A taxi delivers you to the blue-collar neighborhood of Douglas Park, where you circle a 300,000-square-foot building and inhale the scent of wort (a byproduct of the brewing process) as you attempt to locate an entrance. Hint: Look for a parking lot on the building’s north side.
Inside, you follow a corridor illuminated by strobe lights (because why not?), gawking as you pass glistening tanks that will crank out more than 60,000 barrels annually for Lagunitas lovers from the Midwest to Sweden (areas west of the Rockies are supplied by the 21-year-old company’s Northern California headquarters). You climb a stairway and finally behold the 300-seat taproom.
With a small corner stage where bands jam nightly, a triangular bar, and high-top tables affording bird’s-eye views of that awe-inspiring equipment, the pub is simple—in fact, a tad underwhelming. But the crowd is a diverse, friendly bunch, and the 16 rotating beers—which include toasty NightTime Ale and a brewpub exclusive hybrid style dubbed CouchTrippin’ Fusion—have never tasted finer than they do straight from the source.
1843 S. Washtenaw Ave.
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