Lagunitas Beer Circus

We let our freak flag fly at this beer-soaked celebration of one of Chicago's newest breweries

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  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

  • Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

    Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

Revelers celebrate one of Chicago’s newest breweries at the Lagunitas Beer Circus.​

There were plenty of beer-related events to attend this weekend, thanks to the kickoff of Chicago Craft Beer Week on Thursday, but only one of them featured contortionists, trapeze artists and a man balancing a lawnmower on his face. That's how Lagunitas decided to celebrate the opening of its 300,000-square-foot Douglas Park brewing facility, which began producing beer last month. The Beer Circus is an annual event that Lagunitas started at its original Petaluma, CA brewery, bringing together local performers, carnival rides and keg after keg of delicious beer.


Outside in the parking lot, attendees were able to take in percussive performances from Chicago's own Redmoon Theater, which took place on a rotating steel structure that was covered in drums. All of Lagunitas' flagship beers were available on tap, including a new black IPA called NightTime Ale that provided a dark, malty counterpoint to the DayTime IPA. After soaking up some booze with the help of a little food truck grub, thrill seekers could take a spin on a bike-powered swing ride (amazingly, we didn't see anyone spew).


Inside the brewery, two stages hosted performances by San Francisco circus troupe Vau de Vire Society and music from local acts like Mucca Pazza and Cornmeal. Visitors could sample beers from guest breweries such as Lake Effect, Begyle and Revolution while watching an aerial hoop acrobat or a pole dancer. As impressive as the performers were, we couldn't stop gawking at how big the brewery is and admiring the elevated taproom which will open later this summer.


If you didn't make it out to the Beer Circus yesterday, the party continues this afternoon (12pm-5pm) at the Lagunitas Brewery in Douglas Park.



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