Just a few miles from downtown Oceanside, California something is brewing. It’s the migration of the San Diego microbrewing industry and it’s spreading out all over the Southern part of this awesome state. Yes, home to surfers and military, San Diego has continued a trend from the great Northwest within the beer world and it’s trickled North to Oceanside where Legacy brewing is creating something different. Once a motorcycle repair shop, Legacy Brewing Co. has taken over the space and is creating a more balanced beer that is not your everyday micro brew. It’s something truly special from the lightest ale to the darker options. The brews are truly unique and memorable.
Legacy creates their magic at 363 Airport Road; where they brew it, store it, age it and package it all from this modest location in Oceanside. It’s not just a microbrew in action here, they have built a tavern style bar and drinking area as you enter the facility. The space is super cool. The bar has picnic tables and local beach decor. There is also a small stage where they sometimes have music and events. Not too often does anything overshadow the beer though, they mainly focus on offering one thing, great frgn beer and they do it well.
Legacy has a small town bar feel and is place where I would enjoy meeting up with friends. They have their regulars; a mix of military, local business owners as well as Oceanside residents. A Gold medal 2014 winner, Legacy Brewing is doing something right. They offer 13 beers on tap and promise to drill more holes soon. They have a wide range to choose from in their hybrids and the recipes they have perfected.
I got to meet and have a quick tour with owners JJ and Mark in their custom facility. They told me their goal is to create drinkable beers that are better balanced. Mark is the German beer guy, JJ is the hybrid and specialty beer guy. This is some custom brewing facility because everything here looks like it was handcrafted from the scaffolding that the brewers walk on to run the brewing process to the giant 7000 square foot cold room they built for their refrigeration process rooms, pretty amazing. I guess it should look like this because 80% of the bar was made from recycled parts and pieces. They went cheap, and green…
Open only 13 months Legacy has 8 Gold medals and was rated #1 in San Diego in 2014 for best beer in a radio poll and contest. They are quickly outgrowing this Oceanside production and plan to open a second location in Mira Mar that will have a tap room and offer food.
Legacy brews one lager at a time and about 1500 barrels a year, this is how they perfect each batch. This is changing though quickly, as more people taste the different offerings.
I was lucky enough to taste all 13 beers. A few of the noteworthy products from Legacy are the Founding Father’s Nut Browne Ale which was a fantastic beer that has won a Gold Medal. The Clan Ross Scotch Ale was very unique and is the winner of two Gold Medals and one Bronze. I really enjoyed the Sons of Liberty Porter which is a Gold medal winner as well as the refermented Raspberry Porter which was a different twist on fruity beers. A favorite light beers among the locals is the Unlimited Blonde. When I tried it, I thought it packed a lot of flavor and did not taste watered down or too light. It was a really well balanced light beer.
They offer a Chesty Irish Red which fills that position well and they even have their fruity beer that everyone calls That Guava Beer, perfect aint it? I guess every microbrew needs their fruity beer, I think Guava was a great choice, it’s more refreshing and the blend works well. Oh and I can’t forget to mention Hopp Off 76 a huge favorite and Czarface, at 9% alcohol it’s a dangerous one, but very tasty. I also tried the Sedition Pale ale which was great and Hellfire IPA, which was a close competitor in taste and approach to the Ballast Point Sculpin. Because they are a seasonal beer brewer too, you may just find their Gingerbread stout and Sleighwreck Ale available to wash away any holiday blues at Christmas time. Great beers and all equally measured and perfected.
JJ said San Diego is under represented Beers other than IPS’s and this is changing. He also said they will have 5 new beers, well by the end of this year 2014. I urge you to visit the new Oceanside a make a stop at this awesome brewery Legacy Brewers, these guys are getting it right and you won’t be disappointed.
Legacy does public tours, you just have to call and ask. Ask for JJ or Mark and have a few great beers and see and learn the process. It’s inspiring and soon to be a local hotspot and destination when visiting Oceanside.
What & Where:
Legacy Brewing (760-705-3221; 363 Airport Road, Oceanside, CA 92058; legacybrewingco.com)