The San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing has sold to an investor group, the company announced.
This follows a recent spate of troubling signs for Green Flash. The company last week ended operations at its $20-million production facility in Virginia, and also stopped work at its barrel-aging facility in California. These moves and others resulted in the layoffs of 76 employees, as well as Green Flash ceasing distribution in 42 states.
Green Flash first opened in 2002 and grew into the 43th largest craft brewery in the country, behind brands such as West Coast IPA.
In a recent message from founder and CEO Mike Hinkley to Green Flash’s stakeholders, later posted by news outlets, Hinkley explained that “the company’s senior lender, Comerica Bank, has foreclosed on its loans and sold the assets of the company (other than the Virginia Beach brewery) to WC IPA LLC through a foreclosure sale which closed on March 30, 2018. As such, the company no longer owns the Green Flash and Alpine businesses. Comerica Bank is currently conducting a separate process to sell the Virginia Beach brewery.”
This comes after “a general slowdown in the craft beer industry, coupled with intense competition and a slowdown of our business,” Hinkley added. The foreclosure sale of Green Flash mirrors the similar recent fate of fellow large-scale legacy craft brewer Smuttynose Brewing.
Moving forward, Green Flash will focus on “brewing beer, connecting with customers, and building the brands” in the core markets of California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Nebraska, the company said in a press release.
The Green Flash and Alpine breweries will continue to operate in San Diego and Alpine, respectively. Meanwhile, the Green Flash Brewhouse & Eatery in Lincoln, Neb. will open in April, and will brew specialty beers serving the state of Nebraska.
Hinkley will continue to lead the company. President Chris Ross, however, will leave the company.
Dave Mills will serve as the new Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Mills, who previously served as Chief Sales Officer at Ballast Point Brewing Company, will manage all sales and trade marketing activities.