For some, today is just the first Thursday of August. For others it’s National IPA Day, an annual celebration of craft beer’s most popular style, the India pale ale.
And sure, cracking open an IPA tonight would be a fine way to celebrate, but true fans of the style will want to visit Legion Brewing this Saturday for “Friends and Beerfest: IPA Edition.”
Friends, here, is the key word. Because while Legion has made a name for some of its hoppy beers lately (Juicy Jay IPA is their best-selling beer by far), they don’t want you drinking just their beers. That’s why they’ve invited 15 area brewers to pour their own IPAs outside the brewery this Saturday.
“We’re not the only name in IPAs,” said founder Phil Buchy, “and so we wanted to invite all our friends to come over and make a day of it.”
The lineup of breweries for the event includes Birdsong Brewing, Blue Blaze Brewing, Free Range Brewing, Heist Brewery, Lenny Boy Brewing, Newgrass Brewing, NoDa Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewery, Salud Beer Shop, Sycamore Brewing, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, The Unknown Brewing Co., Three Spirits Brewery, Triple C Brewing and Wooden Robot Brewery.
What will all of those friends be pouring? Buchy doesn’t even know. All he knows is that the other brewers have told him how excited they are for it.
“We haven’t asked anybody to tell us yet,” he said. “The only thing we asked them is to bring their A game, whether it be their flagship IPA or some crazy one-off.”
He does anticipate that the event will pull in a good variety of IPA substyles (think black IPAs, white IPAs, session IPAs, New England IPAs, etc.). As for Legion, they will pour the aforementioned Juicy Jay as well as their double IPA, One Girl, Two Hops. They’re also debuting a new fruited IPA, but when I pressed for more details Buchy would only say that it contains a “truckload of fruit” and that he’s really excited about it.
An all-IPA event makes sense for National IPA Day, but anyone who’s been to Legion in Plaza Midwood knows that the brewery produces a range of styles. Buchy would like this event to be just the beginning of other quarterly or seasonal beer festivals, which could focus on things like sours or Christmas beers.
“We brew a diverse lineup of beer and I’d like to do more fests that highlight some of those other styles that we do,” he said. “I think we’ll definitely keep the theme of Friends and Beerfest going. We don’t want to have our own fest or parking lot party and not invite anybody.”
Want to go?
When: 2-8 p.m. Aug. 6.
Where: Legion Brewing’s parking lot, 1906 Commonwealth Ave.
Tickets: $10 and include a four-ounce sampler glass and three tickets to exchange for samples. If you buy tickets in advance through Eventbrite here, you can get four beer tickets. You will also be able to purchase additional tickets at the festival.