Green Flash Brewing sent out a company update last week that was packed with info on an addition to its executive ranks, its huge gains in demand, the role Alpine Beer Co. is going to play in its future and further insight into its new retail strategy. Let’s unpack all of it.
Green Flash finally adds six-packs
While draft beer sales comprise approximately 60% of Green Flash total business, the team is taking some big steps to increase its off-premise business with the national release of select beers in six-pack format. In Q1, Green Flash introduced several products in 6-packs as an exclusive to their “local markets,” California and Virginia. In response to widespread demand, Green Flash has expanded its six-pack availability to reach national distribution. The July 2015 release of West Coast Double IPA, Soul Style IPA and the Green Flash Hop Odyssey series beers in six-packs is expected to increase its national off-premise business by an estimated 20% in 2015.
Alpine Beer boost
As Green Flash expands packaged beer offerings, the team is working closely with Alpine Beer Co. (acquired in November 2014) to simultaneously increase the availability of select Alpine draft and packaged brews.
To support the increased distribution, Green Flash will up production of Alpine offerings on draft and begin bottling select 22 oz Alpine beers in Q4. Consumers can also look forward to a one-time only six-pack release of Alpine cult favorite, Pure Hoppiness, which will hit store shelves in November for a limited time, nationally. The Green Flash sales force will continue to oversee the national roll out of Alpine, focusing on key markets that have proven successful with sell-through on Green Flash products.
“With Alpine, we may have found the needle in a haystack,” co-owner Mike Hinkley said. “If another amazing combination of brand, beer and people comes along, we would not hesitate to consider the possibilities of teaming up with another small brewery. We have worked hard to build a truly great organization and have a lot to offer a small brewery with a strong brand.”
Green Flash to hit 100,000 bbls
With larger production of both Green Flash and Alpine beer from its San Diego facility, Green Flash’s capacity will hit the 100,000 bbl-mark in Q4 2015. Efforts to quickly build its East Coast operation in Virginia Beach are in full swing. While consumer demand drives the fairly immediate need for increased production, Green Flash is focusing first on the customer experience as it expands east. The new site’s Tasting Room will open first – with hopes to open doors to the public venue as early as May 2016. Construction of the 100,000 bbl East Coast brewery will likely be complete in Summer 2016 with beer production slated to begin at about 50,000 bbls.
New COO appointment
The acceleration of the Green Flash brand’s multi-tiered growth and expansion strategy has prompted the need to bring on an experienced senior level leader to ensure that execution of the plans are successful. Co-Founders, Mike and Lisa Hinkley have appointed longtime friend, seasoned corporate leader and ardent Green Flash supporter Chris Ross to the post of Green Flash COO beginning Sept., 1 2015.
“I’ve spent my entire professional career in high-tech electronics. To me, the craft beer industry is fresh, exciting and wonderfully intriguing” Ross said about his new role. “I’m anxious to apply learnings from my operational experiences in electronics to craft beer. Some will apply, some won’t and there’s always more to learn. Whatever the case, my only motivation to move into the craft beer world is to simply help Green Flash, and have a ton of fun along the way!”
While new to craft beer, Ross is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience leading global operations in the telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics industries. Ross has held VP, CTO and COO roles with companies including Intrinsyc Technologies Corporation, Novatel Wireless Inc., Ericsson Wireless Communications and QUALCOMM.