Nestled in the small town of Petaluma, CA, Lagunitas Brewing Company is known for their killer craft beers. Arguably one of the most widespread brands that got its start here in wine country, Lagunitas can be found in stores across the country and the world. Their tap room and restaurant in Petaluma frequently hosts live music during the warmer months on their outdoor patio.
If you've never been on a tasting tour at Lagunitas, I would say this should be your first stop. With tours of the brewery 7 days a week, it is a great way to familiarize yourself with their different beers, and will probably help you narrow down what to order when you sit down in their tap room for a bite.
The tour begins in what used to be the old taproom at Lagunitas. With shelves full of old beer cans, and walls full of memorabilia collected over the years, the space is full of character. After you find a seat, the Lagunitas team starts passing out samples of 4 different beers.
As you drink your way through the 4 flavors, the tour guides tell rousing stories about how each beer got its name, and how it came to be in your glass at Lagunitas. Although I had previously had some of these beers, it was great fun tasting them side by side, learning about the nuances and subtleties of each.
Once everyone has finished their samplers, the tour transitions to the walking portion, where you learn about the brewing process, how the beer is made, and get to walk through some of the brewery facilities. I'll spare you the gory details but it is definitely more complicated than one might think and if you are a craft beer buff you definitely won't want to miss this.
One of our team favorites from the tasting tour was Lagunitas world famous IPA, but the most interesting beer that we enjoyed was their limited release Dark Swan Sour Ale, which is brewed with dark red wine grapes.
Lagunitas has the perfect relaxed atmosphere for a summer afternoon beer and a burger. Every member of their team is an expert beer-drinker, and can recommend a beer to even the pickiest of palates. Check out their calendar of events here and make sure to stop in before the summer is over!