Green Flash Depletions Up 37 Percent

Green Flash Brewing isn’t a nationally distributed craft brand quite yet, but it’s getting close.

The San Diego-based brewery has two states remaining, Utah and Hawaii, and it’s working to clear the remaining hurdles associated with each one.

“Hawaii is tricky because we will only ship 100% refrigerated freight,” said vice president of sales Jim Kenny in a press release. “The other remaining state is Utah, which has some complicated laws that I hope to better understand after an upcoming visit.”

Green Flash said total depletions are up 37 percent year-to-date, with a majority of that growth coming from existing markets. 82 percent of the brewery’s depletion growth came from established markets while the remaining 18 percent of shipment growth came from markets opened in the last two years. The brewery said it is operating at 70 percent of its total capacity.

California paced Green Flash’s overall sales, followed by New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Year-to-date, Western territories are comprising 53 percent of total depletions while the Central and Eastern regions of the country are enjoying 70 and 33 percent annual depletion growth, respectively.

Green Flash plans to open a secondary production facility in Virginia Beach in 2015. The new brewery will be within a two-day drive of faster-growing East Coast markets, meaning that consumers should be able to enjoy fresher bottles of flagship West Coast IPA, which currently makes up 52 percent of the company’s total production.

Green Flash said it plans to break ground on the 58,000 sq. ft.,100,000-barrel brewery next spring.

“It took slightly longer than expected to iron out all of the development details and nail down the finer points on the land acquisition in Virginia, but we are back on track,” CEO Mike Hinkley said in the release.

Green Flash is also in the process of scouting a second storage and packaging facility in San Diego, which it hopes to open in late 2014. The new space will be used exclusively for the brewery’s barrel-aging program.

“We will open a packaging hall and are planning to also use the space for a food and beer pairing concept destination. We have hundreds of filled barrels aging in a warehouse targeted for packaging and release in Q3-Q4 of 2014,” said Hinkley.

And, like a number of other craft breweries grappling with supply chain hiccups, Green Flash will reduce its SKU count in 2014 to “make distribution and retail sales more efficient.” The brewery will limit 4-pack offerings to three styles — West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red and Double Stout — and reduce the year-round availability of its 22 oz. bottles from seven to three offerings. Green Flash said it hopes the streamlined product mix will help the company grow between 20 and 25 percent in 2014.

“At that pace, we will have the ability to hire and train our East Coast team,” added Hinkley.

According to the brewery’s website, the brewery expects to bring on 40 new hires with the opening of the Virginia-based brewery.

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