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Greg Gadai, Lab Technician - The Science Behind Legion Beer

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Greg Gadai, Lab Technician at Legion shares the science and importance of performing routine analysis in the brewing process from start to finish, showing why he is truly a Craftsmen of Legion

In a world where breweries are dominating the drinking scene, more producers are making an astounding variety of different products. With this growth comes an increasing performance analysis of beer and brewing processes. Since there is a substantial amount of time between the initial brewing of malted grains and the packaging of the end product, the monitoring of the ingredients and changes during the brewing process is critical for obtaining a consistent product. That’s where Greg comes in. 

Greg Gadai, Lab Technician at Legion Brewing, is responsible for assuring the quality of all Legion beer - from tools that measure and track raw ingredients, all the way to finished products. By performing routine qualitatively sensory tests and tracking data on a daily basis, Greg ensures products are performing to certain specifications and standards. By recording data for months and even years, he is able track long term trends from Legion brews in order to create ideal parameters. 

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“If I do my job right then everything should go off without a hitch, and it would actually get a little boring if everything always went right!” Greg explains, “However, through rigorous and repeated testing, I try to identify potential issues as quickly as possible so that solutions can be implemented.” What interests me the most is how much we truly don't understand about the complex interactions that occur during the brewing process! There are multiple theories out there of what interactions are occurring on the molecular level and how we as breweries can control and manipulate these processes to create different products.” 

Starting his career with Legion since 2018, Greg started as a driver and worked my way up to kegger/production, cellarmen, and now runs the quality program as a Lab Technician. “The natural progression of my role within Legion is to advance beyond just the Lab Technician role.” says Greg. “The current end goal is to run our QAQC program in its entirety. That would include building out a new state of the art laboratory at W. Morehead (Legion’s third location set to open Spring 2021), and greatly expand our testing capabilities, and overall improving our ability to create a best-in-class beer.”

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Developing his laboratory skills while at UNC-Chapel Hill, Greg worked in a lab for approximately three years which was using bacteriophage surrogates to test the effectiveness of disinfectants and neutralizers on Ebola. With extensive experience with the propagation of bacteriophages, Greg will be able to apply similar protocols for yeast propagation with the expansion into Legion’s newest location, allowing him a more advanced workspace.

Greg claims his favorite Legion brew by far is Defiant Blonde, a sneaky Belgian Strong ale at 8% ABV. “I was a cellarman at the time and added the oak spirals that were soaked in bourbon,” He says. “I had a whole bunch of that beer at the top of a magnificent hike. The whole idea behind the beer was an easy drinker that packed a punch!”

Drawing inspiration from movies, Greg explains that he notes the visions that directors (such as Quentin Tarantino) require to put together films. “I appreciate the ability to try and put together the total project with bits and pieces every day. That’s what I try and achieve in my own life: To envision the final product and put it together piece by piece and day by day until it's achieved. “

Greg says his favorite thing about his role at Legion is seeing all the hard work that occurs in the brewhouse pay off. “We know we make great beer, but sharing our beer with friends that have also done well in competition is even greater”