By Thomas Pankratz
The Lagunitas Brewing Company began on a kitchen stove in Northern California in 1993 and has been crafting hop-forward beers ever since. With his humble beginnings with a 5 gal home brew kit and a passion for delicious beer, Tony Mcgee started a little project that turned into Lagunitas Brewing. Tony started to brew beer that would stand out in a bay area in the 90s where pale ales were king. He needed a beer that would stand out even if it would take America a while to acquire the palate for IPAs. His beer stood out and began to have a cult following. Hop heads started requesting his beer at the local watering hole. He was on to something. He had a hunch IPAs were going to be the next big thing. He was right.
Tony quickly outgrew his spot in Forest Knolls CA and moved to Petaluma in 1995. After a few years, in 2005 he needed even more space, so he threw a party and told everyone that showed up to grab whatever wasn’t bolted to the ground and walk it across Mcdowell St. to where they still brew today!
Between 2005 and 2009 people were drinking more IPA than ever as they expanded from state to state. Their brand new 80-barrel Rolec Brew House started brewing up a wholly original little thing under the sun called A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale, which is my personal favorite beer from Lagunitas. Light and refreshing, great for any occasion especially on a hot day!
In 2014, as a native Chicagoan, Tony was looking for a way to return home. With some help from local legend Nick Mirkopolous, he found their second home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, Lagunitas Chicago was born and since then they cut the tape at a Lagunitas Seattle in Ballad.
In 2015, Lagunitas partnered with Heineken to start bringing their brand of hop-forward IPAs to the world, firing up brewery operations in the UK, Amsterdam, Brazil, and more plans supply the world their beers wherever you are.
Even with all this going on Lagunitas was able to produce a labor of love – NA beer in 2020. Joining the 2018 release of Hoppy Refresher, Lagunitas IP”N”A is a brewer-led non-alcoholic beer utilizing all their hops chops and over a year of R&D. The result, this non-alcoholic IPA uses the same ingredients found in our highly balanced IPA’s and the same deliciousness but brewed without the ceremonial fez.
Lagunitas has been doing this IPA thing for almost three decades and are always a solid choice if you are looking for a well balanced drinkable beer. Always a crowd pleaser and one of my personal favorites. So have a glass today! Cheers!
This is their unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last centuries of Great Ships. This IPA has loads of “C” hops balanced on a bed of fine English Crystal, Caramel and Munich Malts. Designed to pair well with food and pretty much everything else! Up front hops finished with a strong malt backbone makes this a delicious and yet not overpowering IPA. Delicious! ABV 6.2%, IBUs 51.
There is a tide in the affairs of big, “Double” IPAs which posits that a flood of hops leads to a fortune in liquid. In their 25+ years of brewing big IPAs the have learned this to be mostly true, with one big caveat: balance is everything. They believe Maximus to exactly that. Maximus Colossal IPA is a hoppy balance of spice, floral and berry notes from the massive dry-hop mash bill on a bed of smooth malted wheat, biscuity Munich Malt, and English Crystal for a burnt-sugar snap. ABV 9%, IBUs 60
A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin IPA is 50% wheat, 50% malted Barley, and 100% delicious hoppiness. Hints of bubblegum, pineapple, light cedar & pine. Tons of Tropical fruitiness with none of he fruit. Nice light and refreshing, great for a day out on the pond or a day at the beach. ABV 7.5%, IBUs 52
This Non-Alcoholic IPA uses the same ingredients found in their highly-balanced IPA and thus the same deliciousness, but brewed without the ceremonial fez and ancient incantations that normally take it over the edge. Leaving it just less than .5% alcohol. IPNA is pure NA satisfaction. A brewer-leda labor of love utilizing all of our hops chops and over a year of R&D. Massively dry-hopped and delicious…like a clean zesty bunch of hops smacking you in the face…in a good way 😊 ABV 0.5%, IBUs 28
For more info on Lagunitas Brewing, visit: lagunitas.com