What does it mean for Chicago now that Dutch-based Heineken has purchased a 50 percent-stake in Lagunitas Brewing? Not much, according to Lagunitas, which runs a Douglas Park brewery known for its flagship IPA.
The news surprised some, as Lagunitas' founder Tony Magee's been an outspoken critic of other brewery transactions, including Anheuser-Busch InBev's purchase of local craft beer heroes Goose Island. But Tuesday's deal isn't a takeover, Lagunitas brass stressed. It's a partnership that will allow greater beer global beer distribution for Lagunitas, with Magee seeing Mexico as a new frontier. They didn't disclose financials, but the deal's reportedly worth $1 billion.
Magee continuously vowed that this deal is different. When asked what this means locally, this is how Lagunitas' PR replied:
"Tony Magee will remain at the helm of Lagunitas which includes the Chicago tasting room. This means we will operate with the same leadership and staff, same brewers, same recipes and same suppliers and distributors helping to drive the brand forward."
Lagunitas originated from Petulma, Calif. They opened their Chicago facility in 2013. There's plans for a third brewery in Los Angeles.