Green Flash Brewing Co of San Diego, CA, who also owns Alpine Beer Co. in Alpine, CA, has just announced that it will be reducing its workforce by 15% and also ending distribution in 33 states, Louisiana being one of them. None of these layoffs will affect any of the Green Flash Tasting Rooms or any Alpine Beer Co employees. Green Flash is retreating from markets that showed declining sales and were only a tiny fraction of their distribution footprint. As Co-founder Mike Hinkley tells it, “For years people said I was crazy for trying to cover the whole country, and they were right.” They will now focus on their top markets and providing them with the best and freshest beer possible. Alpine Beer Co’s offerings will naturally mirror Green Flash’s exodus from those 33 states.
Green Flash, who first entered the Louisiana market via Crescent Crown Distributing in June of 2012, was established in 2002 by husband and wife team Mike and Lisa Hinkley in San Diego California. Green Flash is known for their West Coast Style IPA’s, as well as their Belgian-style beers and prior to this news, was distributed in all 50 U.S. States, as well as Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, and Belgium.
In 2013, Alpine Beer Co entered into a partnership with Green Flash to have them contract brew Alpine’s beers at Green Flash’s brand new Mira Mesa Brewery. Only a year later, Green Flash acquired Alpine, yet the original owners retained full control of brewing their beers.
Alpine Beer Co was founded in 1999 by husband and wife Patrick and Valerie McIlhenney in Alpine CA. Pat, who was a Captain in the fire department, started homebrewing and instantly fell in love! He knew that he wanted to open a brewpub… but didn’t know when. He started stockpiling brewing knowledge working part-time at a local homebrew supply shop where he taught classes in advanced homebrewing and also took brewing classes at U.C. Davis on his vacation time with the fire department. Pat then received the hands on brewing knowledge when his friends Skip and Ted opened craft beer legend AleSmith in 1995. He would help out around the brewery doing whatever was needed and eventually had them contract brew “McIlhenney Irish Red”, which would be Alpine Beer Co’s first beer. A few years later in 2002, Pat and Val went in with Skip and Ted on some brewing equipment, and that was the beginning of Alpine’s own brewery.
We at Beer Down Here are understandable with Green Flash’s decision, yet saddened none the less.