So when it was suggested during a recent northbound trip that we check out the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, I thought, what the hell, why not?
I’ve been talking about Lagunitas ever since.
Their beers are fantastic.
Their brewery tour (accompanied by LOTS of tastings) is a rockin’ good time.
Plus the restaurant pub with its nifty outdoor patio is terrific and a lotta fun.
But none of that stuff is what’s kept me talking to friends about Lagunitas and pointing their products out to folks at the supermarket.
What’s got me gabbing is their story.
Hell, STORIES is more like it.
Every one of owner Tony Magee’s brews has got a helluva yarn behind it. And most of those stories reflect the company’s oddball, break-the-rules philosophy.
One beer is called “Lagunitas Sucks,” because it was first introduced as a substitute for a popular seasonal beer the company couldn’t release on time one year.
Magee named another beer “Censored” when the feds turned down its original name — “Kronik.” The gummint goons said “Kronik” was doper slang for high-end weed.
Speaking of Mary Jane, California alcohol officials shut down Lagunitas for 20 days in 2006 when undercover agents noticed people smoking marijuana during one of the company’s open houses. To commemorate the event, Tony launched “Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale.” He calls it “especially bitter…unforgiven…unrepentant.”
Great stories make Lagunitas Brewing Company stand apart from its competitors.
“A tribe gets built around stories, commonly-held stories that everybody agrees on,” Magee says. “We tell our story through our beers.
“I don’t think we’re in the beer business. We’re in the tribe-building business.”
And a good-sized, dedicated tribe is the secret to success, right?
Figger out your personal story, what makes you tick, why you are who you are.
Then spread the word.
Good story-telling can be success wildfire.