From points distant and beyond we all converged on Petaluma in 1993 and ’94 with an unenunciated desire to be more than we were before. The core of Lagunitas came from Chicago, St Louis, Memphis, Walker Creek, and the highlands of Quincy.
The Chicago contingent initiated the brewing and the gravitational effect of its suchness did the rest. We all loved the beer, but the mission was larger than the ordinary joy of a hoppy-sweet quaff. It was driven unseen by an urge to communicate with people, to find our diasporidic tribe, and to connect with other souls adrift on a culture that had lost its center and spun its inhabitants to the four winds to wander lost and bereft with a longing to re-enter the light. Beer, we have learned, has always been a good lubricant for social intercourse!
The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary ‘foundling’ as it was willed into being by the unspoken desire of supportive beer-lovers in Northern California after which they continued to nurture their creation and urged us forward to fulfill the unifying needs of that same beer-loving diaspora from coast to coast and beyond. It is good to have friends!
Ron Lindenbusch – Chief Marketing Officer and “Beer Weasel”
Ron Lindenbusch grew up in St. Louis and moved to Northern California in 1984, where he discovered a fledgling craft brewing scene the likes of which Missouri had not yet seen.
Ron found his way into the craft brewing scene via the restaurant business. He began pushing beers such as Acme and Grant’s as these pioneers were making their first splashes in the mid-80s. He left his corporate restaurant gig to run the Tavern at the Hopland Brewery — the first brewpub since Prohibition — in 1989. He never looked back. From there he went on to partner up at the Wild Hare Tavern in Santa Rosa in 1991, featuring 30 draft beers, with 28 of them being craft and imports.
Ron moved to the distribution end of the beer business and helped turn Marino Distributing in Sonoma from a wine distributor that carried Stroh’s products into a craft beer house that carried wine (and Stroh’s), joining in on the explosion of craft beer as it unfolded in Northern California. Shortly after Tony Magee founded Lagunitas Brewing Company in 1993, Ron joined on to head up the marketing and distribution side of things. They had an unconventional approach to how it should all go, and developed an anti-marketing approach to beer marketing that focuses on relationships and having fun.