With San Diego Roots And A Virginia Beach Vibe, Green Flash Brewing’s Opening Marks The Largest Craft Brewery Our Region Has Seen
Over a tall glass of Green Flash’s Dia De Los Serranos, a double stout brewed with serrano chiles, the brewery’s COO Chris Ross and I talked all things beer at their newest location in Virginia Beach.
Coastal Virginia, like many other areas in the U.S., has been a hotspot for emerging craft breweries. Once Nov. 13 rolls around, Green Flash will become the largest craft brewery in the area.
Imbibers can expect a 1-acre beer garden with a fire pit, 30 brews at the tasting bar, a growler-filling station, retail store, bocce ball courts and cornhole, brewery tours, a grassy area for live performances and enough tanks to brew 100,000 barrels a year.
CoVa: Why did you choose Virginia Beach as your East Coast location?
Chris Ross: A couple reasons. Number one is that our San Diego brewery was at capacity. We started the Virginia Beach project three–four years ago, knowing that this point would happen. Then the question became, ‘Do we add more in San Diego, or do we look for another location?’ The second factor that comes to mind is that we actually have a lot of beer on the East Coast. We liked Virginia Beach a lot, but actually Virginia Beach was not a choice … because there was a state law that didn’t allow this to occur. You could not have tasting rooms and breweries together, and this was an important part of the way we market our beer—we wanted to touch customers, have customers come and [have an] experience, and we couldn’t do it in Virginia. So it was going to be in Wilmington, N.C. Right around the time we locked in that decision, we got a very good proposal from the city of Virginia Beach as well as Wilmington … the law changed allowing that. So we immediately switched. We wanted to be here. This is the largest metropolitan area in Virginia; you have a tremendous amount of people coming and going in the summer months. There’s a good permanent population here, and it’s also the same distance between Miami and Boston. We can get beer up and down the coast from a central location. That’s sort of why it was the perfect spot.
CoVa: Do you have any plans to create new or different styles of beer that sort of nod to Coastal Virginia?
Chris: There are no plans yet. We have a beer that we did specifically with Virginia in mind. It’s a lager called Sea to Sea. It has [King] Neptune on it. So that’s sort of our first experiment. We have a great beer that’s a good summertime beer, and it’s really commemorating that we’re on both coasts
CoVa: Do you have any special kick-off plans for the opening on Nov. 13?
Chris: There will be a big party. We’re going to have live music, the grand opening of the beer garden … we’ll have food and all sorts of surprises.
Green Flash will be located at 1209 Craft Lane, Virginia Beach. Learn more at GreenFlashBrew.com.