From points distant and beyond, the guys of Lagunitas converged on Petaluma in 1993 with an enunciated desire to 'be more than they were before'.
The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary 'foundling' as it was willed into being by the supportive beer-lovers in Northern California, after which they continued to nurture their creation to fulfil the needs of beer lovers from coast to coast.
How did you start brewing?
college calculus instructor was like "....hey wanna brew some beer?" I wasn't 21
so I was like "**** yeah...." and I had no idea beer could be made at home let
alone better beer than most of what was in stores back then....
How did you start brewing commercially?
Jeremy: I liked brewing so much that I wanted to go to school for it. Hard to believe today, but back then people thought I was crazy to want to be a brewer and that I was making up that there existed education to become a brewer.
At the time,
the main two brewing education paths were offered by Siebel and UC Davis.
Siebel seemed more German in tradition whilst Davis seemed more English. I am a
bigger fan of ales (though enjoy lagers too) and was already looking for any
excuse to move to Northern California. So Davis it was and the proximity to
Sonoma County (along with prodding from a classmate that said Lagunitas would
be a good fit for me..) got me familiar with the strong beer scene emerging out
of wine country, and I knew it would be a fertile ground for finding a job
since the bust of the late 90's seemed to be repairing itself. I find it ironic
that now Lagunitas is the largest craft brewer geographically near both Siebel
What are some of the differences between small batch and large commercially produced batches?
Jeremy: Besides the obvious differences in scale, it's always amazed me how much commercial brewing really is just a big home brew. This is one reason why every home brewer with a dream is starting his or her own brewery right now; they already talk the language and know the process.
One thing is how much more efficient good equipment is (and how ridiculously expensive everything is) and how important automation is once the process is layered. A home brewer would be pretty stressed trying to do 9 or more batches a day, and when you do it commercially, every little mistake will show in the beer. Hard decisions must be made. Equipment will fail. You will become stressed. Batches will have to be destroyed. I think every brewer should try to brew 8 brews a day without any automation. It will create a lot of respect for it later.
I remember when there was a batch
for which I did everything; tasting it, I felt so much pride, I wanted to
believe it was better, even though it wasn't and to think so really cheapened
my fellow brewers; the point is those days are gone, now every batch represents
the efforts of many wonderful ladies and gentlemen every time.
Do you filter any beers? How do you clear before packaging?
filter most of our beers loosely through cellulose. We have several beers that
we do not filter and generally wouldn't filter a dark beer. It's important to
not strip out the hops and keep a little meat behind.
Describe the perfect beer - style, aroma, flavour, etc. This is sort of a zen question. What is the perfect beer to you? It doesn't have to be a beer you've made, or even a beer that's been made.
Jeremy: That question just makes me angry. The perfect beer to me doesn't exist and motivates me to always work harder, for every day I try to make the perfect beer, and every day I fail, so I get up and try it again. I hate the term brew master. No one masters this. If they think they did then something is wrong. I am still learning every day I brew, and that's one reason I love being a brewer.There are so many "energy" drinks in the world but this (Lagunitas IPA ) is the first "anti-energy" drink designed to calm and sooth rather than amp up. The flavour takes me down a memory to an old time wooden candy store in the Appalachian mountains, where all the candy was made with pure cane sugar and flavoured with items from the earth. The candy was made right in front of you by an old man in a funny hat who no child could distract. No idea if that store still exist today....
- Jeremy Marshall - Lagunitas Brew Master
Lagunitas IPA is a unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last century. Not as old as the equator they had to cross twice en route, nor as old as the 10,000 miles or so of Di-Hydrogen Oxide and Sodium upon which they sailed, but older than the Circulithium-4 Lentoid that binds the Lupulin Quartnate onto your taste buds.
Weird. Think about it. Now stop. OK, go again. Now stop. Think again. And stop. But we digress. This redolent ale will likely float your boat, whatever planet you're on!
The magical, mystical 12th of Never is a blend of old and new school hops that play bright citrus, rich coconut, and papaya-esque flavours, all on a solid stage of English puffed wheat. Tropically hoppy. Light, yet full-bodied. Bright and citrusy. The 12th of Never Ale is everything we've learned about making hop-forward beer expressed in a moderate voice. Pale, cold and bitter. It's all they know.
Wow....gotta try this stuff!!