News & Features

Happy Hour with Legion Brewing’s Scott Griffin

Welcome to our Happy Hour Question & Answer series, where we ask questions to interesting people in the alcohol world.

This week’s spotlight is Scott Griffin, head brewer of Legion Brewing in Charlotte, NC. Scott has been with Legion Brewing since its inception. Starting as an assistant brewer, he became the head brewer in 2018 and now oversees brewing operations at the Plaza Midwood and West Morehead facilities. Scott was crucial in helping create and perfect Legion’s signature Juicy Jay IPA. Legion and Griffin just debuted a flavorful double IPA-styled variation called Double Juicy Jay in late October.

Hops & Spirits: What drew you to craft beer/beer?
Scott Griffin: Before I turned 21, my parents had me DD for them to craft beer events when I was home from school. The warmth, kindness, and camaraderie of the brewery teams I got to meet immediately drew my admiration. Particularly, former sales reps from Allagash Brewing and Highland Brewing impacted my decision to pursue professional brewing.

HS: How did you end up at Legion Brewing?
SG: As a Plaza Midwood resident in 2015, Legion immediately caught my attention. After interviewing with our owner and CEO, Phil Buchy, Legion’s emphasis on local culture and agriculture struck a chord. It hurt to move on from Ass Clown Brewing, Matt Glidden and the incredible team in Cornelius, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to brew with Phil and Alexa Long at Legion.

HS: What was it like to become head brewer at Legion?
SG: Bittersweet. Moving to the Head Brewer role offered incredible opportunities and responsibilities that I’ve relished. However, it meant I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends, our former Head Brewer Alexa Long. Fortunately, her exceptional work at Legion made it easy for me to succeed. She continues to collaborate with us through her role with one of our hop suppliers, Hollingberry & Sons.

HS: You grew up in a small farming town, how have you brought that into your brewing style? (i.e. working with farmers, unique foods, etc.)
SG: Brown Paper Bag, our American Light Lager, uses a massive quantity of stone-ground grits from my friend Parker Hinson’s antique mill, Old School Mill, in my hometown. The malt used in the beer comes from Carolina Malt House in Statesville, NC and is sourced from local farmers. Getting to use agriculture products from the community I’m from is one of the most rewarding elements of what we do. 

HS: You helped create the original Legion Juicy Jay. So how did you all come up with Double Juicy Jay?
SG: Creating Double Juicy Jay came with a number of unique challenges. Part of what makes Juicy Jay such a beloved beer is the balance of the bitter hop character, tropical hop notes and the sweetness of the grain bill. Increasing the ABV not only requires maintaining that interplay, but also introduces the risk of fusel alcohol tones and hop burn. Shifting our hop bill to use modern hop products such as concentrated lupulin hop pellets helped address some of those concerns but transitioning between recipes couldn’t be done simply by increasing all the ingredients. We tested a number of new grains and hops to achieve the balance and character we desired. The resulting beer is a beautiful high gravity IPA that clearly exhibits its Juicy Jay lineage while standing on its own unique merits.

HS: What’s it like being part of Charlotte and its craft beer scene?
SG: Working in the Charlotte beer scene for the past 10 years has been incredible. The brewers are quick to lend assistance and collaborate with any problem or project. The growth of knowledge in the community alongside the industry has been rewarding. The average Charlotte beer drinker has a much more sophisticated pallet than a decade ago, and this has opened creative avenues for us brewers.

HS: What can folks expect from a Legion beer?
SG: Legion brews beer that is as inviting and approachable as the bartenders in our taprooms. We strive to make every experience rewarding, whether in person at the brewery or in your living room popping a can. Legion produces clean, consistent beer with character.

HS: On the flip side, what can folks expect when they visit a Legion taproom?
SG: The atmosphere in our taprooms is joyful. All of our locations are unique, but each offers customers a window into part of our creation process, with in-operation brewhouse equipment visible from your seat. Our brewhouse staff members can frequently be found at our facilities’ taprooms and love any opportunity to discuss beer with any visitors.

HS: What other fun things do you all have in the works (that you can tease us with)?
SG: Our next big release is our GABF Gold Medal winning Cold IPA, Hop Chiller. We’ll be releasing it in taprooms and retail in kegs and cans towards the end of October. My personal pet project is a Barley Wine fermented with Sake Yeast #9 and aged on plums. We’re expecting that to be released to taprooms in late November. 

Established in 2015, Legion Brewing is a Charlotte-based brewery with three taprooms throughout the city, including Plaza Midwood, SouthPark and West Morehead locations. Find more about Legion at

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