Just a bit of quick news from Lagunitas Brewing. Actually, this is more like a soft whisper than hard news. As you know, the company’s just about to undergo a huge expansion that will completely overhaul the facility (like doing “open heart surgery on an awake patient while traveling down a bumpy road,” notes founder Tony Magee.) The $9.5 million expansion will allow the brewery to produce roughly 600,000 barrels annually, and should be completed by January. With the overhaul, the brewery’s current $2 million facility would become obsolete, but Magee’s already brainstorming uses for the equipment. Although potential buyers are checking out the equipment over the next week, this sudden excess in brewing gear has Magee thinking about Europe. After speaking with him today, it seems the idea of Lagunitas possibly staring a brewery in Europe, or arranging a deal with an existing brewery, is a budding topic of conversation. “The idea of craft beer going around the world—it’s going to happen,” said Magee, “but we’re just talking about it now and it’s far into the future.” While this is all still speculative, and a ways down the road, Magee already has his three favorite locations picked out: Scotland, Italy and southern Germany. Even if this doesn’t come to fruition, we can add them to the list of U.S. craft breweries brainstorming ways to get their beer abroad without losing their defining quality: bold, in-your-face hops.
Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011