Green Flash pulls out of 32 markets

Green Flash Brewing, which operates breweries on both coasts, announced it will withdraw distribution from 32 states and reduce its workforce by 15%.

“We were doing pretty well close to the breweries, and in some strategic markets we had some strongholds, but we had a lot of territory that was in pretty steady decline,” co-founder Mike Hinkley told Brewbound. “Rather than to continue to fight that battle, we took the resources from out there and brought ’em all into a smaller territory — as much as we could, anyway.”

Green Flash sold only 18% of its beer in the 32 states it will not longer ship to. “We kept about 82% of our wholesale trade business,” Hinkley said. “We were pretty sparse and in decline in that other territory, so reeling it back to strength. Now we can put our sales and marketing resources into a tighter geographic footprint.”

Green Flash will continue to supply Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, and Utah, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia from two breweries — the original San Diego location and its second brewery in Virginia Beach. Green Flash also recently acquired a brewpub in Lincoln, Neb., and expects that could be a model for the future.

“If that’s successful, that’ll be the model for how to go to another city,” Hinkley told Brewbound. “And then the 100-year plan is maybe there’ll be 10 Lincolns over the next 20 years of my life. But who knows? I just can’t support all of that territory. I don’t have the resources to compete on that broad a scale.”