The first step in realizing how lucky we are is to go pick up some Green Flash brews. They are on tap at a lot of places in the area (I recently had a GF Imperial IPA at Yardhouse) and their flagship beers are readily available in retail spots. Beer in hand, now mosey on over to the brewery’s info page on BeerAdvocate. See that score of 95? That’s safely in what BeerAdvocate calls “world class.” Scroll through their extensive list of offerings and you will see a perfect representation of what makes west coast breweries so unique, with aggressive use of hops and no fear in pushing the envelope on experimentation. We get all of this at the new brewery that they are building here in Virginia Beach, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about what makes Green Flash so special. Beyond being dedicated to making exceptional beers, they are also dedicated to involvement in their community, which now includes us. In fact, they have already done so, doing a collaboration beer with Smartmouth (Man Crush) and a special session IPA exclusively for YNOT Pizza. We can look forward to more collaborations and special regional releases in the future.
No word yet on if they will craft an East Coast IPA to compliment their wildly popular West Coast IPA, but if they do so I would recommend less hops and more angst.
I recently spoke with Natalie Sellers, Marketing Communications Manager for the San Diego based brewery, to get some insight into the new location and a very special upcoming event. First, the brewery.
Why Virginia Beach? According to Ms. Sellers, they consider VB to be the San Diego of the east coast (which is officially the nicest thing anyone has ever said about us). It makes sense, though; both are coastal cities with heavy military and tourist interests. My theory is that they love jet noise, which was not disputed. The brewery itself (which will be at the intersection of General Booth and Corporate Landing) will be based on the layout of their San Diego brewery, and will be 58,000 sq ft with an ultimate production capacity of 100,000 barrels annually. The 20 million dollar investment will initially bring around 40 new jobs in our thriving craft beer industry. There will be a large public tasting room, an outdoor beer garden, a retail store, brewery tours, special event space, and they are offering their on-site lab to other local breweries for product testing. That last part is especially interesting, taking the camaraderie that craft brewing is known for to a whole new level. Green Flash is committed to fostering the community of brewers in Virginia, and they are showing it already.
The official groundbreaking for the new brewery is October 13th, with an anticipated opening sometime in 2016.
Don’t want to wait that long? Me neither. Lucky for us, we get a taste of what’s to come. Clear your calendars for October 12th, when Green Flash brings their much-loved Treasure Chest Fest to the vacant lot at the site of the new brewery. Now in it’s fourth year, Treasure Chest Fest is a way for Green Flash to raise money for breast cancer research (co-founder Lisa Hinkley is a breast cancer survivor). Historically held in San Diego to benefit local charities there, the east coast event will be raising money for the Tidewater chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In addition to food from an impressive lineup of local eateries, there will be an amazing sampling of beers from local and regional breweries. Back Bay, Beach Brewing, Young Veterans, O’Connor, Smartmouth, Devil’s Backbone, and perennial powerhouse New Belgium among others. Green Flash will be bringing a sampling of over 20 of their beers. Food samplings and pours are included in the cost of admission. I can’t really wrap my mind around how impressive this will be, so please visit the event page to get a better sense for yourself and order your tickets. Let’s all show up to let them know that they have made the right choice in Virginia Beach, to shake their hands, and to help raise money for a worthy cause. And to, you know, research their beers. It’s the neighborly thing to do.
I know we all hope that both Stone and Green Flash want to take us to the prom. The great news is that we are going regardless, and we are guaranteed to have a great time. Welcome to the neighborhood, Green Flash, we are so excited to have you here.