Occasionally, being a regular at a bar has perks beyond friendly conversations with other regulars and brutally honest recommendations from the bartenders. The Rose and Crown's July brewery night was with Lagunitas Brewing Company. I wound up sitting next to the brewery representative, Jack, who is a totally cool and laid-back dude. Rachel was busy working the bar, but when I let Jack know that Rachel had never been to Lagunitas, he immediately invited her to an event at the brewery on Tuesday. When he said that she could bring someone with her, she turned to me and asked, "feel like taking the afternoon off?" Tuesday found us (along with Jay, who was also free) heading across the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma.
We met up with Jack in the parking lot, and after he introduced us to everyone around (including Tony Magee, the founder), he escorted us upstairs to the tasting room. It has an interesting design aesthetic.
People came in and out of the room, but we shyly clung to our ales and orange couch. Most everyone seemed to know each other from prior events. Jack kindly pulled us into another group for a tasting of A Little Sumpin' Wild.
Even though the brewery is going through a $9.5 million renovation, Jack was able to finagle a tour. Lagunitas is trying to up their production from 100,000 barrels to 600,000 by 2012. I did not get photos of the "amphitheater," which is currently a mound of dirt next to the beer sanctuary, but I did get some fried pickles.
All in all, it was a fun day, with truly awesome people.