Green Flash Making “Significant Cuts” in Wake of Pandemic

Dear Client:

San Diego-based Green Flash chief Michael Taylor recently sent notice to employees from Green Flash and its subsidiary, Alpine, explaining that mandated pub closures and slashed distributor orders (all their distributors have ceased ordering draft beer, and many have cut package too) have forced them to make cuts.  All of this, of course, is fallout from COVID-19 containment measures.

“This situation is unprecedented, and we agree that the health and safety of our employees, business partners and customers must come first,” he wrote. “Therefore we are forced to enact a series of terminations and furloughs of our team beginning Monday.” They’re making calls today to let “each individual” know “whether your position is being terminated, retained or furloughed until further notice.

“This will result in significant cuts in our operations and a new way of working after business begins again.” (Again, they’ve closed pubs and tasting rooms in the wake of COVID-19.) 

He urged impacted employees to “immediately file for unemployment benefits,” as the California governor has apparently waived the one-week waiting period for benefits. 

Michael also noted that while California “shelter in place” orders are currently in effect through April 7, that could very well be extended. 

“We hope to re-open our tasting room doors on April 8 if we are able to do so; however, this date is out of our control. We will send out further communications when we have more information about our ability to reopen.” 

It’s another tough blow to the once-national brewer, who majorly retrenched a couple of years ago after having clearly overextended. Last we chatted with the brewery, in November, VP marketing Ben Widseth confirmed they’d closed their new taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska to focus on growing brands Tropical DNA and West Coast IPA [see CBD 11-06-2019]. 

They declined to share barrel output then, but did convey a revised footprint, of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. 

OTHER CUTS, CRAFT WIDE. CBD has been hearing about major cuts at other top craft breweries, not all of them confirmed, but very likely. Lots of producers are having to make layoffs and furloughs; often they’re not sure if layoffs will be permanent. Stay tuned. 


More and more states are loosening restrictions on to-go alcohol to give these suffering on-premise establishments a fighting chance. It started last week with New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut providing a waiver for carryout alcohol and has since been adopted in numerous states. One of the latest to implement such measures? Arizona. 

Executive director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, Rob Fullmer, told Craft Business Daily, that his organization, as well as the Arizona Restaurant Association, the Arizona Vignerons Alliance, and Arizona Wine Growers, have “fought hard for ALL on-premise licenses to be able to serve to-go beer, wine, and spirits.”

And late last week their hard work paid off, with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey submitting an executive order to allow “restaurants to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises in sealed containers.”

Indeed, these measures can make a difference for some craft brewers: One mid-sized craft brewer in the Northeast just today told CBD that their New York City wholesaler is having success with bars selling to-go beer “in all sorts of containers,”  and they seem to be working well moving through inventory. That’s of course important to help stave off out-of-code beer pile ups. Stay tuned. 

Until tomorrow,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry 

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

– Aesop 

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