More than 20 of our local craft breweries plan to brew a beer in support of lupus research and awareness in 2015, thanks to an initiative established by journalist Brandon Hernández.
On January 31, the Beer to the Rescue campaign kicks off at Benchmark Brewing with the release of Hildegard, a triple IPA.
“Most people have heard of lupus or know someone suffering from it, but few know anything beyond the name of this autoimmune disease — what it is, its effect on those who have it or the fact that it is severely under-researched. This needs to change,” says Hernández, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2014 after years of suffering. Proceeds from Beer to the Rescue benefit the Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC).
In a press release, Hernández noted that in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties alone, more than 20,000 people are suffering from lupus. That number is even considered a low estimate, because most people with lupus are never diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, which negatively impacts victims via myriad painful symptoms, causes irreparable damage to vital organs and can be fatal.
“The LFSC has been in operation for 20 years, and because no one really talks about lupus — even people who have lupus — it’s hard to get people involved with our organization,” says LFSC Executive Director Hollaine Hopkins. “The Beer to the Rescue campaign will tap into the very large and passionate craft beer fan base that already exists in San Diego and help raise awareness for lupus and our organization.”
In addition to the Benchmark beer mentioned above, other Beer to the Rescue brews include a Belgian-style quadrupel from Nickel Beer Co., a dry-hopped Belgian- style single brewed with rhubarb from Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, an imperial milk stout infused with chocolate, orange and spicy chilies from Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, a sour ale brewed with blueberries and fermented using wild yeast from Toolbox Brewing Company, a black saison brewed with dried currants and orange peel from Lightning Brewery, and an experimentally dry-hopped wheat and passion fruit-infused Brett IPA from Green Flash Brewing Company.
More San Diego breweries plan to participate, although not all of them will be creating beers for the campaign. Some, due to brewing capacity restraints, will instead donate to the cause, host special events, and/or make LFSC a featured charity at their venues. Those breweries include 32 North, AleSmith, Amplified Ale Works, Aztec, Bagby Beer, Bolt, Coronado, Council, Intergalactic, Iron Fist, Mike Hess, Mother Earth, New English, Pizza Port Solana Beach, Port/The Lost Abbey/The Hop Concept, Rip Current, Societe, Stone (Escondido), Stone (Liberty Station), Toolbox, and URBN St.
100% of the proceeds from this festival will be donated to Susan G Komen for the Cure San Diego, as well as $1 from each full pour sold in the tasting room.
Fest tickets are $25 — or $35 at the door — for 10 taster tickets, food pairings and a commemorative pint glass.
The featured beer for this event is Treasure Chest 2013, a Belgian-style brown ale.
For more information on the beer list, food pairing partners, and tickets, visit this link.
(San Diego, CA) – This month, Green Flash Brewing Co. is installing 6 new 250 barrel fermenters, bringing the San Diego brewery to 100% production capacity, about 100,000 annual barrels. Additional production increases will come from a second brewery in Virginia Beach, Virginia, currently in planning. Green Flash has steadily increased production capacity ahead of demand since completing the initial build out of its state of the art San Diego facility in 2011. After re-watching Suds County USA, a 2012 documentary chronicling the timeline of San Diego’s craft beer explosion, Green Flash Co-Founder and CEO, Mike Hinkley was again struck by the “all-hands-on-deck” spirit of craft beer’s earliest pioneers. Mike had recently heard that Pat McIlhenney of Alpine Beer Co. was looking for a contract brewer, so that he could make enough beer to raise capital to expand operations. Mike immediately called Pat and offered to brew kegged beer for Alpine at Green Flash.
Mike presented the terms of the “non-contract” to Pat: Green Flash will not make a profit on the beer, only recover its costs, and only brew the beer when it does not interfere with meeting orders for Green Flash. The timing of the arrival of the new tanks, fit Alpine’s timing perfectly and the price could not be beat. So the only thing left was the hand shake.
“We are not contract brewing, we’re just helping Pat accomplish his goals of building a new brewery.” emphasizes Co-Founder and CEO, Mike Hinkley. “We have no interest in contract brewing and I cannot think of another scenario that would prompt me to make that call. San Diego’s craft beer scene was built on a foundation of community, with brewers helping each other to succeed. We benefited greatly from help and advice of other breweries, including Alpine, while getting started. I am very proud to be able to help Pat and Alpine.”
Green Flash is brewing only kegged beer for Alpine. Alpine is finalizing plans to work with Cold Springs in Minnesota to produce canned beer. These combined efforts will allow Alpine to produce about 5,000 barrels annually – an increase of about 200%
“I have known Pat for over 15 years as a brewer in San Diego and we work well together,” explains Chuck Silva, Brewmaster at Green Flash. “Because we brew similar styles, I know this arrangement is a great fit which will make it easy for our teams to work together. While Green Flash will not benefit financially from the arrangement, I think our production team will reap the rewards from this as a learning opportunity.”
Green Flash will brew three of Alpine’s most popular offerings: Hoppy Birthday, Nelson and Duet to spec, hops and other ingredients provided by Alpine. Green Flash will be ready to brew as soon as the latest cellar expansion is complete. They will brew Alpine beers for approximately one year, brewing a rotation of 250 barrel batches of these three Alpine beers. Chuck and Pat will work closely with the brewing team at Green Flash to ensure these beers are brewed to spec, and White Labs will ensure each release is consistent to Alpine’s formulations with lab testing prior to distribution.
“Having Mike Hinkley call with his most generous offer to help is overwhelming and came as a beautiful surprise,” says Pat McIlhenney from Alpine Beer Co. “The quality and craftsmanship Chuck and crew bring to their beers gives me the greatest confidence we will be able to seamlessly introduce a greater supply of our highly sought after beers. I am humbled by Mike’s generosity.”
Beer will be packaged in Alpine’s kegs and Alpine will be managing their own distribution. Finalizing compliance and other necessary legalities is currently in process, and there is no timetable in place –starting in September at the earliest. However, the Brewers met yesterday evening over a beer to finalize next steps, sealing their agreement with a handshake and another round. Just like old times.
About Alpine Beer Company
Alpine Beer Company was founded in 1999 by contracting with AleSmith Brewing Company for their award winning McIlhenney’s Irish Red. Located in the eastern part of San Diego County, this family owned and operated brewery opened in 2002 in their little home town of Alpine. Since that time we have offered over thirty different brews, some barrel aged beers, multiple IPA’s and unique lagers to name a few. A tiny pub was opened in 2010 and offers a delicious barbeque themed menu.
About Green Flash Brewing Co.
Green Flash Brewing Co., is located in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley. Brewmaster, Chuck Silva, leads brewing operations. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer of fine, hand-crafted ales, and specializes in brewing assertive and distinctive beers, such as the nationally acclaimed West Coast I.P.A.: an award-winning beer whose wide acceptance has helped define a category. Green Flash brews a wide variety of beer styles that are available on draft and in bottles as well as a growing lineup of seasonal and special offerings, including several barrel-aged beers, throughout the year. Please visit the Green Flash website www.greenflashbrew.com for more information.
Information obtained via press release
Thomas Kolicko is the director of Crafting A Nation, which screened for the first time in California at Green Flash to coincide with the beginning of American Craft Beer Week on May 13.
How did you first get interested in filmmaking?
I started off in the action sports industry about seven years ago. As I progressed with that style of filmmaking, I learned that I wanted to continue my education to learn more about the art of filmmaking, mainly focusing on story and character development. Also, I wanted a good excuse to move westward, with Colorado now being my home.
What do you feel is the main message of this film?
Crafting A Nation isn’t a beer film, necessarily; instead, the subject of the film is craft brewing. The message of the film is intended to be inspirational. I wanted to create a documentary that takes the audience on a journey to better understand how hard work, passion, and determination will pay off. In the case of craft brewing, all of that hard work is helping in many ways to rebuild the US economy, literally one beer at a time. I would like audiences to leave the film feeling inspired to pursue their own dreams, and understanding what it will take to make that happen.
What breweries and beer bars did you visit while in San Diego? Which stuck out to you?
I freakin’ love San Diego. I’m planning to return on vacation once the film is available for large US distribution, which will be soon. I had a long list of places to visit going into San Diego, and I wish I had more time to discover the smaller and newer breweries in town. Here was my order of touring: Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Alpine, Green Flash, Stone, The Lost Abbey, AleSmith, Ballast Point, Societe, Blind Lady, and Toronado. Hess was closed when I went by, which I was super bummed about. Needless to say, both of my bags weighted 49.5 lbs flying back to Denver.
How would you compare San Diego’s beer scene with others around the country?
It was amazing! It was interesting to go to a beer city that has such a well-developed beer culture. I’ve been to Portland, Asheville, Denver, and Chicago, which are all similar in local market shares. What I love about craft beer, especially in San Diego, is that it’s what makes the city unique. From the artwork on the walls, to the ingredients in the beer, each tap room represents that region with its own character and personality. I’ve been to over 170 breweries now in the past year and half, and no two are alike.
How can readers learn more about the film?
Our website is craftinganation.com, and we can be found on Twitter and Instagram @craftinganation. The film is currently available for digital download. Right now we are in talks with a few distribution companies to begin larger distribution.
To help kick off American Craft Beer Week on May 13, Green Flash is hosting the California premiere of Crafting A Nation, a new film bridging beer and the economy. Here’s a clip from the press release:
“Crafting A Nation is a feature length documentary and new media project about how the American craft brewers are rebuilding the economy one beer at a time.
Despite the economic downturn currently in America, a new exciting industry is on the rise. The American Craft Brewers are truly rebuilding the economy from the ground up. They are creating great beer while also creating jobs, tax revenue, and a drive that cannot be stopped for creating a better tomorrow.
This documentary follows several of the key players in the industry as well as many breweries that are only known within their communities. The characters that we follow in this film all display a common thread of creating a product that stands for something while maintaining true to their local roots.
This principal photography was shot nationwide. We have selected different states that represent different sections of the United States: Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Minnesota and North Carolina. Each state was selected for a particular purpose. We could not go to all 50 states.
Crafting A Nation features breweries, small businesses, and individuals that are growing because of the rise in the American craft beer movement. The characters that have been selected for this film are all picked for their passion, and dedication. Our characters are striving to not only create unique and American-made but they are also committed to the improvement of the quality of life despite the odds faced by the economic downturn.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film starts at 7 p.m., followed by a Q & A with director Thomas Kolicko. Tickets are $5 at this link.