Last month Hali was talking beer. Woody is always talkin’ beer, and last week we were both drinking/drinkin’ beer in downtown Chicago.
When Hali wrote her piece on beer, she asked me what she should title it to differentiate who was doing the writing because typically it’s me. With my best southern drawl, I said, ” How ’bout, Hali Here, Talkin’ Beer”. I guess she just couldn’t hillbilly the title and went with, ” Hali Here, Talking Beer”. So you see the difference.
For those of you paying attention, you may recall me referring to Sierra Nevada Brewing in Asheville, NC, as the Willy Wonka of Wort. I was wrong. Lagunitas Brewing in Chicago takes that yeast filled chocolate cake.
Today we are takin’ you on a tour of Lagunitas Brewing in Chicago. AND like many brewers and their brew recipes, Hali and I will be collaborating on this tour. Hali takes the photos, I take the mic. Actually, Amy has the mic and this is the first brewery tour we’ve taken where the guide uses a microphone. Follow us~~~>
No Golden Ticket required. This is a FREE beer factory tour, a Woody Wonka tour. Hold on to your hats and glasses (of beer)~~~>
Lagunitas started back in 1993 in Petaluma, California, not by Willy Wonka but by a guy just as eccentric, Tony Magee. Tony turned this drab old steel manufacturing factory into ImaginationLand complete with Willy Wonka’s rendition of Pure Imagination leading us down the hall into the TapRoom…
Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you’ll see
Into your imagination…
Over the years Lagunitas has brewed some exceptional craft beers. They have also run into some legal battles regarding their labels and references to marijuana. You’ll see it not only on their funky labels but all over the brewery.
Freakin’ Firkin* Friday tapping special IPA at 4:20
A band sets up every day in the TapRoom at 4:20
Beer speaks. People mumble
They also have a soft spot for dogs. Each large fermentation tank has the name of an employee’s dog who once ran the brewery floor and now rests in the peace of beer heaven.
But it wasn’t until we got home and did a Google search on this brewery to corroborate the stories Amy told us on the tour. Heineken Brewing is 50% owner of Lagunitas, therefore , Lagunitas is no longer considered a craft beer. They don’t tell you that on the tour. Willy Wonka might have but who’s paying attention anyway? Let’s get to the TapRoom.
Did this insignificant detail burst my beer bubble? Not at all. The “craft beer” designation is only significant to the Brewers Association. To me, heck, as long as they brew some of the best “beer” on the planet, and I will be able to find it nearly everywhere in the world, I’m foamin’ at the mouth.
“Keep the craft, drink the beer.”
“Stop talkin’, start drinkin’ “
And that’s Woody Here, Talkin’ Beer.
Thanks Hali for the photos and sharing one of your favorite IPA’s on the planet.
*Firkin~A firkin is a unit of measure and also the size of a particular kind of keg used for cask conditioning.