Legend Brewing Company was founded in 1993 by Tom Martin. Martin grew up surrounded by beer and breweries, so it was only a matter of time before he settled into a career in the business. His father was the Vice President of European Brewing Operations for Anheuser-Busch, and the original brewmaster at the Budweiser plant in Williamsburg, Virginia, so he had a strong brewing influence in the family and great connections starting out. Tom knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and earned a Master’s Degree in Brewing Science from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, Tom went to work as a brewer for Anheuser-Busch, but then decided the call was too strong and started Legend Brewing Company.
Tom started Legend Brewing Company with just four beer recipes he concocted on his own – with a little help from his dad. Brown Ale was the first release, followed by a Lager, Pilsner, and Porter. The concept was to brew high-quality, fresh beer based on traditional styles without making them too heavy. In 1994, Tom opened a tiny tasting room/pub off of an old gravel road – West 7th Street – in Richmond, Virginia’s Old Manchester District. He served the Legend beers there, along with a few sandwiches and pub fries, and it quickly became a popular fixture for the city.
Today, Legend is the largest independently owned craft brewing company in the state and Tom can proudly celebrate 30 successful years of brewing his Legend beers. The brewery is still tucked away on West 7th Street, but it’s hardly the same place. The space that used to be the entire pub, is now just the prep kitchen for a restaurant with a full menu. The space also includes a pub deck, dining area and a large warehouse space for the brewing operations.
Legend’s lineup of beers has expanded as well, now serving eight flagship brews, multiple seasonals, and just recently, a new line of beers named Urban Legend
In 2016 Legend opened a brewpub in Olde Towne Portsmouth along the waterfront in the historic, curved building that recently housed an art gallery and was the former home to a Mexican restaurant and The Max. The location operates a 3-barrel brewing system where the brewers from Richmond will use it to create unique, one-off beers
Our mission is to bring to our customers the finest and freshest brews as flavorful alternatives to mass-marketed mainstream products. We’re one of the few craft breweries in this region producing both lagers and ales, which require different yeasts and maturation conditions. All Legend beers are unpasteurized and made from only two-row and specialty barley malt, hops, water and yeast.