Clearly Lagunitas was going to have a very large operation upon expanding into Chicago, but I didnít expect something of this size. Itís just absolutely massive. After entering thereís a long walk through some pretty psychedelic hallways with a view of the bottling line and lab. Upstairs is a cool schwag shop and the tasting room. They have a kitchen and the nachos are pretty, pretty good I must say. Basically all of the core lineup of beers was available with a few of the seasonals. I wasnít expecting anything super limited like taproom only stuff, just based on the sheer size of the brewery. The staff was incredibly accommodating. Per usual Lagunitas, the value was quite good.
One of my favorite chicago stops. Food is kickass, beer is great as always(including the occasional brew I havenít seen before), and the waitstaff is on their game. If I was a local, this could be my neighborhood bar.
This is a really cool spot worth checking out for every reason, except the beer.
Driving up the sheer size of the place is staggering. You start awe struck. The entrance is really cool. There is a long hallway that is lit in blue neon lights playing Willy Wonka music with strobe lights. This is about 100 feet long, you feel like youíre in a cool bowling alley. There are a couple private tasting room that look like awesome places to hang out. The taproom is huge, with tons of space. The service is unreal, people are friendly, talkative and prompt. Food and empty glasses were gone in seconds of being used. The coolest thing about this place is the catwalks. You basically are sitting above the production floor and can see everything that is going on from filling kegs, to bottles being whisked by, to the conveyor belt of hundreds of cases of beer going by. The story tells itself. Its informative, and serene.
The selection of beer sucks. Its basically their year rounds with a couple seasonals. This isnít a taproom but more of a commercial for their beer.
The food looked great.
Iíd come back to eat or maybe for a private event. There is no reason to come here for the beer. Wish it was more of a brewpub like in Petaluma where they had a bunch of one off beers.
Is located right in the middle of the brewery. Tour was much better than I expected instead of "this is how we make beer" it was more about the history of Lagunitas, the history of the facility, and the future plans for the facility, so even if youíve been on a ton of beer tours, go on this one, they wonít waste 10 minutes explaining what a mash tun is or what yeast does. Taproom is a cool location with long picnic tables and a big bar, overlooking the production facility. They are no longer serving their beer in mason jars and have switched to somewhat proper vessels. Food was all pretty good. We went with a large group and it was a lot of fun. Only thing I would add is more rare beers and/or guest taps.
If youíre a hophead and / or love Lagunitas beers, you have to go here. Itís really easy to get to from the pink line of the L. Just a short walk from the station. I thought at first I was in the wrong place, as all I saw when I walked in was a long corridor in a huge warehouse. You just have to follow the winding halls and signs to get upstairs to the pub. Along the way is a tribute to Willy Wonka, with "Pure Imagination" playing, disco balls and lasers hypnotizing you. It was a really cool way to get you across the production brewery area and upstairs to the pub. Once up there, you are greeted with Lagunitasí best beers. On draft the night my wife and I were there was A Little Sumpin Sumpin, The Hairy Eyeball, Sucks, Brown Shugga, IPA, you name it! The food was really outstanding, too. I had a Cuban sandwich and my wife had a special pulled pork sandwich. The German-style pretzel was also really good. Donít forget to stop by the gift shop on the way too. Lots of cool stuff in there. Iíll definitely be headed back here if / when Iím headed to Chicago again!
This place is in the actual brewery--like right in the center of it--which is in a kind of out of the way area on the west side of Chicago. I could not recommend it to visitors looking to rack up ticks but otherwise it is a pretty cool place to visit. Despite itís out of the way location, it is really popular and is a pretty "normal" Chicago crowd rather than some sort of beer nerd convention, which is fine by me but is the direct result of the fact that you are just not going to find some huge selection of unusual Lagunitas beers here. There is basically the stuff you can get in any decent liquor store plus one of two specialty beers on draft. What makes it worth going to is the fun, beer-garden in the middle of a huge production brewery atmosphere and also the fact that a lot of people seem to bring their parents here so thereís lots of old folks staggering around drunk. You can do tours but I didnít since brewery tours are universally boring. There is kind of a cursory menu of drunchies that works well enough but is definitely an afterthough. Prices are reasonable--$5 sixteen ounce drafts even for stuff like Hop Stoopid--which I think had something to do w/ all the drunk old people. You can get your beers in a plastic cup and walk around the premises. It is not as cool as Three Floyds back in the day when you could just walk right up to the fermenters and bang on them w/ drumstick if you wanted (note: this was discouraged) but still pretty nifty. This is a pretty quick bike ride for me so I will definitely be back. If your time in the city is limited, you will probably run into the beers here at a dozen different other bars so, you know, only go if you just really, really want to see a large craft brewery.