San Diego

Green Flash Cuts 15% of Workforce, Scales Back Distribution

The San Diego-based craft brewery will shift its distribution efforts to “core markets” across 18 U.S. states rather than 50

San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co. has announced plans to scale back distribution across 32 states in the U.S., leading to layoffs for 15 percent of the company’s workforce.

The craft brewery, which is headquartered in Mira Mesa, talked about the company’s strategic changes in a message posted Wednesday on Facebook.

“The craft beer market is shifting and unfortunately, we need to make some big changes to work with the industry shift,” the post read, in part. “For years, we’ve distributed Green Flash’s beer nationwide, but moving forward, we will be scaling back distribution from several states.”

In a press release, the company said it would now focus distribution on “core markets” that have the most efficient access to the company’s two production breweries in San Diego and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“Beer brewed and packaged in San Diego will ship to Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, and Utah,” Green Flash said. “Beer brewed and packaged in Virginia Beach will ship to Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.”

Last year was the first full year in production for Green Flash’s Virginia Beach location. The company said the East Coast states under that distribution zone have become the fastest growing region.

As the company cuts down its distribution from 50 states to 18, Green Flash Brewing Co. owner Mike Hinkley said 15 percent of the company’s workforce will also be cut.

The layoffs spared employees working in Green Flash’s tasting rooms and those working at Alpine Beer Company, the East County-based brew brand acquired by the company a few years ago.

“We are sorry to lose these valued team members. They are all talented and passionate individuals who have contributed to Green Flash,” Hinkley said in a press release.

As for the immediate future, Green Flash said it will open The Green Flash Brewhouse and Eatery in Lincoln, Nebraska, this year, as planned. The brewhouse will serve that state with Green Flash and Alpine brands.

Green Flash Brewing Co. was founded in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley. In 2016, Green Flash opened its full-scale brewing facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Last March, the Colorado-based Brewers Association (BA) named Green Flash among the nation’s top overall brewing companies and top 50 craft breweries for 2016 based on the volume of beer sales.

Green Flash Brewing Co. was ranked No. 46 on the list of overall brewing companies – up three spots from its 2015 rank – and No. 37 on the BA’s list of top craft breweries.

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