When a business takes their address all the way out to 'Space', you know they are serious. Or not serious at all... Lagunitas takes their beer seriously, and that seems to be about it. This was the best brewery tour Cara and I have been on, and we've done one or two in the past. Most of the photos in this post are courtesy of Rebekkah Carney (https://www.facebook.com/PhotosByReebz/?fref=ts). Many thanks to Matt and Rebekkah for being awesome hosts in Chicago, and to Phil, Brad and Olivia for making time for us!
Lagunitas East Coast operation is located in Chicago, close to back lots where TV shows and movies are filmed in the city. Upon entering the brewery you go down this hallway with the theme from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory playing and its pretty trippy. The tour is free so after they check your ID you are on your way.
After going down the hallway you are ushered into adult day care and, provided it is a weekday (holidays included, we were there on Memorial Day), you get some free beer. They poured 3 tasters and then let you choose a full pint to take on the tour. On the weekends the tour is still free, but they don't serve beer.
Once you've got a full beer, they walk you on a catwalk around the brewery, which is a mere 300,000 square feet. They are claiming to be about 60% done with the construction and brewing equipment they have planned. All the rest of the pictures are from the tour and it was apparent that all the employees we saw loved their jobs.
They are also adding a 400 person amphitheater and are planning free shows right in the brewery. According to the tour guide, they don't do traditional marketing and instead put the money into the tour beers and building the amphitheater/putting on the shows.
If you're going through Chicago, you should definitely stop for this tour. Free beer and being around people that love their jobs is a great way to spend an afternoon.