Green Flash Acquires Alpine Beer Co.

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Lamnic, Nov 10, 2014.

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  1. Lamnic

    Lamnic Initiate (197) Mar 1, 2012 Connecticut

    November 10, 2014 - San Diego, CA - At Alpine Beer Company this morning, Green Flash founders, Mike and Lisa Hinkley and Alpine Beer Company founders, Pat and ValMcIlhenney announced that their breweries will join forces, teaming up to share resources, knowledge and experience. Both the McIlhenneys and the Hinkleys view the affiliation as mutually beneficial, and are committed to supporting each other for the success of both breweries. Each company will remain independently operated and maintain its distinct brand and culture. Pat will remain Alpine’s President and Brewmaster to oversee all operations of Alpine Beer Company while also ensuring Alpine beers continue to meet his unwavering standard of quality, whether brewed at the Alpine or Green Flash facilities. The most notable change will transpire over the next several years, as Alpine beer will become available to their legions of fans from across the country who have only experienced the greatness of Alpine beers while visiting California.

    In a “handshake agreement,” Green Flash began brewing Alpine beer in November 2013 at their San Diego facility with the goal of helping longtime friends at Alpine raise capital to expand their production capacity. Green Flash has been producing three of Alpine’s brews (Nelson, Hoppy Birthday and Duet), increasing Alpine annual production from 1500 to 3000 BBLs.

    The experience of brewing together has been a successful learning experience for both breweries. Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva divulged, “It was both intriguing and challenging to meld our philosophies while we worked together to scale up Pat’s recipes to be brewed in larger quantities. We worked together to stay true to the original beer and were very happy with the ultimate results. Working with a close friend is a real treat, but for me, brewing with Pat and making Alpine beers, is yet another highlight of my brewing career in San Diego.”

    The successful arrangement they have shared over the past year was the impetus that prompted the breweries to take their relationship to the next level. Each views the partnership as an organic evolution that will benefit both of their operations in many ways. “Our team was thrilled to be able to brew the awesome beer from Alpine when we began teaming up,” says Mike Hinkley of Green Flash. “The excitement of our brewers is what prompted me to think about additional ways we could work together and help each other. We perceive this solid new partnership as an incredible opportunity to continue to explore our craft while benefiting from the passion and experience of Pat McIlhenney.”

    “After working with Green Flash for the past year, I have come to truly trust and deeply respect the entire Green Flash operation – Chuck and all of their brewers are meticulous, yet easygoing, and I am comfortable working with the team,” says Pat McIlhenney of Alpine Beer Co. “There are many benefits in teaming up with Green Flash as a partner. Not only are they committed to producing high-quality beer, the company culture and mom and pop roots of Green Flash are very similar to our own.”

    Alpine employees 20 people, is distributed exclusively in California with the ability to produce a maximum of 1500 BBLs from their San Diego County brew-house, with most of their beer sold directly from their on-site pub. Brewing capacity limitations have made it impossible for Pat and his team to support the overwhelming demand for their exceptional products. As partners, Alpine will be able to tap into the growing Green Flash team of talented brewers, their production capacity, access to capital, and human resources in operations and administration. Mike added that “I am hopeful that the culmination of the next few years will be that, together, we build a new production facility in Alpine. Maybe we will even brew some Green Flash ale in Alpine.”

    “I know there is strength in unity, which will allow both of our breweries to secure even higher quality ingredients – we will be a great force as a team,” exclaims Pat. “However, the most important advantage is how this partnership will help improve the quality of life for my employees. For the first time, Alpine will be able to offer our team an excellent company benefits package including affordable health care, 401K plans and other perks made possible by this exciting partnership.”

    In 2015, Green Flash will begin bottling select Alpine brews in 22oz bottles adding to the three current draft offerings. Collaborative brews are already in Chuck and Pat’s top-secret conversations, so consumers can expect these to appear in their tasting rooms and at the best craft beer bars in Southern California. The two Brewmasters are already talking about how they can work together at Green Flash’s Cellar 3, a special barrel-aged beer packaging facility that is currently under construction in Poway, and will include a cork-finish bottling line.

    Chuck said, “I consulted Pat and borrowed some of his ideas when I made our tenth anniversary Flanders-style ale, which was a great success and will be recreated at Cellar 3. I am always on the look-out for ideas. With Pat and me on the same team, you can count on us to push the envelope even further.”

    Mike summarizes, “This partnership is win-win-win. Green Flash wins because we are teaming up with a truly iconic brewery. Alpine wins because they get to see their beers enjoyed by so many more of their adoring fans. But most of all, beer geeks everywhere win, because Chuck and Pat will be working together to create beers that will blow their minds.”

    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 for more information.

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    #1 Lamnic, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2014
  2. JCam9981

    JCam9981 Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2011 North Carolina

    Bring on the East Coast distribution!
    MikeP64, jcos, yankeej13 and 36 others like this.
  3. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (596) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    That's a lot of hops.
    Roguer and Mongrel like this.
  4. RKP1967

    RKP1967 Disciple (308) Sep 26, 2010 Virginia

    Can someone please copy and paste the article into a post?

    That website is blocked by my work and I'd really like to read the article!

  5. dynajack1

    dynajack1 Initiate (105) Jul 5, 2012 Massachusetts

    This would be great. Bring on the east coast distro indeed!
  6. BullDoza

    BullDoza Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2014 Texas

    Great article below. Good read, and good stuff!
    #6 BullDoza, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  7. Tpain518

    Tpain518 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2013 New York

    yay green flash is doing something good!
    Kyrojack likes this.
  8. iwantmorehops

    iwantmorehops Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2010 Vermont

    Wow, Green Flash sure is trying hard not to be forgotten.
    TheBrewo and HalfFull like this.
  9. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    They were never in danger of that.
  10. mph005

    mph005 Initiate (162) Nov 25, 2013 Texas

    Very interesting read, turns out Green Flash has been brewing Alpine stuff since 13?
  11. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2013 California

    Seems like a great move all-around. No chance of decrease in beer quality, since Alpine's been brewing there for about a year without issue (if anything, batches have been just as good if not better since they started making beer at Green Flash). Plus, big increase in distribution is the likely result too. Don't know if it gets outside of CA right off the bat, but would assume access outside of San Diego increases a bunch.
    richobrien likes this.
  12. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (2,669) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    On paper it looks good for everyone involved. I am very excited to see how this plays out, would love to have Alpine in Chicago, a wet dream I never thought possible before.
  13. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    It's bound to happen with some of the larger craft breweries taking over smaller breweries and pooling resources [at least it's hoped they do this as the article suggests] and this may be the tip of the iceberg but my questions are: Where's all the hate? Where are all the naysayers? It's early yet. I'll check back later.
  14. dcgunman

    dcgunman Meyvn (1,302) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    This is good news and bad news. IMO the taste is different coming out of GF than ABC. Different water used to brew. Different equipment used. Time will tell.
    mythaeus and 2beerdogs like this.
  15. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    Have you noticed any difference in the Alpine beers that GF has been brewing since last year? I haven't.
    Justinsosmart and Rochefort10nh like this.
  16. Rekrule

    Rekrule Zealot (594) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Green Flash is in the "club". So it's cool. If ABInBev or the like snatched up Alpine, the tone would be dramatically different. With all the bitching that's been done about GF for the last long while (for good reason), people aren't as nervous about them ruining this as they should be.
  17. dcgunman

    dcgunman Meyvn (1,302) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Not too much with Nelson. But a little difference with HB and Duet. If you noticed the color of the latest batch of HB it is a little more darker.
  18. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (3,600) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana

    Sweet mother of Methusaleh.
    fredmugs, jcb7472, Omnium and 2 others like this.
  19. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    Are these East Coast problems? It's absurd to compare ABInBev to GF. Apparently it's hip to bag on GF? I think their beers have only gotten better and more complex over the past several years since I started drinking them. Chuck Silva is a phenomenal brewer. I agree there may be some distribution issues for freshness, but not sure who would complain about increasing distro for Alpine, whose beers are hard to find regularly, even in Southern California.
  20. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    I don't have them often enough to detect batch to batch differences. I just remember having Duet and Nelson and thinking, "Oh yeah, this is still delicious."
    papat444 likes this.
  21. TomO23

    TomO23 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2014 Illinois

    GF was only doing kegs for Alpine this past year correct? Not any of the bottles?
  22. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (563) Oct 29, 2008 California

    I didn't think it went back that far, but possibly. They have been brewing Nelson, Hoppy Birthday, and Duet there for kegs that have been going into distribution for at least six months or so. There are differing thoughts on the quality, but I will say I have been unimpressed with the "new" Duet, but loved it when I had it at the pub and bottled in the past.
  23. jampics2

    jampics2 Poo-Bah (1,786) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Society Trader

  24. Rekrule

    Rekrule Zealot (594) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I like some GF beers, my favorite they no longer brew. From the poor branding, to spotty (at best) bottle dating, to heavy batch variation, to barely being able to get a fresh beer out to people I'd be worried about them taking on another brewery. It doesn't seem like the best mother company to have absorb you.
  25. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (563) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Yep, unless that changed very recently.

    Edit: it's all in the article except that specific detail other than saying that starting in '15 they will bottle, but I'm almost positive that it was just kegs of the three beers (Duet, Nelson, HB) being made at GF.
  26. dcgunman

    dcgunman Meyvn (1,302) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Im in Orange County and its a 2 hour drive one way for me to Alpine. I take a road/beer trip 4 times a year to Alpine to have some at the brewpub and pick up bottles/growlers to bring back with me. I've had all 3 ipa's brewed from GF at my local. Nelson I thought was almost spot on. But the other 2 a little different. I asked Steve on my last visit to Alpine about the GF versions and he told me that they did have issues with HB and Duet and it was not out in kegs like it should of been after the Nelson kegs. A month to month rotation. Yes it is huge to have ABC ipa's at our local that we are able to get to and have a pint or three but it still is not the same as the original. But better some than none. Its still world class beers. I just got back from Kern River Brewing Co. (Citra DIPA) and had the collab Deep River (Knee Deep) and it was awesome. The batch was brewed at Kern River. The bottled version was brewed at Knee Deep. So there will be a slight difference in taste. I brought back several growler fills from Kern and hope to acquire a bottle or two of the Knee Deep version to compare.
    mythaeus, stwok21 and FutureJack like this.
  27. clayfu

    clayfu Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2010 California

    to me it's a texture issue. I feel the GF kegs are more carbonated, don't have the same seamless profile as the Alpine ones. Flavors are pretty spot on tho. This recent batch of HB is really really dark though, kinda weird but tasted fine
  28. craft_is_king

    craft_is_king Aspirant (266) Jul 24, 2014 California

    10 barrel last week, Alpine this week. Whats going on next week?
    chippo33 likes this.
  29. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    I wonder if this is the wave of future. Breweries will combine to save cash on resources. Economies of scale could be achieved this way. I could see this happening a lot.
  30. HeartofMiami

    HeartofMiami Champion (812) Sep 20, 2014 Florida

  31. JGam115

    JGam115 Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2013 New York

    I love it when whalezbro are slain by Captain Distro.

    To the future reviews that will undoubtedly shitcan whichever beers come out of GF with an Alpine label on it, I say suck it - rare has zero taste.
  32. opwog

    opwog Zealot (570) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Duet is my favorite single IPA, hands down. I hope to God that they get this issue fixed.
  33. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,874) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Equipment is often overlooked as a source of flavor differences. I know breweries that had to go through flavor matching trials on new, bigger, more efficient equipment, and sometimes this was in the same building using the same water supply.

    I would hope they have the capacity to adjust the water to match Alpine's.
    #33 hopfenunmaltz, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    2beerdogs and basto like this.
  34. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California

    Green Flash is great. I don't understand the hate.
  35. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    It's like the recreational weed in CO & WA. Others are watching to see what happens. So if this arrangement between Green Flash and Alpine is successful, I also believe we'll see more of this type of thing going forward.
    sharpski and tylerstravis like this.
  36. leantom

    leantom Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2011 Indiana

    Have only had one beer by Alpine and thought it was somewhat overrated (as in "good" but not "amazing," which is what it was rated as).

    This being said, I think this is great news and look forward to trying their other offerings, assuming that the beers will now be more widely distributed.
  37. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    It ain't hate. Hate is usually directed at ABInBev. This is just some dislike, mistrust or absence of super integrity.
    mythaeus and mackeyse like this.
  38. PSU_Mike

    PSU_Mike Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Me too. Yay for Capitalism.
  39. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    2 pages and in and no one has mentioned that Chuck Silva is so cool that he can apparently even get along with the jackass who runs Alpine from his soapbox on the mountain.

  40. leantom

    leantom Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2011 Indiana

    The guy who runs Alpine is a jackass?

    But he still makes good beer, right?
    jcos likes this.
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