How Legion Brewing pushed through pandemic to open its third taproom

CHARLOTTE — Legion Brewing CEO Phil Buchy threw out the plans for his facility on West Morehead Street after the pandemic hit.

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The 25,000-square-foot facility — part of the Salt + Vinegar adaptive-reuse project — opens its taproom and beer garden on May 9 after numerous Covid-related supply-chain delays. Its 100,000-barrel production facility opened last fall.

Buchy says that facility cost approximately $10 million. It is at 2014 W. Morehead St., in the area known as FreeMoreWest. That area is just west of uptown, between the Ashley Park and Wilmore neighborhoods.

It marks Legion’s third taproom in Charlotte. Expect an industrial vibe with exposed ductwork, white walls and light ash wood for the 50-foot bar top and tables. Legion’s brewing equipment is in the spotlight, tucked behind the bar so guests have a window into the production process.

The 4,000-square-foot taproom has Legion’s flagship and seasonal beers on tap. Expect favorites including Juicy Jay, Penguin Pils and Supernova as well as unique brews, which will be limited to the West Morehead taproom.

The last two years have been about finding the right balance as Covid disrupted business plans.

“We needed to rethink what we’re doing. It changed us — we adapted,” Buchy says.

Legion turned to canning to boost the bottom line as taprooms were shuttered and restaurants closed, causing sales to plummet. It quickly found it needed more capacity than it had — or planned to add.

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He already had inked a deal for 2014 W. Morehead St., but the planned facility didn’t touch the scope of production needed. Buchy scrapped those plans in favor of a 100,000-barrel brewhouse, high-speed canning line and smaller taproom.

Read the full story and take a peek inside the space here.

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