Most people know that Northern California is blessed with an abundance of rich vineyards and wineries, but most travelers are not fully aware of the beer selection that Northern California provides. There are many taprooms to visit and breweries to tour across the state, but Lagunitas Brewing Company provides one of the best brewery tours of the region!
The tour is complete with stories from their rocky start, including The Valentine’s Day Massacre: the origins of their Undercover Ale and why an undercover cop attempted to shut them down.
The hip beer of choiceLagunitas beer has become a staple of American hipster beer drinkers throughout the U.S. But its popularity is due to more than just its hip, iconic identity. Their beer is actually good! They offer a variety that will please just about anyone’s palate. From dry and hoppy, to smooth and chocolatey, you will not be let down! If you become a fan of their classic IPA or need a little Czeh-style Pilsner in your life, you are in luck; Laguitas can be found on taps and in stores across the country!
Most entertaining brewery tour awardThe brewery has a short, but entertaining history. It was founded in 1993 in the town of Lagunitas, CA. Quickly after outgrowing its original location, the team moved to Petaluma, CA, which is located about an hour north of San Francisco.
Early on in their ventures, the staff and their operations became notorious for their weekly block parties. The company went under several discrepancies with the law, but as neighbors and fans celebrated them, they continued their craft with much fervor. The company cleverly fought back through designing secret messages to law enforcement into their beer labels. You will have to join one of the weekly in order to get all the juicy details!
Visitors that are 21 years and above (with a valid driver’s license or passport) can schedule a free taproom and brewery tour. The tour can take about an hour, but guests are welcome to step away at anytime they please.
Tours are offered every day of the week. Monday through Friday. Guests can enjoy tasting tours in which each person is served a featured beer of the day while walking through the brewery. You can also enjoy free music from Wednesday through Sunday at the taproom. Check out their website (as listed below) for the exact times and band schedules.
More than just beerFollowing your tour, you may want to head over to the dog-friendly taproom and grab a picnic table, a food menu, and an “Around the World” flight of beer. The menu is vegetarian friendly, featuring hummus plates, salads, and even veggie burgers. But do not fret, meat lovers, you can also enjoy smoked pork nachos, wings, and a selection of toasty sandwiches. Food plates will run from anywhere from 5 USD to 11.75 USD, and the beer flight contains 16 4-oz. beers for just 21 USD!
Servers are well educated on the beer selection. They will be able to explain each beer’s uniqueness and hopefully find the one that suits your taste buds. Service may be a little slow on the weekends or during a busy sunny day. If you have a larger party, I recommend you visit earlier in the week to make sure you’re able to find seating.
Don’t forget your schwag!
After lunch, head on over the “Schwag” shop. In the shop, they sell everything from Lagunitas dog collars, to headphones, to Frisbees. (Did you know that 4 and a half 12-oz. beers fit into a standard size Frisbee?!)
If you ever find yourself in the Northern California region, the Lagunitas walking tour is a must do. If you are searching for a local tour guide who is passionate for their craft and has a great sense of humor, a low-key atmosphere, great food, and even better beer, this is the trip for you!
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