Founded in 1993 by Tony Magee, Lagunitas Brewing Company started in its namesake city in California but quickly outgrew its rural location and moved to Petaluma. Currently rated as the fifth top-selling craft beer brewery in North America, Lagunitas is also known for its irreverent beer names and the stories that go along with them. On Friday, May 1, 2015, Publix Aprons Cooking School hosts the storied brewery for a beer dinner that pairs the iconic brews with delicious dishes.
For its first decade of life, Lagunitas was a sleepy producer of regional craft beer, little known outside of its local area. But, by the mid-2000s, the California brewery had begun to branch out to become one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States. Output rose from 27,ooo barrels in 2004 to an astounding 106,000 in 2010. As demand rose, Magee began to look towards expansion again. So, in April of 2012, he announced that his brewery would build a brewery in Chicago with a capacity of 600,000 barrels annually. Just two years later, the brewery began production.
A penchant for sarcasm led Magee to name many of his beers irreverently, perhaps most noteworthy is Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. On what is now known in California beer culture as the 2005 St Patrick’s Day Massacre, Lagunitas was targeted and shut down by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The shut-down stemmed from a loose weekly party held every Thursday at 4:20 in the afternoon. The party featured discounted beer, blues and, for some attendees including Lagunitas “Beer Weasel” and marketing director, Ron Lindenbusch. On the fateful day of the massacre, Lindenbusch was arrested by ABC agents who had infiltrated the party in hopes of catching the brewery in illegal activity. They succeeded. The resulting investigation found the brewery guilty of operating a “Disorderly House” and shut them down with a 20-day suspension of their liquor license.
In typical sarcastic fashion, the brewery’s website describes the incident, “We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights.”
At the Publix Lagunitas beer dinner you can expect to hear a few of the stories surrounding the beer names as well as more about the brewery and its scrappy beginnings. You can also expect Chef Tony Charbonette and his cast of entertaining chefs to demonstrate how they create the delightful dishes created for the dinner as they serve them for your enjoyment.
A partial menu for the event includes:
- Lagunitas Pils paired with Steamed Mussel Frites (Beer Steamed Mussels, Fennel Butter and Crispy Fries)
- Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ paired with Kung Pao Style Chicken Wings
- Lagunitas IPA paired with Spicy Caveman Porterhouse Steak and Poblano Pan-Fry
Tickets for the event are available by calling 904-262-4187 and cost $45 each. But, according to a Twitter posting by Chef Tony, if you act quickly, you can take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free offer on tickets.
For more on this blog about Lagunitas read: European Street Taps New Lagunitas Brew