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Going for the hat trick part 3 – Entering circus Lagunitas

Well. That was a longer break than I originally had anticipated. Talk about delayed gratification, this is like waiting eight years to see if Frodo ever makes it to Mount Doom. (Spoiler Alert: He does) now with school behind me for the summer, until next week when Fall semester starts, I can conclude the tale of my epic adventure with a trip to the weird and untamed wilderness known as Petaluma, California and the circus known around the world as Lagunitas.

It was starting to get late in the day and while my excitement was still high my wife was beginning to show some signs of beer fatigue. This was also our first stop where I knew things were going to be a lite on the crazy side. Especially at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon. “Little” turned out to be quite the understatement. The lone man who was in charge of directing people to open parking spaces, of which there were few, was only the first indicator.

Sure enough that place was bustling with people, music and awesome beer flowing.

It was very evident that everyone was having a blast so we eagerly grabbed some seats at a table that we shared with a very nice local couple who shared some of the fun experiences at the circus but more importantly it was time to sample the wares.

One of the the neatest things about visiting these three brewpubs has been having the opportunity to sample a lot of beers that just don’t make it down here, bottles or kegs, and Lagunitas was no exception with a mighty list that included such tasty delights as a Nelson hop version of their IPA, Rye barrel aged Gnarlywine, the seasonal Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF), their Farmhouse ale as well as their Gueuze, and Kriek.

We also ran into our new friends from Mother Earth Brewing as they continued their way back south to Vista. They had apparently saw a post on Facebook about the power outage and closing of Russian River so they had decided to skip ahead and hit Lagunitas. The wife and I were very happy to share the news that the power was back on and that would be opening again at 5:30pm. I’m not sure excited is an adequate description of their reaction.

Shortly after this we finished up our drinks and decided to call this the end of the adventure. So what did I learn? The Bay Area is home to quite a few quality craft beer breweries and much like San Diego, you need more than a day to fully explore and appreciate them, but I’d like to think I did a pretty good job of scratching the surface. Already counting down the days till my next trip to Northern California and a chance to find even more places to explore.

It’s 66 days, in case you are wondering. Boom!