Lagunitas Brewing Co., the California-based craft brewer, will soon be available across the country after completion of a brewery expansion in April.

Lagunitas beers currently are distributed in 35 states and Washington, D.C., including major beer markets like California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania. With a $14 million brewery enlargement that will more than triple annual capacity from 185,000 barrels to as much as 600,000 barrels, Lagunitas will expand into another 14 states, bringing distribution to 49 states. Tennessee will be the lone state without Lagunitas brands, due to the state’s restrictions on high-alcohol beers (Lagunitas brews range from 6%-10% abv). Among the upgrades to the Sonoma County brewery are a 250-barrel brewhouse, a doubling of fermentation space and faster bottling and kegging lines.

Lagunitas founder Tony Magee told Shanken News Daily that he initially was targeting 30% sales growth for 2012, but changed that forecast after January and February numbers came in at double that rate. Magee claimed that Lagunitas—one of the first craft brewers to popularize beer in large bottles—has “quietly been the fastest-growing craft brewer for the last two years.” Sales volume was more than 161,000 (31-gallon) barrels last year, easily placing it among the top 15 craft brewers in the country. Magee said that due to spiraling demand, the brewery is producing at full capacity for the second half of the year.

Lagunitas year-round beers include their best seller – Lagunitas India Pale Ale (6.2% abv), Hop Stoopid Ale (8% abv), Maximus Ale (8.2% abv), Imperial Stout (10.1% abv), PILS (6.2% abv), Censored Ale (6.8% abv) and Dogtown Pale Ale (6.2% abv). Seasonal brews include Cappuccino Stout, Imperial Red Ale, Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale and Brown Shugga Ale, ranging in alcohol content from 7.8% to 9.9%.

Source: Shanken News Daily

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