Another chapter in the story of Green Flash Brewing’s distressed financial situation was written today as the San Diego-based company announced plans to close its Cellar 3 barrel-aging facility and taproom in Poway, California.
The decision to close Cellar 3 comes only five days after the company said it would cease operations at its 58,000 sq. ft. Virginia Beach production facility and terminate 43 employees.
“Over the past two years, the company has been under significant pressure due to the cost and complexity of running several retail operations,” Green Flash wrote in a post to the Cellar 3 Facebook page. “We have decided to refocus our efforts on our primary Green Flash and Alpine breweries in San Diego and Alpine, respectively.”
The Cellar 3 location, which produced more adventurous styles of beer and included a taproom, opened in mid-2015. About a year later, Green Flash opened its East Coast facility, which is capable of being scaled up to 100,000 barrels and is currently for sale as part of an online auction run by Heritage Global Partners.
In addition to closing the two facilities, the craft brewery has also pulled distribution of its beers from 42 states and laid off a total of 76 employees.
Green Flash, which also owns the Alpine Beer Company brands, has said that a new but undisclosed investor group plans to invest in the company and help it pay down debt that was incurred when the $20 million Virginia brewery was built.
In a conversation with Brewbound in February, Green Flash founder and CEO Mike Hinkley said the company was over-leveraged after taking on a “too much debt” to build the brewery.
Meanwhile, Green Flash said it still intended to open a satellite brewery and taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska, in April.
As of press time, Hinkley had not returned a request for comment.