Chuck Silva resigns from Green Flash Brewing Co.

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Sep 28, 2015.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,330) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader


    World-renowned brewer from country’s 48th largest craft brewery resigns to build and operate a brewery all his own

    San Diego, California (September 28, 2015) — After nearly 11 years spent helping to set the pace of Southern California’s craft beer movement at the helm of Green Flash Brewing Co., Brewmaster Chuck Silva has resigned from the San Diego, Ca.-based operation. Effective immediately, he will be funneling his energies into the establishment of his very own craft brewing operation at a yet-to-be-determined location in California’s San Luis Obispo County.

    “Words cannot express my deep level of appreciation for the opportunities that Green Flash Founders Mike and Lisa Hinkley have provided me over the past decade-plus,” says Silva. “Together, we pooled our shared passion and determination to accomplish great things and introduce drinkers across the country to innovative, largely hop-forward beers that I was proud to help craft along with Green Flash’s passionate brewing staff. I will miss them all, but feel now is the time to focus on this next chapter.”

    Adding to Silva’s enthusiasm is the chance to build his brewing company in the region where he grew up. The brewmaster hails from the Central Coast, and many of his longtime friends and family still live there. Silva is particularly excited about brewing up a business working side-by-side with the newest family member, wife Mary Jo.

    When Silva joined Green Flash in 2004, the employee base totaled less than a dozen and the business was struggling to find an identity and market share in San Diego’s rapidly growing brewing industry. Thanks in large part to poignant beers tackling a wide range of styles—from hoppy beers to Belgian-inspired ales to barrel-aged sours and stouts, and more—Green Flash evolved into one of the nation’s premier brewing operations, currently employing more than 200 with nationwide and international distribution, and plans to open a second full-scale brewery in Virginia Beach, Va. in 2016.

    “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,” says 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 and I’m looking forward to working on smaller projects.”

    ABOUT CHUCK SILVA: As the former Brewmaster and VP of Brewing Operations at Green Flash Brewing Co., Chuck Silva became well known for his award-winning, flavor-forward beer creations. He began his brewing career in San Diego after attending the American Brewers Guild and subsequent Craft Brewers Apprenticeship. Silva started as the Brewmaster for Green Flash Brewing Company in 2004 with an immediate focus on recipe formulation and development. He led Green Flash Brewing through two expansions in 2007 and 2009. In the fall of 2010, he led the brewery through a 44,000-square-foot build-out and moved brewing operations to a new, much larger San Diego facility, upping production to 45,000 barrels per year by the end of 2011. In 2015, Chuck led the brewery’s expansion in San Diego to a separate space in North San Diego County dedicated to housing all of the brand’s rare and barrel aged beers under the name Cellar 3. He was also integral to the planning of the company’s second brewing facility in Virginia Beach, Va.

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  2. TheWiltChamberlainofipas

    TheWiltChamberlainofipas Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2015 Oregon

    Huge fan of Green Flash. Had the chance to meet Mr Silva in Seattle nice guy, looking forward to his furture endeavor.
    rogerdandy likes this.
  3. kpacedo

    kpacedo Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2009 California

    Was he integral in failing to consistently brew Alpine IPA accurately?
  4. TheWiltChamberlainofipas

    TheWiltChamberlainofipas Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2015 Oregon

    Let all the vitriol for green flash fill this thread. I'll crack open a bottle of alpine duet with the nice green flash logo on it and enjoy the read.
  5. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,713) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I believe Chuck was in Denver representing Green Flash for GABF last week.
    BeerNFoodDood likes this.
  6. Darklight

    Darklight Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Ouch! :slight_smile:
  7. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Sounds to me like he's got most all the background and experience to do this start up and make it successful.
    hophugger likes this.
  8. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,114) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Green Flash has been a big pioneer in the modern beer evolution. From the first West Coast IPA that I tasted- and drank- I was a fan. I called Mike Hinkley out of the blue in the early 2000s to see if he might sell me some beer for North Carolina. We made a deal and sometimes he had beer and sometimes he didn't. I didn't care. People loved the beers and they always sold through very quickly. I wish them all continued good fortune and will look forward to Mr. Silva's beers.
    cavedave and dianimal like this.
  9. LennyOvies

    LennyOvies Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2015 Mexico

    Just recently had my first few Green Flash beers and I just don't understand the hate they receive here. Hopefully this news doesn't affect the company.
    hophugger and charlzm like this.
  10. Smokingtony

    Smokingtony Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2014 Texas

    Never noticed any hate for them. They make good beer but in my opinion have some of the most uncreative and boring labels in the craft beer industry. I'm sure many of you feel that bottle labels are irrelevant to what is inside, just my opinion.
    The_Kriek_Freak and charlzm like this.
  11. Craft_Beer_Guy

    Craft_Beer_Guy Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2015 California

    Since it hasn't been asked yet, will Green Flash be the next to be acquired? And boring labels; that is how people judge beer now? Wow.
    hophugger likes this.
  12. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    Weren't there rumors and speculations floating around that there would be an announcement of a "big" San Diego brewery being acquired by AB InBev soon? Is Green Flash that "big" San Diego brewery? If so, I wonder if this has anything to do with that?
    cjgiant likes this.
  13. Craft_Beer_Guy

    Craft_Beer_Guy Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2015 California

    It adds to the speculation if nothing else.
    cjgiant likes this.
  14. LennyOvies

    LennyOvies Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2015 Mexico

    Really? I've been here for just 2 months and it seems it is popular to hate on Green Flash from what I can tell and have read in Beer Talk.
    charlzm likes this.
  15. HeavySpeedway

    HeavySpeedway Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2013 California

    He had very little to do with that, which is part of the reason he probably wants to make a change I suspect.
  16. Ironstutz

    Ironstutz Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2014 New York

    considering how Alpine Nelson has been botched, they deserve some good critique
    cavedave, Geuzedad and chippo33 like this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,949) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I wish Chuck good luck in his new venture.

    I stopped buying Green Flash packaged beer when they switched from 6-packs to 4-packs and the unit price was increased. I do not think that Chuck was part of that decision making process but I really don’t know.

    I had another draft pint of Alpine beer this past weekend (this was my fourth or fifth pint in the past few months). I will not be buying Alpine beer again. I gave it the old ‘college try’ and these beers are simply disappointing; little to no hop aroma on the hoppy beers (Hoppy Birthday, Duet).

    Hopefully the beers that Chuck will be brewing at his brewery will come in 6-packs and the draft versions not be disappointing.

  18. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    I think the Silva Stout debacle may have something to do with it. Not an enjoyable experience for me and many others.
    MattXT, sandman3479, cavedave and 3 others like this.
  19. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2011 California

    i havent heard anyone mention GF honestly. i have heard people mention BP though.
  20. fritts211

    fritts211 Initiate (154) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee

    I'll fully admit to not caring at all for Green Flash. The most praise I can give any of their beer is that it was underwhelming. And I've tried more than a few Green Flash beers. No, not Alpine or Duet or anything, before anyone asks. Just all of their mass distributed beers.

    Nonetheless, Chuck Silva is a big name in the industry and I respect his accomplishments. Hope his new endeavor is a huge hit, and I'll try anything he ever does with an open mind.
    hophugger and sunnrider like this.
  21. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    I used to buy GF quite a bit. Rayon Vert and West Coast IPA were staples in my fridge and I would buy pretty much anything new that I saw from them.

    Then they killed Rayon Vert. And changed the recipe for West Coast (in spite of still producing tons and tons of varied IPAs/IIPAs and therefore having no particular need to kill a highly-rated and I assume popular IPA). And I stopped buying them as much.

    That said, the Cellar 3 stuff sort of piqued my curiosity again. I bought Silva Stout (unfortunately), Flanders Red and the Natura Morta Plum (haven't opened either of those latter two yet). If I don't enjoy either of those, I'm probably going to lose even that latent curiosity.

    It's sad, as Green Flash was one of the breweries I really got into early on in my craft journey.
    cavedave, Geuzedad, rgordon and 2 others like this.
  22. MattSharpless

    MattSharpless Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2012 Virginia

    I see a lot of disdain for them too. It's probably because their beers are too readily accessible.
  23. jcos

    jcos Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    So basically if a company switches their format from a 6 pack to a 4 pack you personally will not buy those beers anymore? I understand it is frustrating, but breweries are businesses with rising costs too...
    hophugger likes this.
  24. HeavySpeedway

    HeavySpeedway Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2013 California

    A lot of old school GF and Alpine fans have explained their disdain (or declining fandom) time and time again, but I guess the message just doesn't get through all the noise.
    Jugs_McGhee likes this.
  25. chrisjws

    chrisjws Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 California

    Green Flash deserves some of the flack they get because of how poorly the Alpine acquisition has gone.

    However, they've been making excellent beer for a long time and have brought quality stuff to the masses. West Coast IPA is still good, even though 1.0 was better. There's also Road Warrior, Green Bullet and many other fantastic brews they make. I get a little down on them sometimes too, but I think we need to keep everything in perspective. Green Flash has contributed a lot to one of the most vibrant brew scenes in the world, and they continue to do so.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,949) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If they simultaneously significantly raise the per unit price then yes, they lost my business. I few this practice unfavorably.
    Well, the other breweries that retain the 6-pack package format at reasonable prices will get my dollars. Needless to say but feel free to send your dollars to Green Flash.

    We all get to choose which beers we prefer to purchase.

    wspscott, JimKal and PA-Michigander like this.
  27. HeavySpeedway

    HeavySpeedway Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2013 California

    I'm pretty much with this world view, though I found it a lot easier to keep this perspective *because* Chuck was there.
  28. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2012 California

    I bought a 6 pack of Soul Style just yesterday.
    BeerBeast likes this.
  29. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,180) Sep 3, 2007 California

    I've had a good number of GF beers over the last decade or so and they've always been about my 4th favorite San Diego brewery. Of course, as more and more breweries open in SD, I can't keep up with them any more, so it's hard to say where they woudl rate now if I had tried everything down there.

    In response to a previous comment about labels - good-looking packaging attracts. Poorly designed packaging does not. That's why there's an entire industry called "graphic design". Two equally worthy beers at the same price point in two different packages - which one sells?
    pjeagles likes this.
  30. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2010 Texas

    Good luck Chuck.
    beergrrl and fritts211 like this.
  31. HeavySpeedway

    HeavySpeedway Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2013 California

    Jugs_McGhee and Geuzedad like this.
  32. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,161) Mar 21, 2010 New York

    That would really suck, I love BP. Although if it meant fresh Sculpin at places I would never normally expect to see it that would be ok.
    chrismann65 likes this.
  33. LennyOvies

    LennyOvies Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2015 Mexico

    I understand people being angry with GF because they ruined a great beer when they acquired that brewery. But it seems that some people started rating GF's beers lower just because of this, instead of keeping it as a separate problem.

    I've recently tried West Coast, Hoppy Red, Double Stout and Citra Session and they were very good.
    hophugger likes this.
  34. jcos

    jcos Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    I was just tasking about your personal preference. For me it really depends on what it is and how much I like it. I don't automatically not buy it anymore, but I do take the change under consideration when comparing to other options.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,949) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    What was the price?

  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,949) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Just my personal opinion; when a business simultaneously goes from 6-packs to 4-packs and significantly raise the per unit price I do not want to support that business decision with my dollars. Others (like you) will make differing decisions.

    WillQC4Beer likes this.
  37. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (854) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I paid $10.99 for soul style 6 pack that was quite fresh. It was more than a disappointment. Loved Rayon and thought I would try this new 6 pack IPA. Not a tropical juicy beer as the label describes. Really not much of anything. Still sitting on 3 as it was not enjoyed by anyone I've offered it to.
    My GF days are over. Have not made a purchase since Rayon left and this purchase puts me back into who cares about GF

    charlzm and JackHorzempa like this.
  38. fritts211

    fritts211 Initiate (154) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee

    This is silly. I don't dislike green flash because they are accessible, but because the quality of their beer has been lacking. Not everything is tied to some invisible and subjective trade market that the BA echo chamber puts far too much emphasis on. To my palate, they simply haven't been up to snuff. If other people like them, great, but try not lump green flash critics under one broad net.
    cavedave and THANAT0PSIS like this.
  39. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Just to clarify, you're saying they raised the unit price by not lowering the package price when the decreased the number of units in a package, correct?

    I only ask because when you say they changed the packaging "and" they increased the unit price, it suggests that they actively did two things (changed package and changed price) when really they did one thing (changed package) that resulted in the other thing (unit price increase).

    Honestly, I'd usually rather experience a price increase via a packaging size decrease than a raw price increase (at least wrt beer six-packs) but that is *my* personal preference, as it were. :wink:
    cjgiant and jcos like this.
  40. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (558) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon

    Just thought I'd mention, we just got a really fresh shipment of Alpine bottles (in GF bottles) and kegs. These are easily the best batches of Nelson, Hoppy Birthday and Duet since the buyout. The Nelson was especially good, which makes me hopeful for the future, although the Duet still isn't quite as good as before.
    Pahn and hophugger like this.
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