Green Flash Brewing Co. Breaks Ground in Virginia Beach

Ceremony kicks off construction of $20 million brewery

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mike and Lisa Hinkley, co-founders of Green Flash Brewing Co., along with Brewmaster Chuck Silva, Virginia State Senator Jeffrey McWaters, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones and Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., officially broke ground in Virginia Beach today for the San Diego-headquartered brewery’s first East Coast location. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of construction of the 58,000-square-foot Green Flash brewery, tasting room and beer garden at the corner of General Booth Boulevard and Corporate Landing Parkway.

Green Flash teamed up with Hampton Roads-based developer, The Miller Group, to proceed with land acquisition, design and permitting.


“We couldn’t be happier that Green Flash has chosen Virginia Beach as its East Coast location,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. of Virginia Beach. “When they reach capacity, Green Flash will be producing 100,000 barrels of beer every year from Virginia Beach, and that is certainly something to celebrate.”


“After announcing plans to build our facility in Virginia Beach, we have been moving forward step-by-step towards breaking ground,” said Mike Hinkley co-founder and CEO of Green Flash Brewing Co. “We are breaking ground to enter the first phase of construction, focused on the layout and building orientation on the nine-acre lot. We want to be sure we are mindful of our impact on the immediate surroundings, so we are planning to incorporate the pre-existing landscape and trees into our spacious beer garden and will develop routes for smart traffic flow, accessible walkways and ample parking for guests. We extend many thanks to everyone in the community for making us feel welcome and at home from day one and look forward to celebrating our opening upon completion of construction in 2016.” 


The steadily growing demand for Green Flash beers on the East Coast prompted the need for a second brewery. Virginia Beach was chosen due to its ease of access from all mid-Atlantic corridors as well as for its coastal landscape and cultural similarities to San Diego. Were Green Flash to open the Virginia Beach facility today, the East Coast brewery would produce and ship about 45 percent of their beer from Hampton Roads to the eastern half of the United States. That number is expected to grow by 2016, and the Virginia brewery will allow Green Flash to cold-ship fresh beer via second-day freight. This means beer at its best, lower pricing at retail and a smaller carbon footprint. 


“Most importantly,” said Green Flash Co-founder and Vice President of Marketing Lisa Hinkley, “we will have the chance to further connect with our customers on the East Coast in the Virginia Beach tasting room and beer garden. Our most powerful brand building comes when we are face to face with our customers and they can see, hear, feel and taste our beer at the source. It is then that they are able to experience our passion for brewing innovation and explore our craft first-hand.”  


In addition to focusing on logistical planning for the 2016 opening, Green Flash has been busy making friends with the community. On Sunday, Oct. 12, Green Flash hosted the first Treasure Chest Fest fundraiser for the Tidewater chapter of Susan G. Komen. Held on the site of the future brewery, the beer and food festival featured some rare Green Flash beer along with select brews from more than a dozen area breweries, food from local craft eateries and live entertainment.


“I’m pleased to welcome Green Flash to Virginia Beach,” said Virginia Senator Jeff McWaters. “As a legislator, it is very rewarding when legislation you’ve worked on makes a visible and significant impact on industry and spurs job creation. With the passage of Senate Bill 604, Green Flash chose to take another look at Virginia and ultimately decided to make Virginia Beach their East Coast home. I am grateful for the investment Green Flash is making in our community, and I look forward to the grand opening in 2016.”


From a production standpoint, the new brewery will replicate the state-of-the-art production capabilities of the Green Flash headquarters in San Diego. The brewery’s interior footprint will follow the same plan with most equipment installed prior to opening. The fermentation tanks will be delivered in three phases:  50 percent of capacity up front, with 25 percent added as needed until reaching the operation’s full capacity to meet demand. Upon opening, the Virginia Beach facility will employ 40 people and represent $20 million of invested capital.


The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 440,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Virginia Beach has been recognized as the Top 7 Big City Leading the U.S. Manufacturing Revival by Forbes. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi Magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit


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