who has limited/no personal experience with the area.

    Josh Noel of the Trib is reporting via twitter that the deal is not final yet; no lease has been signed. So I'm kind of puzzled as to why this would be made public before it's come to fruition. He for one seems convinced that it's going to happen.
  25. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    Here's the updated article. "Though a lease is not signed, the parties have crafted a letter of intent, and Alex Pissios, who manages Cinespace, said he is confident the deal will be formalized."

    The journalist who wrote the article says via twitter "I'd be shocked if it falls apart."

    Another Tribune article from Tuesday stated that a 5-year lease had been signed. And the original tweets say "found a perfect space on a movie soundstage complex so I rented it."
  26. BarryMFBurton

    BarryMFBurton Savant (998) Mar 28, 2011 Indiana

    AWESOME. Anybody know when/where they'll be ramping up distribution? I'd love to see some in Indiana.
  27. ravot

    ravot Devotee (422) Mar 20, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    nice finds foobula.
  28. nicholasofcusa

    nicholasofcusa Aspirant (223) Jan 14, 2006 Pennsylvania

    This development really excites me. Not so much because of the increased availability of Lagunitas per se, which to be honest has underwhelmed everytime I 've had one, with the lone exception being their IPA on tap at Kern River Brewing two weeks ago, at $2/pint no less. (Offering another brewery's beer as your special - odd.)

    Since it tasted significantly better in California than Pennsylvania maybe it is a freshness issue, and the new brewery will obviously help with that. Don't mean to hate, just an honest opinion.

    With that said I totally dig the ethos...mentioning how the CIA funded Manuel Noriega on a six pack holder(!) elicits nothing but respect from me.

    I am excited because of the forward looking attitude evidenced by the move and Dogtown's (Tony Magee?) replies in this thread. Can't wait for the day when the ubiquity of craft beer buries BMC.

    I think I might even buy a sixer of Imperial Red tonight in honor of this news. I'm all for second (and third, and fourth) chances. Seriously, fuck yes.
  29. Hatzilla

    Hatzilla Aspirant (276) Jul 25, 2008 California

    Yes, I am very excited about this, even though I live an hour from Petaluma! Go Lagunitas! How long before they build a third brewery, and where will that one be?? I am happy to support these cats!
  30. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader


    Founder's distribution network. Looks like they did their research!
  31. Lifeofbrian

    Lifeofbrian Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    It is going to be interesting to see if Lagunitas decides to change their 6pk and 22oz packaging.
  32. ravot

    ravot Devotee (422) Mar 20, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    ^^^ that would be cool.
  33. rhoadsrage

    rhoadsrage Poo-Bah (3,695) Jun 23, 2004 Illinois

    I have read some rumors about who the head brewer will be and if it's true this could go from great news to epic news.
  34. Lifeofbrian

    Lifeofbrian Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    Todd from Surly? Kidding, just kidding.
  35. MSmooth

    MSmooth Initiate (128) Sep 28, 2006 Colorado

    I love this idea - more fresh Maximus for my mouthimus.

    I'm wondering how the costs are going to play out. A bottling line that supports a 700k bbl brewery would probably come in around $10 million. New tanks, 'cause nobody is selling that much tank capacity used, another $8 million. There's the $18 million spent, right there. There's still brewhouse, malt handling, CIP, utilities, building infastructiure, warehousing, etc.

    I hope they can pull it off - it'll be magical.
  36. Giovacchini

    Giovacchini Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 California

  37. fields336

    fields336 Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2008 Virginia

    Now we just need to add that dark red, wang-looking state from the other map and it will be perfect! ;)
  38. Star80

    Star80 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2005 Illinois

    I agree with those that say to do it here in Chicago would be quite a feat. Al Capone's old hometown is a hard market to distribute into let alone begin production. It's another reason why 3F's is in Indiana, not here. Not sure of the current state of things but I also recall Larry Bell talking about Chicago's/Illinois crazy distribution laws that harken back to the old gangster days.

    EDIT: Just reread more of the thread sounds like it is well underway. Honestly never been a huge fan of Lagunitas mainly because I think I end up grabbing an old stale six pack. Be glad to be able to get of this beer freshly brewed locally and hats off to guys like Two Brothers for paving the way..and please date code your beers if you're not already!
  39. TheFlern

    TheFlern Initiate (0) May 9, 2009 Idaho

    How on earth could this possibly happen? Are you expecting some sort of shift back to BMC?
  40. Sunhunters

    Sunhunters Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2008 California

    This is very exciting! (MORE BROWN SHUGGA!)
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