Local Brewery Spotlight: Green Flash Brewing Company


I had never tried a beer from Green Flash before Reed started working there. I was missing out, it has by far the largest Melissa-friendly selection of any local brewery. It is also the creator of a few of my friends’ desert island beers (if you had to drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?). This is a place we can all be happy and carpools are carefully planned. Like most San Diego breweries they tend to get a little hop-happy for my taste, as in their popular West Coast IPA, which takes up 50% of their brewing operations, and the beer snob-friendly 30th St. Pale Ale. However, many of their beers are Belgian style, meaning an overall sweeter flavor due to the yeast varieties used. When San Diego and Belgian styles mix, as in their IPA Le Freak, my friends are huge fans but I dislike the flavor of hops more than I like the Belgian influences. Which at Green Flash still leaves me with plenty of options. In particular, I love the Belgian Brown (which they recently ran out of, making the growler in my fridge a hot commodity), Sugar Smack (a Belgian dubbel), Summer Saison and older barleywines. Reed remains suspicious of my love of barleywines, but has helped me determine that I only like them once they’ve aged a bit, removing that “sharp” flavor and replacing it with a smooth, savory, overall pleasing effect.
Green Flash’s new digs are fantastic as well, the brewery and all its operations having recently moved to Mira Mesa. The tasting room is a large area sectioned off by wood bar-counters in full view of the brewing, aging, bottling and warehouse operations. It’s a surprisingly intimate experience considering the sheer size of the place; you feel as though you’re a part of this great achievement, the turning of solid ingredients into liquid awesomeness. I’m told that tours will be starting up soon, making a visit to Green Flash the best adventure into craft brewing you can get without a 3D simulator (though wouldn’t that be awesome?).

Currently they’re aging two different stouts (Silva and Black Freak) in bourbon barrels and barleywine in brandy barrels!

The prices are dangerously reasonable, with a 4oz taster of most styles for $1 and a pint for $4. Some are only 13oz pours, but that’s for your own good as the ABVs quickly climb into double digits. There’s also an outdoor area and usually a food truck parked outside to tempt you to stay all day. If you want to do a thorough tasting of what they have to offer, I highly recommend stopping by during a slower shift (earlier afternoons, Sundays) so that your server has time to give you tasting notes and offer suggestions. If you know what you want then busy times like Friday after work are fine, though you may be surrounded by men in polo shirts with phones clipped to their belts, a result of its location near the Qualcomm buildings I assume. But hey, that’s better than having to trek up to Vista, which is where Green Flash started out. You can also take many of their beers home with you, bottled, kegged or in growlers ($5 for the glass and $12-17 for fills). They sell a huge selection of Green Flash gear, from growler cozies to beach towels to the usual suspects like pint glasses, bottle openers and t-shirts. I consistently see Green Flash beers on tap around San Diego, and we even saw it on sale in Japan, but you just can’t beat a visit to the tasting room.

If this guy serves you a beer, say hi to him for me.