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Lagunitas Chicago: Microbrewer Set To Open New Brewhouse On City's Southwest Side

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Lagunitas Brewing Company, known best for its popular India Pale Ale, announced late Monday that it will open a large, new brewery on Chicago's Southwest Side that is set to begin production next year.

Tony Magee, a Chicago native and the company's owner, announced the new brewery in a series of tweets.

"...found a perfect space on a movie soundstage complex so I rented it," Magee tweeted. "We're gonna make a little bit o' NorCal right there in the City of Chicago. You 6,380 follower folk are the first to hear it! Cheers all!"

Lagunitas, based in Petaluma, Calif., was founded in 1993. As reports, the company is among the nation's top 10 and fastest-growing craft breweries, having brewed 160,000 barrels of beer last year.

The brewery, located at the site of the old Ryerson steel mill, located at 18th Street and Rockwell Avenue, is expected to be ready by July 2013 and commence its first mash by the end of the year, the Chicago Tribune reports. The $15 million to $18 million facility will ultimately have a 600,000 barrel capacity and will be a ROLEC-manufactured copy of the company's Petaluma base.

As Chicagoist points out, Magee previously hinted at the new brewery with a February tweet indicating that he was at work on "something big" and included a photo of his sister standing inside the space.

The site is also home to the Cinespace Chicago film studios, where the Kelsey Grammer-starring "Boss" and a number of other television and film projects film.

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