Why Doubling Up Flagship Mattered for Legion

With the thought process of featuring everything that fans loved of Legion Brewing‘s flagship IPA, Juicy Jay, but in a bigger and hoppier package, along with an emphasis on a similar taste, the Charlotte brewery got to work in creating Double Juicy Jay this fall.

With honeyed mango flavor tempering an aroma bursting with melon and tropical fruit, Head Brewer Scott Griffin and the Legion brewing team took a fresh take on an old favorite.

“Juicy Jay’s flavor profile has always been associated with mango character, but our sensory team consistently identifies melon, papaya, and a range of tropical fruit,” Griffin shared with Brewer. “With Double Juicy Jay we still detect the aforementioned spectrum, with added notes of berry and honey associated with the increased alcohol content.”

​But bumping up a flagship’s recipe isn’t as simple as doubling the ingredients​. Griffin​​ said they made several changes to Juicy Jay’s ingredients and process to produce Double Juicy Jay.

“Some of the changes were logistical,” he said. They added an enzyme in the Double’s mash to ensure that fermentation consumed the correct amount of sugar, for instance.

“Higher alcohol levels can inhibit yeast’s ability to break down sugar, and the additional enzymatic activity allows us to achieve a slightly dryer finish more reminiscent of Juicy Jay,” he said.

They also tried to limit modifications affecting sensory impact, but they did include an additional hop variety.

“Introducing Azacca hops into the beer introduces another layer of complexity to stand up to the added heft of the increased alcohol,” he pointed out. “Azacca brings new flavors and character without deviating from the tropical signifiers we associate with our flagship Juicy Jay.”

Griffin said they knew that Juicy Jay is one of the most recognizable brands in the Charlotte beer market and has become a go-to bar call for craft fans in the area.

“It’s also a favorite brand for bartenders to recommend to those looking for a local brand, wanting something new, or are new to the Charlotte beer scene,” he explained. “Legion’s goal is to build the Juicy Jay brand family into a strong, regional mega brand.

“Leveraging the success of Juicy Jay, we first gave fans a flavored variety when we launched Pineapple Juicy Jay and Blood Orange Juicy Jay. Continuing that momentum and equity, Double Juicy Jay is the next extension. It’s a close cousin of Juicy Jay but serves a different occasion or a different customer.”

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