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10 Biggest Small Beer Brewers in the U.S.

10. Lagunitas Brewing
Petaluma, Calif.
2012 production:
235,000 barrels

It's been one wild ride for Lagunitas founder Tony Magee since he opened his first brewer in 1993 in Lagunitas, Calif. He outgrew his pastoral Marin County surroundings quickly and moved the whole works to Petaluma in 1994 and watched production increase from 27,000 barrels in 2004 to 57,000 barrels in 2008 to more than 230,000 barrels last year. He's expanding the current brewery to 600,000 barrels of capacity and is opening a similar-sized brewery and taproom in Chicago. It's a huge leap for a company that had an employee arrested for marijuana possession during a Lagunitas tasting in 2006 and turned the incident into the popular Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale. It's also the same brewery that named its weed-flavored Copper Ale "Censored" after the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau nixed the name "The Kronik." With small brewers on the grow and states taking an increasingly lenient stance toward marijuana -- with Washington and Colorado voters emphatically embracing it last year -- Lagunitas brews such as Hop Stoopid IPA and its laid-back Northern California disposition are getting exponentially more popular across the country as the nation loosens up a bit.

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