With its land up for sale, Legend Brewing in talks to sell recipes and other assets

legend1 Cropped

Legend Brewing Co. has been in Manchester since 1994. (BizSense file photos)

Legend Brewing Co. is attracting suitors for more than just its real estate holdings.

Since putting its Manchester brewery and restaurant complex on the market last month, the region’s oldest beer maker has been in discussions with a handful of its local competitors to potentially sell some of its business assets, including its recipes. 

Dave Gott, Legend’s vice president of operations, said that nothing has been finalized. He added that Legend is still considering keeping the business going on its own but that several breweries from around Central Virginia have expressed interest in buying certain parts of the business. 

Legend Brewing truck

Legend Brown is the company’s flagship beer.

“We want the brand to continue whether we continue it or if it ends up in someone else’s hands,” Gott said. “The goal, ultimately, is keeping Legend Brown Ale and our products on the shelves. We’ve worked too hard to let it go by the wayside.”

Legend is entering its 31st year in business and is facing both a swarm of new real estate development around it in Manchester as well as a general stagnation in the beer industry. Those factors led Legend to list its 1.3-acre property at 321 W. Seventh St. for sale earlier this spring, signaling a possible end to the longtime brewery and pub. The aforementioned Legend Brown Ale was one of the first beers it brewed when it launched in 1994 and is now distributed throughout Virginia. 

News of a possible deal for Legend’s business assets came to light at Thursday’s Manchester Alliance meeting, where the brewery’s representatives were giving a presentation to the neighborhood association about the rezoning Legend is pursuing for its land

Tom Martin, Legend’s president and founder, told the alliance that the company is hoping to transfer its brand to a new brewer to take it over. 

“We’re sorry to be selling the property. We really are. I’m sorry to be leaving Manchester and Richmond,” Martin told the group. “The fact of the matter is our revenues have been going down steadily the last few years and our expenses have been going up, and the numbers are just not adding up to a viable business anymore. So we’re looking to maximize what we can do with the property.”

Gott said Legend is in discussions with some prospective buyers for its real estate and a relocation for Legend is still on the table. He said the company has been courted by some local property owners offering a new home for the brewery elsewhere in the region. 

If Legend Brown Ale were to be sold, it’d be the second local beer recipe to change hands in recent months. After Isley Brewing Co. closed down in Scott’s Addition last year, it sold the recipe to its most popular beer, Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter, to Northern Neck-based Callao Brewing Co.

legend1 Cropped

Legend Brewing Co. has been in Manchester since 1994. (BizSense file photos)

Legend Brewing Co. is attracting suitors for more than just its real estate holdings.

Since putting its Manchester brewery and restaurant complex on the market last month, the region’s oldest beer maker has been in discussions with a handful of its local competitors to potentially sell some of its business assets, including its recipes. 

Dave Gott, Legend’s vice president of operations, said that nothing has been finalized. He added that Legend is still considering keeping the business going on its own but that several breweries from around Central Virginia have expressed interest in buying certain parts of the business. 

Legend Brewing truck

Legend Brown is the company’s flagship beer.

“We want the brand to continue whether we continue it or if it ends up in someone else’s hands,” Gott said. “The goal, ultimately, is keeping Legend Brown Ale and our products on the shelves. We’ve worked too hard to let it go by the wayside.”

Legend is entering its 31st year in business and is facing both a swarm of new real estate development around it in Manchester as well as a general stagnation in the beer industry. Those factors led Legend to list its 1.3-acre property at 321 W. Seventh St. for sale earlier this spring, signaling a possible end to the longtime brewery and pub. The aforementioned Legend Brown Ale was one of the first beers it brewed when it launched in 1994 and is now distributed throughout Virginia. 

News of a possible deal for Legend’s business assets came to light at Thursday’s Manchester Alliance meeting, where the brewery’s representatives were giving a presentation to the neighborhood association about the rezoning Legend is pursuing for its land

Tom Martin, Legend’s president and founder, told the alliance that the company is hoping to transfer its brand to a new brewer to take it over. 

“We’re sorry to be selling the property. We really are. I’m sorry to be leaving Manchester and Richmond,” Martin told the group. “The fact of the matter is our revenues have been going down steadily the last few years and our expenses have been going up, and the numbers are just not adding up to a viable business anymore. So we’re looking to maximize what we can do with the property.”

Gott said Legend is in discussions with some prospective buyers for its real estate and a relocation for Legend is still on the table. He said the company has been courted by some local property owners offering a new home for the brewery elsewhere in the region. 

If Legend Brown Ale were to be sold, it’d be the second local beer recipe to change hands in recent months. After Isley Brewing Co. closed down in Scott’s Addition last year, it sold the recipe to its most popular beer, Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter, to Northern Neck-based Callao Brewing Co.

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

 — 

 — 

 — 

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected].

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]




Return to Homepage

POSTED IN The Brew

Editor's Picks

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

21 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

I’m glad to see that they want to keep the product alive on shelves. Legends Brown has been one of my favorites the last 30 years. It’s a tough environment to sell land for apartments today but the Berkadia crew can do it if anyone can. I wish the best for the Legends legacy.

Brian King
Brian King
1 month ago

Legend’s Porter is/was a rich full bodied porter that rarely appears now. Will miss it and some of their other creations – The Triple being another fantastic beer.

Will Shumadine
Will Shumadine
1 month ago

The more Richmond’s beer scene expanded and the more locally-brewed beers I tried, I found myself coming back to Legend Brown Ale. And the number of Legend Brown tap handles still around town is proof of its continued popularity. I really hope someone keeps the recipe going. Please!!

Stacie Birchett
Stacie Birchett
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Shumadine

Yes! I keep trying new ones and like some- but always keep coming back to the original Legend Brown. Please, Universe: keep their consistently excellent beers in our lives!

Rob Hargett
Rob Hargett
1 month ago

Come to Regency- join the rebirth and continue to be a part of Richmond history!

Jill Dunlap
Jill Dunlap
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Hargett

I vote for this idea! Would be incredible!

Zach Rugar
Zach Rugar
1 month ago

Would be cool if Devil’s Backbone would buy the assets. That’s my personal local favorite.

Ian Coleman
Ian Coleman
1 month ago
Reply to  Zach Rugar

Devils Backbone is owned by AB Inbev. I don’t think they are buying too many craft breweries with the current decline in beer sales.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Coleman

Yes thank you for both statements. InBev bought up a lot of names, and I don’t think their timing was good.

But, who knows, maybe InBev may think that we are getting near the bottom of the market and will buy some more — buying at times like now, as long as they can afford to wait for better times is a lot better than buying at the top of the market, which is what they did with DB and several others out west.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago

I seem to get downvotes every time I talk about this subject, but I would like to remind everyone that Stone wisely sold out a while back. I THOUGHT something was up when they ventured into the more trendy than tasty “Craft Seltzer” market that seemed to be the latest fad in “appealing to chicks” as beer-loving men often put it. (I’m just the messenger here…) —- and some Japanese outfit bought them. Hipsters won’t like this either but this is JUST SMART BUSINESS — you get a whiff that your profits MIGHT plummet it makes sense to start taking… Read more »

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
1 month ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Speaking of Stone down at Rocketts Landing- That place was originally a Yuengling Brewery back in the 1800’s. Yuengling is still going strong and claims to be the oldest craft beer in America. I visited their brewery in Pottsville, PA. and enjoyed the tour. Sampled some beer and bought a t-shirt in the gift shop. Cheers!

the-yeungling-brewery
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Arnold Hager

Thank you for this! I should try the tour too some day! I drank a lot of Yuengling when I first moved to Richmond, being rather poor (but disciplined!) at the time. In upstate the beloved brands of Saranac (an early craft beer that was cheap enough for college students to buy kegs of if they wanted to be fancy in the 1980s) and Utica Club are made at the Matt Brewing co in Utica — but probably the best place is Genesee in Rochester — probably the favorite beer of Upstate NY — I knew a guy who was… Read more »

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
1 month ago
Reply to  Arnold Hager

It was the founder’s son striking off on his own, so technically it was Yuengling, but it was called James River Steam Brewery.

https://allaboutbeer.net/article/yuengling-james-river-steam-brewery/

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
1 month ago

Thanks for the good article. I like that they claimed The James River was the best water for their beer in the country. I like to think the James River is a big part of me, I’ve consumed no other for about 99% of my life. It’s kept me alive. Thank you James.

Last edited 1 month ago by Arnold Hager
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Arnold Hager

…… I wonder what their rationale for saying this is.

The only beer that I know of that talks about “Water Terroir” is Busch in Golden Colorodo — not sure I buy it.

The cleanest, purest river water in the USA is where the St Laurence runs between NYS and Canada — unlike most rivers down here, there is no tea-like brownness from leaves or silt.

Not sure anyone makes beer from that water in the USA — I would personally think the best water would be from some mountain lake or something.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago

Legend had a solid run, I love their products, and I wish they could have had better service. Any time I went to Legends, I’d quickly be reminded why I avoided going: their customer service was nonexistent. They should stick to selling at retail locations and that’s it.

Brian King
Brian King
1 month ago

Ever been to that trendy restaurant in Oregon Hill that had non-existent customer service? They’re gone – seems to be a trend in RIC.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian King

Sit down restaurants in general are really getting squeezed by inflation and it being ever harder to find good employees (since you can work at a big box store with a lot less stress.)

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian King

The owner closed it to concentrate on his other successful restaurants in RVA. The building was in serious disrepair. The location is now being renovated for Adarra, who is set to move in this Fall.

Brent Graves
Brent Graves
1 month ago

Now that it is on the market, the Legend Brewing site, including the Avery Hall site down towards the Flood Wall is, and could have been, an ideal location for a New Baseball Stadium. The concurrent views of the downtown skyline, the James River as well as the baseball field looking from the Seats, Suites and Stands would be spectacular. It is disappointing that this once in a lifetime opportunity for our new Baseball Facility was not an option a few years ago when the decision was made to stay in the Scott’s Addition area rather than having a downtown… Read more »

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
1 month ago

If Stony Point mall wants to stay afloat, they should GIVE space to a brewery at the old Dick’s Sporting Goods store. The craft brewery shakeout will pick off a lot of weaker members, but players like Hardywood, The ANswer and The Veil still find ways to draw crowds. And foot traffic is badly needed out there.