April 20th. Or 4/20. Its sort of a mystical/mythical holiday around these parts. While we all know what it is known for, residents of the Beer Block in downtown Eureka rang in the holiday at 4:20 PM gathered around a firkin of Lagunitas WTF and watched The Local Beer Bar owner Darren Cartledge cautiously tap the keystone. This was the beginning, and probably the highlight of the Lagunitas Tap Takeover at The Local. In less than two hours, Darren and Ari were struggling to fill the last glasses with the murky dregs. And the place was full of beer lovers. First, pockets of friends formed and homebrewers instinctively gravitated towards each other and then it was jam packed.
Also on tap was Waldo Special, Gnarlywine, Censored (The Kronic), IPA, Czech Pils, Little Sumpin’, Dogtown PA and Imperial Red. Lagunitas Brewing Co. was founded in 1993 at Lagunitas, CA and in a year, they grew so much they moved to Petaluma. They began expanding this year to a 600,000 bbl/year capacity and this month announced plans for a Chicago brewery with the same yearly output. Win for craft beer.
When asked on how the Lagunitas tap takeover came about, Darren stated, “It seemed like it would be fun and I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of Lagunitas in here. Then Jere (Cox) heard about it and he brought some stuff. I can’t believe how many people were here”, he said eyes wide. Will there be more? Yes. The next one is planned for May 17th with Anderson Valley. Tentative draft lineup includes Belks ESB, Poleeko Pale, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Imperial IPA, as well as new Mendonesia releases Horse Tongue Wheat and Oude Bruin. Then Darren mentioned a couple of other prospective breweries for a takeover. What were they? Not yet! This is where I leave you wanting more….