Last week, we rode to Petaluma, CA to visit one of my favorite breweries, Lagunitas. They did not disappoint as they took us on one of the most fun brewery tours we have been on.
A testament to how good the beer is, Lagunitas experienced 62% growth last year. That is a lot considering we are currently in a recession. To keep up with demand, they are expanding their brew house to increase production.
Our tour guide, Ryan, was full of fun facts about the history of Lagunitas and the making of their delicious beer. Here he is talking about the use of whole flower hops and how they get turned into pellets.
A fresh batch of beer "mashes in". Milled grains are mixed with hot water to break down the barley into simple sugars for the yeast to eat.
The young beer or "wort" is boiled in the boil kettle to clean out any impurities and off flavors.
After the grains have been filtered out and the young beer is cooled down, it travels to the fermenting tanks and yeast is added. The yeast particles are living organisms that eat sugars, poop alcohol, and farm carbon dioxide. They are what make beer the intoxicating, bubbly, and pallet-pleasing drink that it is.
Safety first as we head to the bottling line.
The beer is put in bottles for distribution across the United States.
I first tasted Lagunitas in New York City. 4,700 miles of bicycle riding later, it was good to experience it at the source.
This is what Santa's workshop would look like if he only delivered to craft beer enthusiasts on Christmas.
After the tour, we went back to the Beer Loft Man Cave Bar Room Place in the brewery. We got to sample some more of Lagunitas' stock before heading off for the day.
Thank you to our tour guide Ryan and all the folks at Lagunitas for doing what you do best.