Lagunitas' Chicago taproom to close this summer, company announces

The taproom first opened in 2014, and reopened last year after a COVID-related shutdown

Four bottles of Lagunitas IPA, with white labels and black font, are shown on a platter, resting on top of a brown-wooden bar.

Lagunitas Brewing Company has announced it will close its brewing operations and taproom in Chicago later this summer after more than a decade in the Douglas Park neighborhood.

According to a letter sent to employees, Lagunitas will consolidate its brewing operations back to its original home in California, and will close its taproom, which served dozens of different beers and had been a fixture in the neighborhood since April 2014.

Officials said the brewery’s Chicago warehouse will remain open.

“We are committed to managing this transition thoughtfully, smoothly and with deep respect for our valued Chicago Lagunitas employees,” a spokesperson told NBC Chicago.

Some of the company’s 86 Chicago-based employees will work remote for the company or relocate to California. The company is also offering departure packages, including job-placement assistance, according to a spokesperson.

The taproom opened for the first time in April 2014, but closed during the COVID pandemic. It reopened to plenty of fanfare last spring, but will cease operations later this year.

According to the company, the changes were “prompted by a need to future-proof” the organization, increasing efficiency within its supply chain and increasing its focus on “sustainable brewing practices.”

An exact closing date has not yet been announced.

Lagunitas was founded in California in 1993, and was one of the first beer companies to mass-produce India Pale Ales, which helped to kickstart the craft brewery movement in the United States. The company was purchased by Heineken in 2015.

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