Tony Magee: The Lagunitas Man with a Plan

December 24, 2018

In 1992 Tony Magee got a homebrew kit for Christmas that forever changed his life, and craft beer, as we know it. Fast-forward to the present, Magee is the head of Lagunitas Brewing Co., which lays claim to the #1 IPA in the U.S. and so much more.


Here are 10 things Magee wants you to know about Lagunitas…

1. While craft beer sales may have slowed, Lagunitas still saw booming success in 2018 and is a brewery that continues to drive growth. “Lagunitas thrives on the edge of edgy brewing – and we’ve seen some good results. We are the largest craft brewery gaining share this year and our IPA remains the #1 IPA in the U.S.

2. Speaking of the #1 IPA in the U.S., expect to see a ton of noise with Lagunitas’s newest (and most anticipated) can release to date – that’s right, IPA is coming to cans! “IPA 19.2 oz. cans will be available in January. It’ll be the same recipe, the same ruthlessly delicious beer, but in a 19.2 oz. vessel that can go more places than ever before. 12 oz. cans will follow in the warmer months.”

3. Is the new frontier in beer, cannabis infused? While currently available only in California dispensaries, Lagunitas’s Hi-Fi Hops made a huge splash this year. Infused with THC from the finest, sun-grown cannabis, “Hi-Fi Hops is an IPA-inspired, sparkling beverage made using everything we know about hops, but with zero alcohol, zero calories and zero carbs.”

4. Lagunitas’s newest double IPA had a ton of success in 2018 and is set for wider distribution next year. “Super Cluster is a favorite around our breweries and it did very well for us as a limited release earlier this year. This brand new, citra-hopped mega ale is the highest ABV beer in our can lineup. We just recently made it available year-round in 6-pack cans and are looking forward to being able to drink it all year long!”

5. Lagunitas is one of a few American craft breweries to have a huge presence overseas. “We often think the best way to make new friends is to share a beer – and we are excited to bring more beer to our friends in Europe. Our IPA is available in 15 European countries, with 10 more countries joining our IPA family in the next 24 months. Sales in countries like France, Netherlands and the UK are doubling, year-after-year, so we are seeing a lot of love for our IPA and good potential for international growth.”

6. While Aunt Sally, a dry-hopped sour, is headed for retirement, more sours appear to be on the horizon. “Sally was our first venture into the world of sours. It opened new doors for innovation, and by putting Sally on the sidelines for now, it provides the opportunity to explore other new and exciting sours.”

7. Lagunitas’s “fractional IPA”, DayTime, was one of the first session IPAs to hit the market. In 2019 this standby is getting a facelift all its own. “DayTime is hitting shelves with brand-new packaging. We believe the packaging of this low cal, low ABV, easy-drinking beer should reflect the beer itself. A 6-pack of 12 oz. cans seems fitting for any daytime activity… don’t you think?”

8. Lagunitas 19.2 oz. cans continue to crush. “12th of Never & Sumpin’ Easy are the #2 and #3 19.2 oz. packages in the U.S. market. There was a time we said we’d never put our beer in a can… and what did we do? We came out with two within two years!”

9. Their One-Hitter Series leads the innovative wing of Lagunitas’s portfolio by bringing rare and limited beers to the masses. Born Yesterday, Cherry Jane and Willettized Coffee Stout are a few of the offerings set to return for 2019. But get them while you can, these beers disappear quickly!

10. That fateful homebrew kit in 1992 inspired Magee to invest $35,000 into brewing equipment, officially launching Lagunitas in 1993. 25 years later, Lagunitas is one of the largest craft breweries in America and it looks to continue its growth in 2019.

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