Any one who drinks beer knows there's some pretty sweet names floating about on your favorite brewery's tap handles.  They can range from slick cool names, the type of name you yourself would like to have as a nickname, to names that are funny as hell and might possibly make you spit a sip of your beer out (don't do that).  Legion Brewery has a mix of both.  Perhaps the fact that I used to dabble in stand up comedy and that I'm a clown by nature, is probably what makes their funnier names catch my eye the most.  Some of my favorites are Juan Direction (Margarita Gose), Banjo the Sea Monkey (Sour Pale Ale), Winnie the Brew (Imperial IPA brewed with honey), and The Jungle Bock (Weizenbock).   But in seeing all of the cool names given to our favorites, I've often wondered, how the hell do they come up with these things!?  I was finally given the answer to this question, at least when it comes to Legion Brewing, when Big Phil Buchy invited me down for one of their naming meetings.

Straight away I have to give you my initial impressions on the whole crews vibes.  It felt like I was at Thanksgiving, only it was ThanksgivingER.  I was seated at a long table, surrounded by people that loved beer, who enjoyed each other, and were all laughing and smiling the entire time..........already miles ahead of the Thanksgivings I go to!  It was so very different from what I expected a beer naming meeting to be like.  Honestly before experiencing this, I just figured that head brewers or brewery owners would just name a new beer for how the flavor profile worked out, and not include any outside ideas.  Sooooo the opposite at Legion.  On the day, 2 new beers were up to be given a name, a Double IPA using Citra and Azacca hops, and a Saison that had been brewed with blackberries and blueberries.  There were pitchers of both beers set out across the table.  Everyone was given 2 glasses, one for each beer, and we were all given small sheets of blue paper and a pen to write down any names that popped up while tasting.  There was a lot of sniffing and sipping going on.  You didn't want to pound the beer and move on to the next.  You had to check the flavors, the aromas, the color, everything to help give you all the info you needed when it came time to slap some names on them.  Along with the tasting, Head Brewer Alexa Long read off some brewing notes for both beers.  After she gave us the 411, we sampled for about a good 20 minutes, until all of the liquid goodness had disappeared.  

(For this post I will speak mostly on the double IPA, as it got released to the public immediately after this meeting.  The Saison isn't ready just yet, so I will let them give you the final name for that bad girl when she's ready.)  

Once the pitchers had emptied and everyone was done tasting and writing their names down, they got tossed into 2 empty pitchers, 1 for each new beer, and then Phil would read them out to the gang.  The voting on the names took about 2-3 passes for each of the beers.  The first pass involved Phil reading the names out to everyone and immediately trashing the names that just didn't fit.  The 2nd pass is where voting came into play.  As a name was read out, hands would go up, Phil took down the votes, and if there was a clear winner, the voting would end. If there was a draw, we'd go one more pass to pick up any straggler votes that had previously been used for other names that didn't make the cut.  The winning name for the Double IPA was "One Girl, Two Hops."  This name was the winner almost unanimously.  While that was the winner some of the losers we're pretty damn good as well, see below.

  • Supernova Citra Ray Beam
  • Change my DIPA
  • You Dip, I Dip, We DIPA,
  • Squeal Like a Hop
  • Fetty Hop

They gave me the chance to vote as well, but I passed just so I could make sure I got all the necessary information and pictures for this post.  That being said, if I had a name to toss in, and because I'm a Game of Thrones geek, I would've gone with Hops Lannister..... mainly because House Lannister from the show is essentially run by the powerful, "used-to-be" Queen, Cersei Lannister.  Cerise is FINE yet powerful, and thats what I think of when I drink this awesome double IPA which clocks in at 8.8%.  This DIPA is wonderful, it has some nice grapefruit tropical flavors and aromas, mixed with some good biterness and dankness from the hops.  This beer is not to be missed.  I will be swinging back by Legion this evening to drink some more.

Lastly, and basically a side note to the whole day, I want to touch on Legions culture.  "Good Friends and Good Beer," is Legions ethos, and there is no snake oil being sold in that.  I bet some folks who read any blog post I ever do on Legion probably assume I'm on the payroll because everything I write about them is glowing.  Well, I'm not on the payroll.  I don't get paid by any one for doing the posts we do on this site.  We do these posts as a hobby, an escape from our day jobs because we love craft beer so much.  But we've always said from the beginning, we're not like a lot of bloggers or critics who will post scathing reviews and comments on something if they don't like it.  We don't do that.  We're about positive energy, if we try something we don't like, we simply just won't post on it, at all.  The things we tell you we love, we genuinely love!  Our service to the reader is to tell you about the amazing beers and NC vibes we come across so that you can go experience them for yourselves.  So when I tell you, that the folks at Legion truly are all about being surrounded by Good Friends and Good Beer, and having a great time, and treating everyone around them as if they're already their friend, I mean it.  It's just the vibe there!  As soon as you walk in you feel welcome.  And thats just how I felt yesterday, at a meeting half of which was with people I had never met before, I was warmly welcomed, and it felt like I was at home, hanging out and drinking beer with my mates.   Get down to Legion today for great beer and great vibes!

See the stack below for some shots of the new double IPA, "One Girl, Two Hops."