.Big Petaluma Homecoming for Lagunitas

Petaluma’s most iconic local beer brand, Lagunitas, is coming home! Not that it ever left. It’s just that now it will be exclusively based in Petaluma, where the whole movement started. The brewing company’s original location on McDowell Boulevard, which opened in the early ’90s, has continued to serve as its main taphouse and HQ, even as Lagunitas has tried branching out and opening other taprooms in Seattle and Chicago over the past decade. But they reportedly shut down the Seattle outpost last year — and now, come August, they’re shutting down the one in Chicago, too. From the Press Democrat: “The closing of Lagunitas’ Chicago location was fueled by a need to ‘future proof the organization’ as changing tides continue to impact the craft beverage industry. The company said the transition will ‘allow for a more efficient and flexible supply chain, with a greater focus on innovation and the acceleration of more sustainable brewing practices.'” There’s a downsizing aspect at play, it seems — but on the upside, maybe more growth at the local level. Lagunitas reps also tell reporters that “some of the 86 employees to be laid off will transfer to Petaluma or take on remote roles,” so we could start seeing some new Chicago beer heads wandering around town this summer. And that reminds me: Lagunitas’ popular summer music series is right around the corner. It kicks off on June 17 with a show by an L.A. rock band called the Allah-Lahs, in what the brewery affectionately calls its “mini amphitheaterette.” Other names on this year’s lineup include the Robert Randolph Band, the Mexican Institute of Sound, the Ibibio Sound Machine, Sir Woman and Dengue Fever. Which sound eerily like IPA names, now that I’m writing them out… (Source: Press Democrat & Eater Chicago & Lagunitas)


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