In a flash of events, Green Flash Brewing was foreclosed on by their largest lender Comerica which in turn has sold the assets of the company to an investor group under the name WC IPA LLC. The Virginia Beach brewery was not picked up by WC IPA and will be sold separately.
WC IPA LLC will run the San Diego brewery without ceasing operations. In announcements made by founder Mike Hinkley to media outlets, most employees will remain and brewing operations will continue for both the Green Flash and Alpine brands.
Some notable departures were announced including VP of Sales Jim Kenny, a well-known and respected industry veteran. Jim will be replaced by Dave Mills as VP of sales and business development. Dave worked at Ballast Point Brewing until last summer when he was let go. Green Flash president Chris Ross will also be departing. Mike Hinkley will remain on as vice president, but it was suggested that this role would only be for a transitionary period of time.
This ends a saga that began recently and unfolded quickly when Green Flash founder and owner Mike Hinkley announced the company was pulling out of east coast markets and closing the Virginia Beach brewery. The rapid decline of the company was not foreseen, but also was not a shock given the intense competition in the marketplace occurring at the same time Green Flash made a major investment to build the Virginia Beach brewery. This iconic brewery, well-respected beers and founding family (Mike’s wife Lisa was also involved in the company business) may never be quite the same again. The company is now run by business investors who seized upon an opportunity to pick up a great brand at most likely a bargain price. Whether or not a craft brewery can survive without the heart and soul of passionate captains will be interesting to watch.