How I Work: 26 quick questions with Phil Buchy, owner of Legion Brewing

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On the heels of Legion Brewing’s three-year anniversary in Plaza Midwood, I sat down with owner Phil Buchy to get a look into his work life.

Buchy and team also recently opened Legion Brewing’s second location in SouthPark, thus continuing to make an impact on our city’s continuously-growing brewery scene.

Here’s how Phil works.

Logistics

Office location: Legion Brewing in Plaza Midwood
Job title: I don’t know if I have one.
Phone type: iPhone X
Computer: Surface
To-do list manager: Trello

What are the gadgets you can’t live without?

I never leave home without my pocketknife and my ear buds.

How about the apps you can’t live without?

We run our entire business electronically. Our POS app, our brewing software app, our Trello app. We try to do as much in the cloud as possible. All of our fermentation profiles and packaging schedules and all that. We know where each specific keg is at which specific account and how long it’s been there. If you can’t keep fresh beer, you can’t keep good-tasting beer.

What are your social media habits like?

A lot of window-shopping. Clicking on things.

What’s your sleep routine?

Normally, I get up around 6:00. I take my kids to school in the morning, and then I usually don’t wind down and go to bed ‘til around 11:00pm.

Do you listen to music at work?

Usually streaming WSGE out of Gastonia. It’s mostly music instead of the NPR stuff. Great local station.

How long is your commute to work? What do you do during your commute?

It’s about seven miles [to the Plaza Midwood location]. I talk on the phone mostly, either work or catching up with family. That’s what the ear buds are for.

How do you spend the first hour of your day, starting from when you wake up?

Playing with the kids and getting them ready for school. And some days if I have late meetings in the morning, I’ll work out. If I have early meetings, then I’m just straight in right away.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Nothing.

What do you actually do? Walk us through a day in your life.

I am a professional meeting person. Tons and tons of meetings with all the different departments and exterior people that we work with. I usually don’t get to do my work until after 6:00. A typical day at work for me is 8:00am to 8:00pm. I try to get home before the kids get home for bed to tuck them in at night.

What are some unusual habits you have and why do you have them?

Feel free to ask my staff.

What everyday thing are you really good at?

Time management.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

I think Trello and communication. There is no such thing as over-communication. Keep everybody on the same page.

What’s the best thing about your job?

People. We’ve got a great family here. Our customers are great. That’s what we’re all about. Beer is secondary.

How long have you been in the beer business?

It will be our three-year anniversary in December, but I’ve been obsessing about it and brewing since the mid-90s. I went from an amateur to sticking my nose in the professional world. I had my business plan together for 15 years. I’ve built a few breweries and helped a few open but was not employed by one. I was employed as a consultant for the others.

Where are you from?

I’ve been here since 2001. I’m from Roanoke, VA. Fell in love with beer out in Colorado when I went to the Air Force Academy.

If you weren’t drinking your own beer here, what would you drink?

I plead the fifth.

juicy-jay-from-legion-brewing



Where do you go around Charlotte to get away from the office?

Friends’ houses. Usually sitting on the back porch watching a Panthers game.

What’s your favorite side project?

I’m the president of the Charlotte Independent Brewers Alliance here in Charlotte. We’ve got a great family here. A lot of people really put Charlotte on the map nationally and internationally.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing?

Building. I’ve been a builder all my life. That’s what I did before I started Legion.

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?

A great neighborhood.

What’s a purchase of less than $100 that’s most improved your work output or life?

Ear buds.

Other than the Agenda, what media brands do you consume?

Everything local. I subscribe to Charlotte Agenda, Charlotte Five, Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte Business Journal, SouthPark Magazine. The only non-local thing I look at is Drudge Report.

What advice would you give to your 30-year-old self?

Get a nice mountain bike. I mountain-bike now. When I was thirty, I was doing triathlons with a road bike. I was dragging my feet on getting a nice mountain bike because I never knew where to go for trails.

What’s the best job advice you’ve ever received?

Someone can always do something cheaper. Not every body can do something better. You’ll always lose the race to the bottom, so try to win the race to the top.

What’s the book you gift the most?

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin.

What’s one thing people don’t know about Charlotte that they should?

The ethnic food here is really good. You just have to know where to look. Right here in the [Plaza Midwood] neighborhood, I go to Pho Hoa probably twice a week.



What other Charlottean would you like to answer these questions?

David Tepper.

Is there anything else that we didn’t ask that you’d like to tell our readers?

I’m just really excited about the direction Charlotte is going in. There are a lot of growth pains, but it’s a good thing that we’re growing. I’m just really excited that Charlotte is turning into a big city but still maintaining its small-town feel. We’ve got a lot to offer, and I’m just proud of what we’re doing here.

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Allie Papajohn
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Food & drink writer.