Earlier this week, we reported that Mira Mesa-based Green Flash Brewing had entered into a financial partnership that would allow the company to move forward with a plan to consolidate distribution by closing its brewery in Virginia Beach, Virginia, downsizing its workforce by 43 employees, and rein back distribution of its beers to eight states spanning from Hawaii to Nebraska. In that article, co-founder Mike Hinkley said Green Flash intended to maintain operation of Cellar 3, its Poway-based wild-ale and barrel-aging facility, until a decision could be made about its future. Today, the company announced that it is closing Cellar 3, effective immediately.
The plan is to sell the facility as a turnkey operation to a local brewing company looking to add barrel-aging capabilities or expand such a program. “We are streamlining all operations so that we can compete in this new era of craft beer,” says Hinkley. “We have to put all of our focus behind the Green Flash and Alpine Beer Company brands.” Green Flash purchased the latter Alpine-based brewing interest in 2014.
Green Flash opened Cellar 3 in May 2015. That facility was overseen by the company’s barrelmaster, San Diego brewing veteran Pat Korn, who was let go during Green Flash’s first round of 2018 layoffs in January. The six employees previously stationed at Cellar 3 will remain with the company, being reassigned to positions at Green Flash’s Mira Mesa headquarters.
“Cellar 3 produced just a few thousand barrels of beer over its lifespan, but it was amazing beer and super fun to do,” says Hinkley. “I will miss Cellar 3, but I’m hopeful about the future of the facility, and look forward to seeing what it might become.”
Hinkley says they will continue to sell remaining Cellar 3 beer inventory at its Mira Mesa tasting room.