this month's issue free!

Posts Tagged Green Flash

SD shows up at LA International Beer Competition

Apr 18
Council Brewing Company's winning entries from the Los Angeles International Beer Competition

Council Brewing Company’s winning entries from the Los Angeles International Beer Competition

After the opening series at Petco Park, wherein this native San Diegan’s beloved Friars failed to score a single run against the Dodgers, it’s hard to even type the letters LA. But fortunately, I have a very positive reason to do so thanks to the Los Angeles International Beer Competition, the results of which were recently posted. Numerous San Diego breweries garnered awards, proving that, while we still can’t get a hit off Clayton Kershaw, SD has plenty going for it where brewing is concerned.

San Diego County-based breweries brought home 43 medals in 96 diverse beer categories. Certain breweries just plain cleaned up. And they’re not the larger, better-known interests you might have expected. For instance, the brewery to win the most medals was Miramar’s small (but expanding) Intergalactic Brewing Company. That space-themed operation amassed 10 medals (two of which were gold), while Mike Hess Brewing Company took five, Sorrento Valley’s New English Brewing Company nabbed four and San Marcos-based Rip Current Brewing Company further solidified its reputation for quality beer across many styles with five medals, including a gold for its Breakline Bock, which won that same award at last year’s Great American Beer Festival.

Among all of the hundreds of beers submitted, Council Brewing Company’s Gaderian, a Brettanomyces-spiked, barrel-aged English-style old ale, took Best of Show honors. The Kearny Mesa nanobrewery also won two of the three spots—silver and bronze—in the American-style Brett Ale category for its newly released Les Saisons and Nicene, respectively, and notched another silver with the cherry version of its Beatitude Tart Saison. A full list of the winners from this year’s competition is included below.

Best of Show

  • Gaderian, Council Brewing Co. (Old Ale or Strong Ale)

Gold Medals

  • Breakline Bock, Rip Current Brewing Co. (Bock)
  • Brewers Special Brown Ale, New English Brewing Co. (English-style Brown Ale)
  • Gaderian, Council Brewing Co. (Old Ale or Strong Ale)
  • Horchata Golden Stout, Border X Brewing Co. (Experimental Beer)
  • Kona Storm, Rip Current Brewing Co. (Coffee Beer)
  • Maiden Voyage, Mission Brewery (German-style Sour Ale)
  • Mosaic Session IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. (Session Beer)
  • Mighty Joe Young, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (American-style Stout)
  • Passion Fruit Kicker, Green Flash Brewing Co. (Fruit Wheat Beer)
  • Red Shirt #30 English Pale Ale, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Ordinary or Special Bitter)
  • Red Trolley Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. (Irish-style Red Ale)
  • Shut Up Wesley Wheat, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (American-style Wheat Beer)
  • Umbrix, Mike Hess Brewing Co. (Imperial Stout)

Silver Medals

  • Astro Amber Ale, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Scottish-style Ale)
  • Barrel-Aged Zumbar, New English Brewing Co. (Wood- & Barrel-aged Strong Stout)
  • Beatitude Cherry Tart Saison, Council Brewing Co. (Belgian-style Fruit Beer)
  • Black Lagoon Scottish Strong, Rip Current Brewing Co. (Scotch Ale)
  • Body Surfing Blonde, Rip Current Brewing Co. (Belgian- & French-style Ale)
  • Galactober Fest, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (German-style Marzen)
  • Good News Everyone!, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (
  • Grapefruit Solis IPA, Mike Hess Brewing Co., (American-style Fruit Beer)
  • Les Saisons (Spring), Council Brewing Co. (American-style Brett Ale)
  • Main St, Mother Earth Brew Co. (English-style Summer Ale)
  • My Other Vice, Mike Hess Brewing Co. (German-style Sour Ale)
  • Orion’s Stout, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Oatmeal Stout)
  • Pepper Magna Cucurbita, Mike Hess Brewing Co. (Chili Pepper Beer)
  • Poppycock! ESB, 2Kids Brewing Co. (Extra Special Bitter) – no gold medal awarded
  • Red Shirt #44 Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Chocolate Beer)
  • Space Oasis Coconut Porter, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Field Beer)
  • The Peach Around, Legacy Brewing Co.

Bronze Medals

  • Buckshot Biere de Garde, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. (Belgian- & French-style Ale)
  • Dia de los Serranos, Green Flash Brewing Co. (Chili Pepper Beer)
  • Dragoon, New English Brewing Co. (Double Red Ale)
  • Frontside Foreign Extra Stout, Rip Current Brewing Co. (Foreign-style Stout)
  • Gatling Gun, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. (Imperial Stout)
  • Habitus IPA, Mike Hess Brewing Co., (Rye Beer)
  • Helles, Lightning Brewery (Mnich-style Helles)
  • Krystal Weizen, Mission Brewery (German-style Wheat Ale)
  • Nicene, Council Brewing Co. (American-style Brett Ale)
  • Red Shirt #38 Cucumber Grapefruit White IPA, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Fruit Beer)
  • Scripps Pier Stout, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (Oatmeal Stout)
  • Shock Bock, Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Bock)
  • Why Not Wheat, New English Brewing Co. (American-style Wheat Beer)

Honorable Mention

  • Ashes from the Grave, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery./AleSmith Brewing Co. (Smoke Beer)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Green Flash’s new Barrelmaster’s Reserve Series

Apr 13
A bottle from Green Flash's upcoming Barrelmaster's Reserve Series spied on the production line several weeks ago

A bottle from Green Flash’s upcoming Barrelmaster’s Reserve Series spied on the production line several weeks ago

When Green Flash Brewing Company opened its barrel-aging facility-slash-tasting room, Cellar 3 (12260 Crosthwaite Circle, Poway), it ushered in a new age of reliable wood-matured, tart and wild yeast-stoked product from the country’s 41st largest brewery. Utilization of Brettanomyces, wine and spirit barrels is next-level to be sure, but Green Flash Barrelmaster Pat Korn promises to go even further care of beers from the company’s soon-to-debut Barrelmaster’s Reserve Series.

Billed as a line of experimental, limited-release brews, the Barrelmaster Reserve Series beers will be produced in quantities that are extremely small by comparison to Green Flash’s nationally distributed core and seasonal beers. Between 600 and 1,800 bottles of each offering will be sold per release. Those beers will be available on a first-come-first-served basis for just one day, and exclusively to those who venture to Cellar 3.

While artistically swank, stocked with good beer and in possession of an oasis-like outdoor seating area smack-dab in the heart of businesspark land, Cellar 3 has proven a challenge due to its location. While businesses that plunk down in hot-spots such as North Park, Vista or even the suddenly sudsy Rancho Bernardo, easily draw in droves of beer fans, having such a beer-nerd-centric locale in Poway’s industrial expanses has led to less-than-preferred attendance numbers. This would seem a solid effort to expose an exceptional beer haven to the types of customers who would most appreciate it.

The first Barelmaster’s Reserve Series releases will be Lustrous Frumento with Coffee, a 13.1% alcohol-by-volume, 100% bourbon barrel-aged black ale (Green Flash’s retired Double Stout?) matured in Old Forester whiskey cooperage for a whopping two-and-a-half years before being dosed with a cold-brew blend of Brazilian and Sumatran java from local roaster, Mostra Coffee. The “micro-release” for Lustrous Frumento will be May 21 and each 750-milliliter bottle will go for $24.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beer of the Week: Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker

Jan 29
Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker

Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker

From the Beer Writer: I saw the name come through the online trademark database—Green Flash Passion Fruit Kicker. No way, I thought. How could San Diego’s third-largest craft brewery be planning to package a beer that complex? For those who’ve never heard of Passion Fruit Kicker, that name was developed when former Green Flash brewmaster Chuck Silva and director of beer education Dave Adams worked with yours truly to develop a recipe to brew for the Beer to the Rescue anti-lupus campaign. The most complex of the 30-plus beers the fundraising effort birthed, PFK was a wheat India pale ale (IPA) with Brettanomyces and passion fruit procured from Stone Farms that was dry-hopped with experimental hops and blended with a wine barrel-aged IPA. While it was delicious and even thought-provoking in its unique character, going national with something like that hardly seemed feasible. Then I read the approved label and discovered the name was applied to a low-alcohol wheat ale brewed with passion fruit concentrate and passion fruit tea. While almost totally different, it’s also quite nice. Based on the base recipe for Alpine Beer Co.’s wheat ale, Willy (Green Flash Brewing Company acquired Green Flash in 2014), it has a subtle creaminess that gives way to restrained fruit tartness in the finish. A mineral quality similar to Sauvignon Blanc wine is also present. This 5.5% alcohol-by-volume session ale has a lot going for it…and is a heck of a lot easier to explain than its namesake.

From the Brewer: “Passion Fruit Kicker has a pretty unique origin story. It came about when two different ideas from two different sources merged. The brewers had been experimenting with teas in casks and single-keg one-off beers. Our favorite tea to use was a passion fruit tea (from local company, Tea Gallerie). It has an amazing aroma and flavor like a ripe passion fruit. At the time we were playing around with that tea in different beers, the idea for a tart, fruity wheat beer emerged. So naturally we tried making that beer with the passion fruit tea. It was a perfect match! We combined passion fruit concentrate with the tea to make a uniquely pungent, aromatic, tart and refreshing wheat beer. It actually smells and tastes like you’re drinking it out of a hollowed-out passion fruit gourd! The background of a very clean, crisp, lightly bittered wheat beer lets the passion fruit shine for a truly great fruit beer experience.”—Kevin Barnes, Lead Brewer, Green Flash Brewing Company

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alpine Beer’s original location born anew

Jan 28

alpine_02It once went by the name and persona of McGuffey’s Ice Cream Parlor, the smallish left-most unit in the family of storefronts off Alpine Boulevard which eventually became the town’s craft-beer Mecca. That status came via many hoppy returns provided by Alpine Beer Company (2351 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine), who took over the space nearly a decade ago, converting it to a bar-and-restaurant serving up bodacious beers and barbecue to match. It was far from perfect—it couldn’t seat nearly enough people to meet demand for those lupulin-laced ales and service was spotty—but the beer made up for any shortcomings. Nowadays, the venue and the new logic behind it makes the pilgrimage to Alpine much more worth the time and gas thanks to an overhaul issued by parent interest Green Flash Brewing Company.


Service with a smile seems more common now that Alpine Beer’s service system is more streamlined

Director of beer education Dave Adams took the lead in the remodel after successfully completing other high-profile Green Flash projects including its Cellar 3 tasting room in Poway and the spacious Alpine Beer Company Pub less than a mile west of ABC’s original digs. Nowadays, that’s where the business’ fans go for ‘cue and other beer-friendly sustenance, while growler-toting voyagers united in their beery single-mindedness venture to Adams’ latest triumph. Gone is the checkerboard-tile flooring, red duct-work lining the ceiling and perhaps the county’s smallest kitchen. The whole place was gutted, torn down to be built up into something befitting Alpine’s deep-country thematic.

Turn up the bar-stools at Alpine Beer's new tasting room and memories abound

Turn up the bar-stools at Alpine Beer’s new tasting room and memories abound

Instead of walking into what looks and feels like an old-time diner, visitors now find themselves in a scarcely populated log cabin. The non-existent furniture isn’t an accident. The lack of indoor seating leaves lots of room for the lines that regularly form at the tasting bar, where samplers and full pours are both available. The bar and stools from the original restaurant have been pushed up against the windowed east wall and there’s a smattering of new stools on an alcove facing the street, but al fresco’s the way to go here thanks to Adams’ work to greatly expand the outdoor seating behind the tasting room. The entire “back yard” has been tiered and offers multiple picnic tables for prolonged suds sessions. Back indoors, the space remains bright thanks to plenty of windows plus skylights and dangling twentieth-century milk lights. Adams had considered going with trendy exposed Edison bulbs, but keeping things a bit more subdued works better in this case.

Overall, it’s a simple yet thoughtful project that makes a once loveable yet sadly deficient venue far more utilitarian and service-oriented. The staff have the means to succeed and that seems to translate to the overall attitude behind the bar. In the past, bartenders had a tendency to be edgy or outright rude, but service with a smile is the name of the game now, and that’s as important a face-lift as the one afforded this must-visit San Diego brew-scene gem.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kensington Brewing opening doors January 23

Jan 20

kensington_01Last week, Green Flash Brewing Company founder Mike Hinkley wondered if the current climate of the beer industry left room for newly established small breweries to grow into the next generation of large brewing companies distributing beer nation- and world-wide. It’s a good question, but hardly the end-game imagined by Zack Knipe, co-owner of Kensington Brewing (5839 Mission Gorge Road, Grantville), a company that’s been in operation for more than two years but will officially go live with its tasting room and an expanded production schedule on January 23.

Knipe and business partner Andy Rogers have a great deal in common—a love of brewing, USD alumni status, jobs in the construction and engineering industry. They are also passionate about craft beer’s ability to help build community and friendships, and consider that as much a goal as producing quality beer. They say they’re not interested in growing faster if it means taking away from the ability to have a meaningful connection with their customers, something they say has been key to their early growth. Knipe says he knows most of his customers by name.

A lounge of antiquities precedes Kensington Brewing's tasting room

A lounge of antiquities precedes Kensington Brewing’s tasting room

His ability to keep everyone straight may be hindered if Kensington Brewing’s tasting room takes off. That space is adjacent to the three-barrel, direct-fire system-equipped brewery, and outfitted with old barrels reconfigured into seating vessels. The recent El Niño storms flooded the room, but it has been restored so that newcomers can enjoy it to its fullest during Saturday’s grand opening, which will take place from 12 to 8 p.m. After that, the tasting room will be open Thursdays and Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 12 to 8 p.m.

Now’s as good a time to address the elephant in the room. Kensington Brewing is located in Grantville, not Kensington. While the duo endeavored to find a nice spot on Adams Avenue to call home, such a space was hard to come by. So, they shared a warehouse in the Mission Gorge area with friends at The WestBean Coffee Roasters for two years before moving to their current location in the same industrial park that houses brew-it-yourself spot, Citizen Brewers. Their entire facility is 1,600 square feet and should allow Kensington Brewing to produce 105 barrels of beer in its first year of operation.

kensington_03When the tasting room opens, the tap list will reflect Knipe’s and Rogers’ affinity for Old World styles exhibiting malt and hop balance. The sextet of initial offerings will include an apricot wheat ale (5.4% alcohol-by-volume), brown ale (5.2%), coffee stout (made using WestBean product, coming in at 7.4%), English-style India pale ale (8.3%), double IPA (9.2%) and imperial stout (7.4%).

In five-to-ten years, Knipe and Rogers hope to have moved into a building within Kensington proper brewing off a 10- or 15-barrel system. For now, they’re doing just fine. And as for the far-off future, Knipe says his idea of long-term vision involves his two sons taking over Kensington and keeping it going.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Next Page »