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Posts Tagged Green Flash

October Events Sampler Flight

Oct 1

sf_1015Fall arrives with the promise of brats and lederhosen, but there’s more to October than its namesake festing period. Don’t believe us, then read on and see for yourself the plethora of ale- and lager-fueled events that so admirably fill the period in-between Oktoberfest and next month’s San Diego Beer Week. Still not enough for you? Consult our events page for even more fun.

October | Oktoberfest Celebrations: Everyone is embracing German culture (and beer) to varying degrees, from ‘hoods like Carlsbad, El Cajon, La Jolla, La Mesa and Ocean Beach, to local breweries including AleSmith Brewing Co.Ballast Point Brewing & SpiritsGreen Flash Brewing Co. and 24-7-365 Germanic Lightning Brewery. Consult our events page and brewery websites for more deets. | Various Locations, Dates & Times Vary

October | Beer to the Rescue Releases: It’s another big month of one-time-only beer releases for this charity effort benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. Half Door Brewing Co. will debut its extra special bitter (Oct. 12, East Village), followed by 32 North Brewing Co.‘s dry-hopped Irish-American red ale (Oct. 22 in Miramar) and Rip Current Brewing Co.’s red rye imperial IPA (Oct. 28 in North Park). | Various Locations, Times Vary

October 10 | Birdies & Beers: It’s the official unofficial sporting pastime enjoyed by just about every pro brewery in the Greater San Diego area. That’s right…disc golf? Go figure, but the only thing San Diego’s fermentation specialists seem to love more than ales and lagers is a good fling. Get in on a great day on the greens that includes beer, food, music and helping out a good cause. | Sun Valley Golf Course, 5080 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, 11 a.m.

October 18 | Pour It Black: As autumn sets in and the temperature “falls” from 85 degrees to a chilly 82, the time for darker, heartier beers presents itself and Stone Brewing Co. is more than prepared. With more than 100 different brown-to-onyx hued sour ales, porters, stouts, IPAs and barrel-aged brews, quantity, quality and variety are all well represented at this annual fest. | Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, 10 a.m.

October 21 | Drinkabout!: Yes, this event happens every month, but having the fun and value of taking part in free transport to a handful of standout imbibing strongholds offering special deals and beers within San Diego’s sudsier neighborhoods can’t be understated. Get on the bus and get in on a good time. | Various Locations; Normal Heights, North Park, South Park, University Heights; 7 p.m.

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Chuck Silva Resigns from Green Flash Brewing Co.

Sep 28
Brewmaster Chuck Silva

Brewmaster Chuck Silva

There are local brewers whose names are synonymous with the companies they work for. You hear Tomme Arthur and you think The Lost Abbey. You hear Yuseff Cherney and you think Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. You hear Chuck Silva and you think of Green Flash Brewing Co.’s spiky, fluorescent green half-sun logo. Time to ditch that last correlation, because today Silva resigned from Green Flash after 11 years of guiding the company, and the design and manufacture of its decidedly West Coast-style, hop-driven beers.

Green Flash owners Mike and Lisa Hinkley brought Silva on in 2004 when the company was struggling to make an impact with the craft crowd. The difference following Silva’s arrival was night and day. Free to brew the hop-heavy recipes his personal tastes gravitated toward, he scored home runs with beers like his West Coast IPA and Hop Head Red before taking on a variety of Belgian-inspired ales, barrel-aged and Brettanomyces-stoked beers. Consumer demand grew, translating to sales, a move to a larger brewery in San Diego’s Mira Mesa community, the opening of a satellite brewing and barrel-aging facility called Cellar 3 in Poway, and construction of an East Coast brewery slated to open in Virginia Beach, Va. next year. As of the close of 2014, Green Flash had grown to become the 48th largest brewery (by production) in the United States.

Given Green Flash’s astronomical growth and Silva’s achievements while there—including plenty of medals from the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival (including a gold medal for his Belgo-American Le Freak collected at Saturday’s GABF) and other prestigious brewing competitions—one has to wonder what would motivate him to make this move, especially at such a key period of growth for Green Flash. While it seems out of the blue, this is actually something Silva has contemplated for a long time, ever since falling in love with the idea of establishing his own brewing company. Effective immediately, that is what he’ll be devoting 100% of his time and energy to.

Adding to the passion behind the future Silva Brewing Company is the fact he will be working on the project with his wife, Mary Jo, and building it in California’s Central Coast region from which he hails. He’s targeted San Luis Obispo County, where many of his family and friends reside.

“It’s been so fulfilling to play such a major role in the accomplishment of so many goals at Green Flash. Together, we’ve come further and grown larger than I could have ever foreseen. I couldn’t have done it alone and I thank every member of the craft community that helped me along the way,” said Silva. “But it’s always been my dream and personal long-term goal to brew on my own terms. Now is the time to go for it.”

Update: Green Flash has promoted Head Brewer Erik Jensen to the position of Brewmaster

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SD Brewers Kill It at 2015 Great American Beer Festival

Sep 26

After several years in which San Diego County breweries had strong, but annually declining performances at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the 2015 edition of the country’s largest and most prestigious brewing competition saw a whopping 19 medals awarded to San Diego breweries (20 if you count the silver to San Diego-based Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s Costa Mesa brewpub for its Singularity American-style black ale).

Held each year in Denver, Colorado, GABF takes place at the Colorado Convention Center and gets bigger each time out. This year, 242 judges from 15 countries judged more than 6,000 beers from 1,552 brewing companies, vying for gold, silver and bronze medals in 92 beer style categories. Each brewery that received the opportunity to enter the competition was allowed five entries per brewery-equipped location.

Each of Pizza Port’s four San Diego County brewpubs won at least one award. San Diego breweries nearly swept the Coffee Beer category altogether. And first-time winners abounded. But no rookie win was more unexpected or prestigious than that of Santee-based BNS Brewing and Distilling Co., which shocked the industry by beating out 335 other India pale ales to win the competition’s most highly contested category—IPA. As big a deal as that was, one brewery did even better. San Marcos’ Rip Current Brewing Co. was named the “Very Small Brewery of the Year” for 2015 behind gold and silver medals earned in the Bock and Scotch Ale categories, respectively.

The following is a list of all of the San Diego County winners from the 2015 GABF competition.

Very Small Brewery of the Year: Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos
Coffee Beer: Gold—Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, New English Brewing Co., Sorrento Valley; Bronze—Bacon & Eggs, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach
India Pale Ale: Gold—Revolver IPA, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Santee
Session India Pale Ale: Gold—The Coachman, Societe Brewing Co., Kearny Mesa
Wood & Barrel-Aged Sour Beer: Gold—Veritas 015, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos
American-Belgo-Style Ale: Gold—Le Freak, Green Flash Brewing Co., Mira Mesa
Bock: Gold—Break Line Bock, Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos
Scotch Ale: Silver—Black Lagoon Scottish Strong, Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos
Oatmeal Stout: Silver—Scripps Pier Stout, South Park Brewing Co., South Park
Session Beer: Bronze—Guillaume, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach
International-Style Pale Ale: Bronze—San Diego-style IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., La Jolla
Imperial India Pale Ale: Bronze—Teahupo’o, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside
American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Bronze—Shark Bite Red, Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad
Double Red Ale: Bronze—GRAMBO, Pizza Port, Solana Beach
French- & Belgian-Style Saison: Bronze—Saison, URBN St. Brewing Co., El Cajon
Other Belgian-Style Ale: Bronze—Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station
Export Stout: Bronze—Z-Man Stout, Pizza Port, Carlsbad
South German-Style Hefeweizen: Bronze—Windansea Wheat, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Pacific Beach
Chile Beer: Bronze—Serrano Pale Ale, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Scripps Ranch

San Diego County brewers brought home six gold medals, two silvers and 11 bronzes, with 10 of the awards going to breweries located within the actual City of San Diego. Nearly San Diegan neighbors that also won include Aftershock Brewing Company, which took bronze for its oatmeal cookie-flavored porter in the Herb and Spice Beer category, and Garage Brewing Company, which won gold for its Bucket Seat Blonde in the Munich-style Helles category. Both companies are based in Temecula, California. A full list of every winner can be found on the Brewers Association‘s website.

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Q&A: Marty Mendiola

Aug 26

Owner & Brewmaster, Second Chance Beer Companysecondchance_01

He’s been a fixture in the San Diego brewing scene for more than a decade-and-a-half, won countless national and international awards for his to-style beers and even served a term as the president of the San Diego Brewers Guild. Quiet, pleasant and completely uncontroversial, Marty Mendiola has done all of this under the radar for the most part. Nowadays, the former Rock Bottom standout finds himself in a rare place—under the microscope—as he prepares to open the passion project he left his longtime digs to open, Second Chance Beer Co. We caught up with him during one of his first brew days to pelt him with questions about one of San Diego County’s most exciting soon-to-debut breweries.

With 15 years of good work and great status in the Rock Bottom family, you were in a good spot. Why did you stake out on your own?
I really enjoyed working for Rock Bottom. The confidence and freedom they give the brewers really allowed me to explore my creativity and, ultimately, make better beer. Two things drove me to go out on my own. First, I always liked the idea of getting my beer out to a wider audience, so I am looking forward to seeing it poured at the great bars and restaurants around town and, eventually, our cans and bottles being bought at stores and beer shops. Second was the physical demands of brewing on a small, completely manual system. Carrying every bag of grain in one-at-a-time and pulling the spent grain out in heavy trash cans is tiring. With Second Chance being much bigger, we have the forklift and pallet jacks to help with the lifting. I feel like we can build this into something we are proud of!

What are some things you love most about having your own brewery?
The best thing about Second Chance is that we’ve created it ourselves from the ground up. I collaborated with my wife, Virginia Morrison, whose motivation and help has been ineffable, and my business partner, Curtis Hawes, to customize the brewery and tap room to our liking, and do whatever we wanted from the start. My mom Hilda, my brother Anthony, and our friend Robin have also pitched in on weekends to help us get ready. In the brewery, we have a 30-barrel system from Escondido’s Premier Stainless Systems. It is really sweet. I feel I can take the beer styles and ideas I have done in the past and make them just as good, but probably better, on this setup. We have to expand, and will do so as it feels comfortable, but there’s no rush.

secondchance_02What beers can people expect when you open and how would you describe your personal brewing style?
Our first beers will be a Kölsch-style ale called Luminous Blonde, red IPA, a black porter called Tabula Rasa (Spanish for “blank slate”) and…are you ready for this…an IPA! Seize the IPA! I have dozens of beer styles I want to brew, but need to find the patience to grow the lineup over time. I have been told that my brewing style is “smooth,” which basically tells me the flavors blend well together with a clean aftertaste. I’ll take that as a compliment! I have a similar preference for English- and Belgian-style ales that my friends at AleSmith and Benchmark Brewing brew. This can range from low-alcohol, balanced session beers to bold, flavorful, sometimes hoppy, big beers. I also love working with whisky and rum barrels.

Are you brewing alone or do you have a team?
I have reunited with Craig Gregovics, my assistant brewer from Rock Bottom! We work great together and he is a Midwesterner like myself, so we tend to work ourselves to the point of exhaustion, which can be good and bad.

What will the tasting room be like and how did you select your location?
Not only do we believe that Second Chance is a fortunate opportunity, something we are lucky to get and must make the most of, but we also embrace the repurposing and reusing aspect. In that spirit, we have reused gas pipes from the demolition, whiskey barrels from the good people at The Lost Abbey, fence wood from my childhood home and many other cool, personal touches. There is also an open view of the brewery. As for the location, as soon as we walked into the building, we knew it was our spot. We are excited to meet our neighbors in our tap room. We have major industry around us: tech, construction, computers, concrete, aircraft, medical, etc., and they are already excited for us to open. Also, we are right off the freeway—technically in Carmel Mountain Ranch—and there are not that many options to grab a beer here. Rancho Bernardo has Urge Gastropub and Abnormal Beer Co. Poway has Cellar 3 and Lightning Brewery. So we are happy to be so close and fill this space in between.

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Green Flash’s Treasure Chest beer and fest return

Jul 28

treasurechest_00Over the past half-decade, what started as one woman’s battle has grown to include the support of a diverse militia spanning from one side of this great country to the other. Green Flash Brewing Company co-founder and vice president of marketing, Lisa Hinkley, is a breast cancer survivor who is passionate about aiding others afflicted with this widespread disease and, with any luck, eradicating it from the face of the earth. Five years ago, she and her work colleagues banded together to debut a special beer called Treasure Chest to raise money for the local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. That succinct initial offering has sprouted numerous follow-up beers, a pair of large fundraising festivals and, most importantly, a great deal of support for breast cancer charities and sufferers.

Each year since the release of the first Treasure Chest (Brettanomyces-spiked Belgian-style pale ale that has since become an annual offering under the name Rayon Vert), Green Flash’s has upped its efforts to support Susan G. Komen, most notably where its Treasure Chest Fest. The beer festival is held at the company’s Mira Mesa facility, taking over everything from the outdoor beer garden to the brewery itself, but numerous local restaurants also show up to prepare dishes specifically paired with Green Flash specialty and one-off brews, including Treasure Chest, which changes each year. This year’s Treasure Chest Fest will take place August 29 and once again include guest chefs. The iteration of Treasure Chest that one of those culinarians will be pairing their food with will be a pink, 100% Mosaic-hopped IPA brewed with hibiscus flowers and the juice of prickly pears and grapefruits.

treasurechest_01For the first year since the initial Treasure Chest came out, the beer will be bottled. Look for the IPA in 22-ounce bottles and on draft nationwide as well as the fest beside rare Green Flash beers and unique cask creations. Tickets for the event are available online. And on the 11th of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), Green Flash will hold its second annual Treasure Chest Fest on a parcel of land adjacent to its upcoming brewery in Virginia Beach, Virginia (scheduled to open 2016), proceeds from which will go to Susan G. Komen Tidewater.

Over the past five years, Green Flash’s Treasure Chest initiatives have raised more than $150,000. In addition to the beer release and festivals, the company will set up various events across the country (tap takeovers, beer dinners, etc.) to garner additional funds from September through November.

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