Here we are, smack dab in the middle of January. We’re cold, pale, and barely able to move for all of our layers. The holidays are really over now, and the return to school and work has weekday schedules at capacity. Meanwhile, weekends seem a little emptier. The weather is too frigid* for lengthy outdoor excursions, and the end of the Panthers’ season has left a void in our Sundays.
On this particular Sunday (and likely many more in the future), we had the pleasure of filling that void with brunch and brews. Thanks to our friends at Social Ape and Legion Brewing, we enjoyed a cozy respite from the cold with some of Charlotte’s most talented bloggers, and sampled quite a spread of A.M. comfort food.
*Okay, maybe by Charlotte standards. I’m chilly.
Disclaimer: Our brunch at Legion was gratis, but all opinions are 100% our own.
We were welcomed into the warm and rustic space with Beermosas, (which are exactly what they sounds like they’d be). If the idea of orange juice and beer together sounds iffy to you, think again. This drink is light and refreshing, an ideal start to our brunch.
After Beermosas, we were ready for the first course, Legion’s Mixed Berry Parfait. This yummy little bowl was filled with Greek yogurt and fresh mixed berries, topped with strawberries and a housemade honey almond granola. It was served with Grambo, Legion’s Graham Cracker Amber, which paired perfectly.
Next, we got to taste Legion’s Breakfast Slider. This take on the classic BEC sandwich included crispy bacon**, cage-free scrambled egg, cheddar, tomato, and a creamy black pepper aioli that we loved. The sliders were served with Carolina Sparkle Party, a Berliner Weisse jazzed up with Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup. This light, bubbly, tart beer was a favorite among the blogger crowd.
**We feel the need to point out that bacon can make or break a dish. That thin, flimsy bacon that sags sadly on your breakfast sandwich? No thanks. Legion does it right: thick, crispy and delightful.
Next came the warm and savory Southwest Grit Bowl; cheddar grits that could stand alone, with the bonus of jalapeno, housemade salsa, cage-free scrambled eggs, and a slice of perfectly ripe avocado. Sliders were served with what’s possibly our favorite Legion brew, Juicy Jay (an East Coast IPA with a tropical flair).
Every dish we tasted was delectable, but the grand finale had to be our favorite. The Maple Canyon Waffle was perfectly crispy and sweet, and covered in a heavenly chocolate reduction and fluffy Chantilly cream. The kicker – are you ready for this? – was Maple-Candied Bacon on top, and it. was. delicious. The maple flavor was subtle but unmistakable, and the crispiness was completely on point.
This breakfast-dessert hybrid was served with Legion’s yummy, and yet-to-be-released brew, Maple Canyon. The Maple Syrup Brown Ale will make it’s return next weekend, and we highly recommend getting it’s waffle counterpart to accompany it. The Maple Canyon is made from real Vermont Maple Syrup which gives it a hint of sweetness and roasted flavor.
To finish our visit to Legion Brewing, we were treated to a tour of the brewing operation. From tasting the barley and smelling the hops they use, to seeing the fermenting tanks and viewing the giant fridge where kegs are stored, we got a firsthand look into the way Legion’s brews are being made.
These menu items will be available starting January 20th at Legion’s “Return of Maple Canyon” party. Expect some live music throughout the day, Maple Canyon Ice Cream floats starting at 4PM and more.