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Posts Tagged Green Flash

Green Flash Brewing to open Nebraska facility

Aug 16

Over the past half-decade, a number of large craft brewing interests have opened additional manufacturing facilities far removed from their home bases in an effort to reduce shipping costs while increasing beer freshness and, of course, overall production capabilities. Logically, most of these moves involved West Coast operations such as Sierra Nevada Brewing, Stone Brewing and Ballast Point Brewing selecting sites on the East Coast. The latter two now operate full-scale breweries in Virginia, as does Mira Mesa-based Green Flash Brewing, which went live with its 58,000-square-foot facility in Virginia Beach last year. With that milestone surpassed, owners Mike and Lisa Hinkley are en route to the next marker on the expansion highway, and it’s hammered on the side of Interstate 80 in the capital city of Nebraska.

Today, Green Flash announced its recent purchase of a 10,000-square-foot brewing facility at 1630 P Street in Lincoln, Nebraska. The brewery, which was previously owned and operated by Ploughshare Brewing Company, was acquired intact, and includes both tasting room and restaurant components. Laying down stakes in the Cornhusker State will allow for faster delivery and better regional pricing to key Midwest metropolises, including Denver, Kansas City and Minneapolis, as well as surrounding states such as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming and the Dakotas. This is part of an ongoing effort by the company to establish regional footholds in key cities across the country. According to Hinkley, there is no target number in mind, but the Lincoln facility will not be the last for Green Flash.

When asked what made Lincoln attractive, Hinkley says, “I have long-time friends in neighboring Omaha at Nebraska Brewing Company. I went to visit them and look at the facility that became available and it was an easy decision. It’s a great college town with great spirit.”

Currently, there are no breweries in Nebraska brewing more than the 10,000 barrels per year that Green Flash aims to produce, so they will come in as both the newest and biggest kid on the block. Lincoln’s brewing interests register in the teens, of which Zipline Brewing is the largest. Green Flash should be able to compete for customers early thanks in part to its inherited restaurant, which is 2,000 square feet in size with seating for 100, including a 30-seat mezzanine area.

Between 20 and 30 taps will dispense beers from Green Flash and sister-brand Alpine Beer Company, while the menu will include burgers, sandwiches, an array of appetizers and sauces made using ingredients from local purveyors. Understanding the importance of football in a college town (and being within walking distance of the University of Nebraska), a state-of-the-art A/V system will facilitate spectating of Cornhusker games. This is the first of Green Flash’s facilities to include a restaurant.

Green Flash expects to employ more than 20 people in Lincoln. The 15-barrel brewery will be operated under the direction of brewmaster Erik Jensen, who will remain based in San Diego. Both Green Flash and Alpine beers will be produced in Nebraska. If all goes as scheduled, that facility will be up, running and welcoming guests in as few as 90 days.

Green Flash, which is currently the 41st largest craft brewing company in the U.S. and will celebrate its 15th year in business this fall, is following in the footsteps of other large brewing interests who operate or are in the process of constructing breweries in the Midwest. A local member of that contingent is the aforementioned Ballast Point, which is building a 12,000-square-foot brewpub in Chicago’s West Loop/Fulton Market area that is scheduled to open next year.

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Beer of the Week: Alpine HFS

Jun 16

Alpine HFS India Pale Ale

From the Beer Writer: Acronyms are used across the alcoholic-beverage industry, typically to describe particularly fine product. Cognac uses VSOP (very special/superior old pale) and XO (extra old), and I’ve always been a fan of Napa-based Chateau Potelle’s using VGS (very good shit) to describe its finest vintages. Alpine Beer Company issued an acronymous handle to its Mosaic-, Simcoe- and Citra-infused India pale ale…Alpine HFS. It’s not so much a descriptor as a reactionary phrase broken down into a publicly suitable format; the sort of happily expletive-laced comment one’s liable to make after tasting this rich, bold IPA. It debuted to great fanfare last year as a draft-only offering before taking a bronze medal in the American-style Strong Pale Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival. The next chapter in this brew’s short but illustrious lifespan is its first release in bottles. That will take place starting at noon, today at Alpine’s tasting room in its namesake East County town. They don’t figure to stay in stock for long. Show up tomorrow to pick some up and you may find yourself shouting Holy F***ing S*** for all the wrong reasons.

From the Brewer: “The beer that named itself. We always strive to offer the best beer we can possibly make, and with this beer we felt it was perfect right out of the gate. No adjustments were necessary. We got exactly what we wanted out of the beer: huge hop aroma, light body and immense drinkability. We hope this beer stays in heavy rotation.”—Shawn McIlhenney, Head Brewer, Alpine Beer Company

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Parting Words: Cosimo Sorrentino

Nov 3

Earlier this week, news broke about popular local brewer Cosimo Sorrentino resigning from his dual-head brewer post at Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery and South Park Brewing Co. A fixture in the community who made a point to communicate and collaborate with nearly every brewery within the county, it was surprising to here he was stepping down, but even more confounding to discover he would absolutely be leaving San Diego come the New Year. More information was in order, so we went to the source to appease readers’ logical queries and concern.

Monkey Paw’s Cosimo Sorrentino checking out the hops yesterday with Nopalito Farm’s Jordan Brownwood; via Facebook

Monkey Paw’s Cosimo Sorrentino (left) checking out hops with Nopalito Farm’s Jordan Brownwood in July; via Nopalito Farms Facebook

West Coaster: What led you to depart your position heading Monkey Paw and South Park Brewing?
Cosimo Sorrentino: A combination of factors, the biggest of which is a necessity for personal growth. I was lucky to learn my craft in the community I grew up in and under an owner that has so much passion, but I feel that I have reached a point where to progress I need a little less comfort and a new environment.

WC: Though your next step has yet to be determined, you are certain you will leave San Diego. Why is that?
CS: I feel San Diego has crossed over to a new era in brewing. The community spirit is being fractured; too many breweries fighting over the same styles, following trends for profit, not enough quality staff to provide front-of-house service…and let’s not get into the distributor issues. This was inevitable and will not necessarily be a bad thing for those making or drinking beer. San Diego beer will get better and those that succeed will benefit from the competition! For myself, I hope that finding a location where the scene is a bit younger will allow me to help foster the same type of conscious collaborative growth that has led to San Diego’s emergence as the beer capitol of the world. It might be selfish, but I have really enjoyed the journey so far and want to keep making new beers with and for new people.

WC: After being such a peacemaker and heavy collaborator within the San Diego industry, is it difficult for you to move on?
CS: Not to be cliché, but this is truly the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It means stepping away from, not only the coolest brewing job I’ve seen, but leaving family, friends and, potentially even my dog. I am bummed that I will not have the chance to collaborate with some guys and gals in town—especially some of the new breweries—and that I will not be part of Monkey Paw’s next step as a business, whatever that may be.

WC: What will you miss the most about the San Diego brewing and beer scenes?
CS: One word: HOPS! No, but seriously, I will miss the universal nature of the love for beer and brewers in this city. It will be weird to walk into three-or-four bars in an evening and not run into a fellow brewer or maybe even an educated beer-drinker. I’ve never felt the camaraderie and respect that I have experienced in San Diego with brewers and consumers alike.

WC: What are some of your finest memories of your time brewing professionally in San Diego?
CS: Wow. Hardest question…I’ll never forget the first week I got the job at Paw. I had every brewer that I had looked up to either drop in or hit me up on the phone to help me get dialed in. It was a whirlwind, and I did not fully appreciate it at the time, but this foundation paid off and I will be forever grateful. Those memories were revisited last year when I got to sit in on a collab at Karl Strauss on Columbia Street. Not only did we have (KS brewmaster) Paul Segura, (Gordon Biersch head brewer) Doug Hasker and (Monkey Paw/South Park Brewing owner) Scot Blair brewing that day, (Ballast Point Brewing VP) Colby Chandler dropped in to open some bottles as a farewell to (former Green Flash Brewing Co. brewmaster and current Silva Brewing owner/brewmaster) Chuck Silva on his last day in San Diego. This was only made better by the fact that I had invited (North Park Beer Co. assistant brewer) Joaquin Basauri to drop in. This was early on in Joaquin and I’s friendship and the look on his face as we drank barleywine and talked shop with these godfathers brought me back to that feeling of awe.

WC: What were your goals for the semi-controversial public-forum you held to discuss the changing landscape of San Diego beer?
CS: While the forum never became a series, I hope that the discussion was opened and people are more likely to speak honestly and in an informed manner about the evolution of our city and the industry. I am glad there is a reduced amount of animosity because that energy can be redirected towards progression instead of hate and fear.

WC: Any parting words for our readers?
CS: Thank you for absolutely everything. I hope I’ve returned 10% of the happiness and joy you have given me.

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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)

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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.

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