Lagunitas’ brewery and taproom in Seattle will close, permanently, early next month. The brewer is local, the vast majority of the beers served there are local, and the people who work there are local. And yes, I am aware that California-based Lagunitas is owned by Heineken. I learned today from the General Manager of the Seattle location that it will close effective January 8th.
I was there just a couple weeks ago, mid-afternoon on a Saturday, and the place was packed. The beers and the food were tasty. (They recently introduced a new food program.) Dan Schmelzer, the head brewer at the Lagunitas brewery in Seattle, recently earned a medal at the Washington Beer Awards for one of his barrel-aged beers. They had a huge selection of beers on tap. I think all but one of them were brewed in Seattle.
Everything seemed to be chugging along just fine at Lagunitas. Better than fine, actually. That’s why I was shocked to learn that it was closing. I was told that Lagunitas will close its Seattle outpost in order to lend more focus to its locations in Petaluma and Chicago as it moves forward.
The weekend of January 6th through 8th, Lagunitas will have some great live music, along with food and drink specials. On top of that, lots of freebies and swag to give away. The closing weekend crescendos with a show by the Dusty 45s, a Seattle-based Americana outfit that takes its cues from rock, rhythm and blues, and honky-tonk.
I suppose the fact that the Seattle location operated with a great deal of autonomy was both a blessing and a curse. It made for some great, locally brewed beer, but it also was probably easy for the company to forget. Also, perhaps having an outpost in Seattle was a luxury it can no longer afford, times being what they are. Keep an eye on Lagunita’s social media channels for more details as the closing approaches.