I had read many great things about Legacy Brewing long before I got to try their beers. With the original location up in Oceanside I was not in a rush to make the drive. Thankfully they opened a restaurant and tap room right next door to Saint Archer Brewing, much closer to my house. On two separate visits I was able to try most of their beers and overall I found that the flavors were unique among the San Diego breweries, including some IPAs that are delicious while breaking the west coast style mold. [The official grand opening for this Legacy location is January 10th 2015 but they have been pouring for a little bit now]
The nut brown was really smooth and roasty. It was light body but very tasty. This is one beer I could have a few pints of easily. The porter had nice chocolate and coffee flavors that very mellow all blended together nicely with the caramel flavors. This one was also super smooth.
The pale ale was intensely floral with flavors mostly around lavender. There is a certain line at which a beer starts to taste like perfume and this one comes close but stays on the enjoyable side of that line. For a pale this flavor was very unique among San Diego beers. I probably would have a hard time finishing a pint of this though.
The Oktoberfest beer was a nice representation of the style, very good and smooth. The sleigh wreck ale was a seasonal beer on tap when I visited. It was a nice smooth ale with just a little bit of spice and plenty of roasted malt flavors. The milk stout was nice mostly because it was not too sweet like many can get. However, it didn’t really have any standout flavors that made me want to drink more of it. The Irish red showed some good malt flavors in a smooth and a little mellow beer.
One of my favorite beers of the evening was the hellfire ipa. Though it is one of the more well balanced IPAs out of San Diego, the malts did not overpower the hops, and gave it a nice body. Having had this in the bottle before it was even more delicious on tap. This ipa is bursting with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. When compared to the hellfire the hop off ipa makes a nice contrast. It showed a very interesting flavor combination with plum flavors on the back end and almost candy sweet. Herbal hops balance it with a solid bitterness. This is the beer for those who want something different from the citrus and pine that have become so common.
Then came the emancipation hoplimation double ipa. It had a very refreshing combination of flavors. Thankfully it was not as sweet as the hop off and has a nice bright orange and peach flavor going. Though it claims a high bitterness I didn’t th ink it tasted as bitter as it says. This one was also quite good. The Scotch ale delivered a flavorful set of roasted malt flavors that were balanced with a light sweetness. I really enjoyed this one. Finally the Czarface imperial stout delivered something also a bit different. The coffee flavors were mellow and the major flavor was closer to the sweet caramel and raisins. The flavors all balanced nicely giving it an overall heavy mouthfeel.
Through it all I was most impressed by the hellfire IPA and the emancipation hoplimation double IPA along with the Czarface imperial stout. The lighter beers were all smooth and easy drinking and should satisfy people looking for a good brown ale.
This location is fairly small and took over a sports bar that used to be in the building. It still retains the sports bar feel and shows games on the TVs regularly. It also has a decent lineup of food, though I haven’t gotten to tasting very much. The wings I had there were very tasty though the pricing seems a little high for what you get. A previous version of this post indicated that Woody’s is a better deal. However after trying some of their dinner entrees tonight I think Legacy is the better deal.
The prices for all the different sandwiches includes a side of home cut fries. This is probably one of the first places I’ve been where a side of fries that comes with your sandwich is actually a good size (read small). Too many places overload you with giant portions of bland fries that need sauce to spice them up. Here, you get simply a good size portion of delicious home cut fries and delicious sandwiches.
As far as my burger, I ordered the spicy burger and got a deliciously juicy medium patty, nice and salty, with fresh cut serrano chilies, guacamole, some of the best looking tomatoes I’ve ever had on a burger, and some of those fresh cut fries on the side. It might be slightly cheaper at woody’s for the same thing but their fries come in huge portions and aren’t very good. In the same group my husband got the duck confit sandwich, which he said was amazing, and my mom got the meatloaf, which was juicy and delicious.
I’m also hoping that over time they will start to sell bottles of fresh beer at this location because the IPA deserves to be as fresh as possible. There is plenty of time for them to grow and for them to attract visitors from the nearby restaurants and breweries.
Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.