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A Quiet Period

by M.G. Siegler


The Birth of Lagunitas Brewing

Let's kick things off with a beer link, shall we? Lagunitas gets shit for "selling out" (they sold to Heineken last year) but the backstory from founder Tony Magee is pretty amazing:

For Christmas 1992 my brother—who worked for a brewpub in Oregon—bought me a home-brew kit. The first batch of beer was beautiful, which gave me the courage to do a second batch. The second batch was a failure. But I thought I had a chance at doing something great, so in 1993 I decided to open a brewery.


In 1999, at the peak of the dotcom boom, I raised $600,000 to move the brewery to a larger space. Our investors included my landlord, a teacher, a chaplain, and other ordinary folks. A veterinarian gave me $15,000, and when we finalized the Heineken sale years later, I gave him $7 million back. But from 1999 to 2015, none of the investors saw any return at all.

🍻 to that.


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