For most breweries, a single beer release is apt reason for a party, but Legion Brewing is stepping things up for the new year by releasing five beers in a day, and you better believe they’re ready to celebrate as they’re hosting a “Beer Release Blowout” party all day long on Saturday.
On Jan. 12 at noon, the brewery will release five beers at both of its locations — Plaza Midwood and SouthPark — ranging from dark bock beer to citrusy IPAs.
“We just wanted to have a blowout event and release a bunch of beers at the same time and make a big deal out of it” said Daniel Mitchem, head of Legion’s beer education program. “We have a bunch of stuff that we’ve been working on lately so we’re just throwing them all out there.”
The brewery kept things local with Emiliano’s Andean Bock, a dark beer made with coffee from Farmer’s First Coffee Company, a Charlotte-based company that goes beyond “fair trade” by paying a 50-percent bonus to farmers in Honduras and Peru who gather the beans. The beer is named after Emiliano Valchez, a farmer partnered with Farmer’s First that produced the blend used by the brewery.
Natalie’s Tangerine IPA was named after Florida-based Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice, whose fresh tangerine juice gives the beer a citrusy kick. Farmer’s First and Natalie’s will set up shop at the Plaza Midwood location during the release to hand out their own free samples of the featured coffee and juice, respectively.
If you’re not into dark beers or hoppy IPA’s, stop in for a free 4-ounce sample of Against the Currant, a medium amber malt, or try the Orange Chick, a hoppy farmhouse ale. If all else fails, revisit an old favorite, an American light lager called Brown Paper Bag that Legion is re-releasing.
Mitchem explained that the appeal of a blowout like this is that there is something for everyone, regardless of how experienced your taste buds are.
“It’s for everybody really, I think that [even] people who aren’t super-educated beer drinkers or super niche beer drinkers are really gonna like it,” he said.
However, he makes it clear that these new releases will only be around until they run out on Saturday.
“We do a lot of one-offs here. Most of the beers that we make are sort of one-and-done kind of things, and these beers are those types of things,” Mitchem said. “We make one batch and once it’s gone, it’s gone”
But there is a chance that some beers could make a comeback next year. This happened to be the case with Brown Paper Bag — a brew house favorite made with locally sourced non-GMO grits from an old-school mill in Albemarle — released last year that was brought back this year because of its popularity.
“We have had beers in the past where if we make that beer and its super popular we’ll bring it back the next year, but we don’t know that until we release it so we’ll see how well these are received and maybe they’ll come back again next year,” Mitchem added.
Since there’s no guarantee these beers will be back next year, it’s an excellent excuse to stop by either Legion Brewing location this weekend. Grab a drinking buddy, indulge in free samples and drink until the taps run out. If you’re at the Plaza Midwood location, stick around for live music from musical guest The Mike Strauss Band at 8 p.m.