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Inside a historic white stucco Town Hall featuring exquisite wood furnishings, Old World architecture and large Gothic archway columns, LEGEND BREWING DEPOT sits prominently alongside Portsmouth’s famous seawall. While the original Legend Brewing in Richmond built a solid reputation as one of Virginia’s longest lasting modern brewpubs (since 1993), its well-established brewmasters wanted to expand and hit the jackpot operating this refurbished “Olde Towne” Chesapeake Bay crown jewel.

Situated 90 miles east of Richmond and overlooking Norfolk, Legend’s satellite site sticks out like a rounded castle at the prime Portsmouth pier. Its pristine maroon-beige interior offers simple elegance and the spacious pier-side deck couldn’t be more majestic on this sunny Saturday afternoon in August (just days after the establishment opened).

I’d tried everything on the menu on a few Richmond trips, except one easygoing dark ale and a sassy li’l seasonal offering.

Sweet bourbon-whiskey wisps gathered subtle hazelnut-almond-praline illusions and tingly citrus-spiced hops above caramelized chocolate malting for dainty dandy, Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale (very popular amongst deck-bound quaffers this day).

As for crisply clean Z-Dam Summertime Ale, its zesty lime adjunct, refreshing ginger snap, distant lemony orange tang and fluttering chamomile subtlety created a bright sunshiny glaze for the lightly honeyed pale malt backbone.



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