Our first encounter with Don Chartier of the Lagunitas Brewing Company came at Bonnaroo 2013. When we met him he was smiling. He continued to smile throughout the weekend. When we kicked it with him again a few weeks later at his place of work, the Lagunitas Brewery, he was still smiling. In all we hung out with Don for what amounted to about two weeks over the course of the summer and there was not a single time when he did not have a smile on his face.

Getting to trounce around Don’s “office” for a few days gave us a clearer picture of why dude is so happy all of the time. On top of his job duties, that seemed to include getting drunk and getting others drunk, Don gets to work at one of the more magical places that we’ve ever encountered. Everyone at Lagunitas is in a good mood, and it’s not just the booze. It’s the people. They seem to be picked from the heady side of the tree. Their job is to create something that’s supposed to create a good time, and can’t do that unless you’re living it.

Spud, being the peoples person that he is, slid right on in at the Brewery without so much as a hiccup. Found himself a seat at the bar and made the acquaintance of almost every flavor of beer that they’ve got there, which is several more than several. In retrospect, we perhaps should have told him that during a taste test it’s best not to down the entire portion of your sample glass, so as to pace yourself. Then again, nobody thinks about cleaning up the puke before you start drinking, so who were we to intervene…