Lagunitas Closes Chicago Taproom to Move Brewing Operations Back to California

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Lagunitas Brewing Company is closing its Chicago taproom and relocating its brewing operations back to its original California brewery. The company will maintain its warehouse next to the Douglass Park brewery, according to a news release.

The announcement comes a little more than a year after Lagunitas reopened its North Lawndale taproom which was closed for three years due to the pandemic. The brewery opened its Chicago facility, 1843 W. Washtenaw, in 2014. Lagunitas was founded in California in 1993. The closure impacts 86 workers, according to the brewery, and some will move west to work at the Petaluma, California facility.

Rows of picnic tables inside Lagunitas Chicago Taproom and Brewery.
Lagunitas served food when it first opened in 2014.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago
An industrial bottling facility inside Lagunitas Chicago Taproom and Brewery.
They’re moving operations back to California.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

“Chicago remains a priority market for Lagunitas, and the company will continue servicing the many partner bars, restaurants, and stores in and around Chicagoland with its fresh and high-quality hop-forward IPAs and other brews,” according to a news release.

The taproom was once a destination for beer lovers, as beers like A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ were popular in Chicago’s bars. The Chicago brewing facility presented a gateway to the Midwest and East Coast, as Lagunitas pursued expansion. In September 2015, Heineken’s parent company bought a 50-percent stake in Lagunitas. Two years later, the multinational company purchased the remaining 50 percent.

When the taproom reopened in 2023, it did so without food. The news release singles out needing to “future-proof” the company and “to allow for a more efficient and flexible supply chain, with a greater focus on innovation and the acceleration of more sustainable brewing practices.” Simply put, craft breweries have struggled in recent months with several closures.

Lagunitas Brewing Company

2607 W 17th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (773) 522-1308 Visit Website

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