Craft Beer Poll: Lagunitas Gets More Than A Little Sumpin’ From Heineken – How Will Drinkers React?

Heineken will own half of craft beer maker, Lagunitas.

Repeat: Heineken will own half of craft beer maker, Lagunitas Brewing Company.
craft beer lagunitas pale ale

One good damn brew.

Our sincerest apologies to all craft loyalists; one of your favorites has sold out to go global. It was reported today that Heineken, the world’s second largest brewer, will purchase 50% of the Petaluma California-based brewery and assist the Lagunitas brand in its efforts to expand overseas, already having presences in Britain, Japan, Sweden and Canada. Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Assn. said the deal could be the biggest in the craft brewing industry to date. It is expected to close in Q4 this year.

The craft beer faithful have begun to react on social media. Below are just a few samples of the Twitter reaction to today’s news. There will be more to come as word of the announcement came at an awkward time of day, not during peek social media time.

Technically, Lagunitas – now America’s fifth largest – will no longer be a craft brewer after the transaction is completed. The Brewers Association has said that in order to be a craft brewer, a brewery must be independent, meaning:

Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.

Being that Heineken can only reminisce about being a craft brewer, Lagunitas will be half macro. This is sure to give the beer maker, with a popular brewing facility and taproom in Chicago, a black eye in the realm of beer snob chatter on the Internet.

But we want to know what you think.

Now That Lagunitas is Technically No Longer Craft Beer, Will You Still Drink It?

  • Good beer is good beer. I'll drink it as long as it's flavorful, regardless of who owns the brewery. (55%, 513 Votes)
  • Lagunitas actually Sucks now! They've lost my support. (19%, 178 Votes)
  • Hey, glad it's Heineken and not AB-Inbev. I'll drink a Brown Shugga to that. (14%, 132 Votes)
  • I was never that into them anyway. Won't be hard for me to quit them. (13%, 118 Votes)

Total Voters: 941

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Brew Studs Founder, Editor. Homebrewer. Good Damn Beer Drinker. Steward to Craft Beer Nation.


  1. @orejohn

    September 9, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Who among us would turn their backs on an opportunity to take care of ourselves and families? Our superstar athletes do this all the time when they leave your team for a big contract. Why can’t a craft brewer sign a big contract when they are at the top of their game?

  2. Brandon

    September 9, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    Read more into this. The best deal a damn good craft brewery can do in order to take it to the next step. Plus, to all you people who think the quality of Lagunitas beer will diminish, think again. The same head brewer is still the same head brewer. Please, before you go and criticize one of the best craft breweries on the west coast, read more into why Magee chose to sell 50% and what it will do to Lagunitas. Don’t just read the header. Cheers!

  3. David

    September 10, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    1 day people realize craft beer is not only about taste and flavor it’s about supporting a local product and encouraging small local breweries to return money to the community rather than some giant corporation that has a giant tax shelter and never returned anything to the infrastructure of america. this was a petaluma brewery that added job and a tax base to the local community and now it just makes money for it’s shareholders and gets shipped overseas

  4. AlfieBaxter

    September 12, 2015 at 1:44 AM

    It’s about good beer…the sad fact is some want it to be about some kind of movement that they are part of that others are not allowed access to…,good luck to Lagunitas, hopefully others may follow.

  5. P-town

    September 15, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Lagunitas has long been one of the most active Petaluma companies in terms of supporting local charities, hosting benefits for good causes in their “beer sanctuary”, etc. they also give a hand up to other local breweries such as Petaluma Hills by encouraging those who can’t get in to one of their many events that they give those other brewers a try. Their place is a great spot to hear live local music while getting to know other locals at the communal tables and enjoying some good beer. I’m not a fan of hoppy beers such as Lagunitas’ flagship IPA, but I will continue to support them by enjoying their Imperial Stout, their Pils, etc. I have to agree with AlfieBaxter. If you enjoy their beer, drink it. It shouldn’t be about being part of a movement. And your hipness isn’t determined by what you drink.

  6. Snobby Butnotsnobby

    September 15, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    I may sound like a snob, but this is not being a beer snob it’s making an informed decision. This sucks for craft beer. This hurts craft beer more than people think. While Heinekin is no AB-inbev they are still macro enough to be a player. These macro guys push legislation that make it harder for craft breweries to open, thus stifling competition and diminishing selection. As someone who brews in a microbrewing company I must say that I will no longer be supporting my once favored and ever consistent lagunitas brewing company. Sorry guys, selling out is selling out.

    • Jason

      September 19, 2015 at 4:01 PM

      How is this selling out? Lagunitas sought out Heineken, not the other way around. Do you only listen to truly indie music released on tiny labels? What about movies? Oh, what about the clothing you buy? While I do agree that being bought out buy AB InBev is disgraceful, that is not the case at all here. Let’s stop bashing someone who is actually trying to make a little money while maintaining the integrity of his beer.

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