I am terrible…I have all sorts of delicious things to share, but I’ve been so preoccupied with other stuff…work, crappy tv, random holiday 5ks…that I haven’t updated anything!
Shame on me.
I don’t really know where to begin. I suppose as good a post as any can be about my few (quite a few actually) recent visits to the new Lagunitas in Chicago.
Let me first suggest that if you visit, go by car…you can travel by public transportation, but it’s a bit of a walk and Lagunitas has a great parking lot. It’s also right next door to CineSpace, so you may see something filming when you’re there! Fun fact….the filming guys had to vacate the spot that the brewery is in due to the train tracks nearby – they made the cameras shake which apparently is a detriment to filming.
I have visited quite a few breweries – large and small and even in Germany. However, I really feel like this Lagunitas is one of the best in terms of overall atmosphere.
I haven’t actually taken the tour (though I’ve tagged along for a few feet of the tour where they walk nearby the ‘balcony’ seating area). It seems informative and as this is a brewery that will double in size once they get their new equipment up and running, it’s a pretty neat sight.
I was lucky enough during my first visit to get a nice table in the corner where we got to cozy up to some great food, atmosphere and a few tastes of delicious beer. Their beer is good, but their food stands up to it. Mussels were a standout as was the Hogunitas (similar to a Cuban sandwich) as well as the pate plate. Everything was delicious and fresh and honestly, some of the best brewery food I’ve ever had. Having tried a sandwich at another brewery that consisted of suspect chicken that I’m pretty sure came from one of those plastic containers at the grocery store, this was a breath of fresh air.
The mussels are supposedly an appetizer, but they’re huge. Also, super flavorful and fresh. They’d stand up to any great mussels in the city. Both the Hogunitas and chicken sandwich are amazing and the pate is wonderful as well (so good that on another visit, my mom took home another order to my dad).
Service is really friendly. If you have to ask 100 questions of the bartender about different beers, I don’t think they’d be upset. I asked plenty about the beer and various varieties and they happily answered all of the questions.
As to the beer…there’s something for everyone in my opinion. Light beer, dark beer and varieties in between, it’s worth doing small tastes to determine what you like.
Stay a while and they also have live music! If only they were open later in the evening, I think it would be a great dinner spot. As it is, go early or it gets busy and be prepared to possibly share a communal table.
One nice thing…Lagunitas shares their space for charity events during the week in order to give back to the community. Good beer, food and doing good!? This is a great company and a great spot.