Lagunitas Brewing Co. To Open Chicago Plant

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Soon this Lagunitas Zephyr will be able to take the Blue Line to Big Star.

The next time someone like a spouse gives you guff about all the beer you drink, just tell them you're creating jobs on the south side. Because that's basically what just happened with Lagunitas Brewing Company, the northern California-based brewer which is widely popular in bars with serious craft brewing lists in Chicago. Per Chicagoist, as Lagunitas owner Tony Magee tweeted it last night, he looked at what it cost to ship all that beer we were drinking from California to the midwest and realized that it would basically pay for a plant in Chicago. He found a space in the former Ryerson steel mill at 18th and Rockwell (these days mainly home to a movie and television soundstage) and plans to install a 250-barrel system by a German company called Rolec, which makes industrial brewery-in-a-box systems for brewers including Stone Brewing, Magic Hat, Brooklyn and others. (Follow the link if you want to beer-geek out.) At the moment the plan is to have it built by July 2013 with the first brewing happening late in the year. The Tweet-text of Magee's announcement follows below.

Back in Feb, I thought about all the truck loads of brew leaving eastward. Thought about all the freight. Added it up. It was enough to...

...cover the financing for a whole new brewery. A whole new brewery. A WHOLE 'nother brewery. So I jumped a plane n flew back to Chicago...

...found a perfect space on a movie soundstage complex so I rented it. Called ROLEC and they'll have a 250bbl brewhouse ready next July...

1st mash-in will b Q4 2013.Freakin cool, this.Lots and lotsa work ahead.Google it- 18th&Rockwell;, Chicago.Fresher beer w/ less diesel in it.

We're gonna make a little bit o' NorCal right there in the City of Chicago. You 6,380 follower folk are the first to hear it! Cheers all!

It's also true that since I was born&raised; in Chicago, Lag itself is a little bit 'o Chicago right here in NorCal. Life is strange, huh...?