On the heels of New Belgium’s announcement that they are expanding East and building a brewery in Asheville, NC, Tony McGee, owner/founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, CA announced via Twitter on Tuesday night that the company will soon be brewing their ales in Chicago.
The brewery will be installed in a former steel mill located in Chicago’s Douglas Park neighborbood. The 150,00 sq ft warehouse with 57-foot ceilings will be able to handle the production of 600,000 barrels annually. A 250 barrel brewhouse is expected to be installed by July of 2013 with the hopes of brewing by the end of the year.
Lagunitas, most known for their India Pale Ale, is one of the top ten fastest growing breweries in the country and produced over 160,000 barrels last year. According to an article in The Chicago Tribune Magee, a Chicago native, has been long concerned about both the amount of money and diesel emissions that the brewery expends while shipping to the 32 states where Lagunitas is available. So the purpose of building the Chicago plant is to deliver fresher beer to all states east of the Rockies.
Magee said there was nowhere he wanted to be other than Chicago.
“It’s frickin’ Chicago, man,” he said. “It’s the crossroads of the country. There’s only one Chicago. And I’m from there so I understand it.”