Lagunitas Brewery, Petaluma California

Lagunitas Brewery isn't just a brewery, it calls itself a beer sanctuary, and if you have the opportunity to visit, do it. 

Lagunitas Brewery Logo
The Petaluma operation is quite the personality filled place in more ways than one.

From the animated guy directing folks to parking to the hostess that greets you, everyone had smiles.  I don't know and I don't care but maybe they had bellies full of beer too?

How could the place not be filled with personality, the owner Tony Magee, sounds like a hoot - he also has a blues based band and another brewery in Chicago.

A brewery AND a band?  Fun must be his middle name.

We were spending a perfect weather day in Petaluma, Googling the sights to see, then hitting the quaint little shops downtown, when we found the beer sanctuary.  The last tour was at 5:00 so we headed over with an hour to spare.

I felt like I was everyone's mom when we arrived.  Pretty much every soul in the bar area and listening to the band were young hip Californians.

I used to be a young hip Californian but that was six kids and 2000 miles ago.

Actually, the band was probably my age, which explains why I enjoyed listening to them.

The 5:00 tour is not a sampling tour.  That means you get to see the brewery without tasting a drop of the brew.
Lagunitas Brewery Brown Shugga Beer
I don't think it's legal to visit a brewery without having a sample, so to pass time we looked over the styles and bought one to try that sounded best based on it's name..... Brown Shugga, billed as dangerously slammable.

Half the fun of craft beers has to be naming them.  That's the job I want - to be a professional product namer.

 Their beer is served in custom mason jars and Papa Bear drank his alllll gone.

Lagunitas Brewery Tours,

We wandered over to the tour area before the 5:00 line formed.  The place was hopping so we expected the line to get long.

We were fortunate that as we stood there we could listen to a local group, The Harvest Band , who was cranking out tunes from Motown to ZZ Top.

I thought they were pretty darn good.  If I would of had more than a taste of the Brown Shugga I might of been grooving to the beat.

Food can be ordered with your beverages, and I noticed more than a few plates of nachos or huge sandwiches walked past me.

Lagunitas Brewery Tours,

Hey, there's a dog in the photo above!  I didn't see him till I loaded this picture for the post.

Based on the sign below, dogs are welcome at the beer sanctuary too, but don't let your kids wander alone if the circus is in town.

Lagunitas Brewery Tours,

Maybe now is a good time to mention that the line we were in ..... well we were the only ones in it.

I guess most people want to take the sampling tours, not the no-beer-middle of the week-five o'clock tour.

The fact we were alone in line made us wonder if we got the info wrong, but it was Thursday and it was 5:00 and that was what the info on the sign I was standing next too read, so we were patient, anticipating perhaps a personal tour. 

And that's exactly what we got, even if we never set foot in the brewery itself.

Lagunitas Brewery Tours,

The best redhead in the world, or at least at the brewery, Carolyn if I recall her name right, told us she was taking us up to the loft, the employee lounge where we could sample the beers and she would tell us the story of the Lagunitas Brewery.

Whaaaaattttt, we're getting samples after all?!?!?  Score for the old parents!

I don't know how long the brewery tour is suppose to be but we spent a couple hours in the employee lounge, swagging, chortling, listening to stories and asking beer questions.

Remember I told you the other day when I'm interested in something I get fixated on finding out all about it?  I probably drove her crazy like the man that used to be at the lighthouse, and like him, she won't be there next time we go.

I think Carolyn said she was one of the events coordinators for the place, and I'll tell 'ya, she did her homework because she knew every question I threw at her.  Not only was she a sweetheart to treat us so good, she was a wealth of information.    

We sort of hated to leave all that personal attention that was being showered on us, heck I still couldn't say the brewery name correctly upon departure, which had nothing to do with those beer samples she was giving us.

Carolyn was an excellent representative for the brewery with superb customer service skills - qualities I don't always see at businesses, so she sure stands out.

She walked us down to the swag shop and had us each pick out a complimentary t-shirt with a strong suggestion that one of them be the t-shirt with the proper pronunciation.

Lagunitas Brewery T Shirt,

Guess I'm not the only visitor who has trouble saying it.

The time we spent at the Lagunitas Brewery was memorable, and I'll be looking for their brand beer in Minnesota, even if there is a brewery on one side of the family.

And before I forget....... Tony Magee give that girl a raise!

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  1. Looks like you had fun...even if you were older than most. It's a really strange feeling, isn't it? We used to be the young hip, that went by so fast! We'll be the hip older crowd now, so don't you forget it. ;) Not the older crowd with the hip issues. Oops, we fit in there, too!

  2. I don't like beer. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES beer! He is very picky about what he drinks too. He likes to try new beers as well. I'm sure he would've loved that place.

  3. Sounds like you had a great time. I just cannot drink beer. I can't get past the smell of We have lots of breweries here in is the alcoholic capital of the nation...and THAT is certainly something to be proud of.

    Hope the redhead reads your review. xo Diana

  4. Oh man! you hit the mother-load! What a fun time, you lucky dog! Is it my imagination or is that shirt just a little obscene?

  5. Sounds like you got the best tour of all...and Carolyn sounds awesome! How fun!

  6. I live in Sonoma County and we go there all the time. It's just a great place to spend the afternoon. They also have great food.

  7. LOL I love your travel posts. I love to get educated AND entertained, Bliss style! Sounds like a cool place!

  8. A band AND a brewery? That's A#1 cool in my book :P Meeting the people who are part of the scene on your travels makes it all that much more fun! If I'm ever in the area, I will check this place out, thanks Bliss.


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