At a strip mall pretty typical of the Mira Mesa area of San Diego county, you will find a storefront. “No way! Seriously??” I hear you asking incredulously. Yes, it’s true. This storefront in particular, however, houses what appears to be a small pizza shop that was converted into a tap room. Legacy Brewing, based in Oceanside, is a brewery founded on the old-fashioned approach to brewing: make good beer. The tasting room is not much to look at: just a storefront among many other storefronts. Inside, the floor is made up of large, dirty-looking floor tile and a fancy wooden tasting bar, fronted by padded wooden bar stools. Half of the wall is made of brick, lending an old-world feel to at least that part of the motif. There is a large branded mirror at the back of the place, with long tasting tables and short small top tables strewn about. There is a patio in the back that overlooks the neighboring mall tenants, with a strange putting green behind a black iron fence.
Considering their focus on making good beer, I dove right in. I started with the Oak Aged Scotch Ale (8% abv): This beer poured dark brown, with thin white head. It smelled very malty, toasty and boozy. There was a bit of a sugary sweetness and a little spiciness, as well. It tasted malty sweet, with a boozy kick. The alcohol dominates a bit into the middle, though I still got a touch of sourness. Medium-heavy in body and medium carbonation do little to break up the malty booziness, but I still detected the same sourness as before. Were it not for the sour/tartness, this would have been too heavy on the alcohol. As it was, I appreciated how dynamic it was.
Next up, I went for the Chesty Red (5.5% abv): This one poured dark amber in color, with tiny bubbles and thin white head. It smelled malty, sour and slightly sweet. The taste was mostly malty, with some sourness and still only a little sweet. A touch of hops toward the middle helped differentiate it from its predecessor (the scotch ale from before). With medium body and light carbonation, there was not much to detract from the heavy malty sweetness. It finished exactly as it began. A bit too much, without much else to distinguish it.
The tasting room is pretty basic, but all you need in a tasting room outside the brewery.