7060 Miramar Road #101, Miramar
363 Airport Road, Oceanside
I wondered how a smaller Oceanside brewery would fare opening up a bar and restaurant in the relatively faraway Miramar community. Whereas larger, better-known North County brewing interests — Stone Brewing Co., Pizza Port, Rip Current Brewing Company, Belching Beaver Brewery — have the name recognition and consumer familiarity to make journeying south a no-brainer, Legacy Brewing Company is lesser known, having only recently started bottling and remaining absent from the majority of the county’s tap lists. But given the glut of people who showed up for the grand opening of their recently debuted tap and kitchen, they’ll do fine.
Located in a retail complex at 7060 Miramar Road, the venue is stocked with beers from Legacy’s Oceanside brewery and offers comfort foods diversified by flavorful add-ons such as duck confit and a variety of house-crafted sauces, some of which incorporate Legacy beer. Eighteen taps dispense ales and lagers (more lagers than most local breweries, actually) covering a wide range of stylistic ground. Patrons are served by a friendly staff — even when harrowed by the grand opening onslaught, they kept stiff upper lips — in the bar-equipped dining room or a small covered patio that looks onto a putting green operated by a neighboring business.
It’s a simple, cozy spot that figures to benefit from the close proximity of half-a-dozen breweries, especially its nearest neighbors Saint Archer Brewery and 32 North Brewing Company. Only Legacy and one other operation, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits’ recently opened headquarters and restaurant, produce food on-site. Conversely, being located on the blind side of the strip mall that faces a veiled parking lot instead of Miramar Road will add some challenge to the enterprise. This is the first of three-to-four-such bar-and-restaurant hybrids projected in co-owner J.J. Snyder’s business plan. Snyder reports rapid growth in Legacy’s first year of business and sees a lot of growth on the near horizon. Soon, he and his partners will look to expand in Orange County (from Dana Point to Laguna Beach), followed by Los Angeles.
Back in Miramar, I noticed some improvement in beer quality since the first time I visited Legacy’s initial location. Core beers in the session range were more dialed in, with a nut brown ale coming across with bittersweet-chocolate appeal and a pronounced, roasty finish. A light-bodied beer flavored with guava had a tropical mustiness akin to the base fruit and wasn’t the sweet, fruit spritzer I feared I might encounter. That territory is covered by a raspberry porter, which is reminiscent of more desserty fruit beers like Callahan’s Blueberry Wheat or Pyramid Apricot Ale. There’s still a segment of drinkers who crave these types of beer, and this dark brew is perfect for them. On the imperial side of things, a doppelbock isn’t quite to style but tastes nice all the same, while a Belgian-style quadrupel (far too sweet, it would seem the yeast crapped out before getting through the sugar needed to raise the ABV on this beer) and double IPA (admitted errors during brewing left this beer tasting like a sweet golden barley wine) show there’s still room for improvement.