Financial woes that have dogged San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Company came to a head Tuesday with the announcement of a foreclosure and sale.
Comerica Bank, the company’s largest shareholder, foreclosed on its loans and sold Green Flash’s assets (including its Alpine Beer business) to Michigan-based risk management company WC IPA LLC.
The foreclosure sale closed March 30, 2018, according to a letter to shareholders from Green Flash President and CEO Mike Hinkley.
The announcement comes just as Green Flash closed its Virginia Beach brewery, as well as its Poway barrel-aging facility, Cellar 3.
Comerica is currently conducting a separate process to sell the Virginia Beach brewery.
Green Flash was looking to become a nationwide leader in the craft beer industry, but has been unable to make payments on the $20 million loan it secured with Comerica.
“After a general slowdown in the craft beer industry, coupled with intense competition and a slowdown of our business, we could not service the debt that we took on to build the Virginia Beach brewery — and in early 2018, the Company defaulted on its loans with Comerica Bank,” Hinkley wrote to shareholders. “While we took substantial efforts to recapitalize the Company over the past several months, both before and after the bank default, we were ultimately unable to close a transaction.”
Although WC IPA LLC is expected to make a number of top management changes, Hinkley will be retained as the new company’s vice president, according to media reports.
The Green Flash and Alpine brands will continue under the new ownership, but GFBC, Inc. and Alpine Beer Company, Inc. will be dissolved, Hinkley said.
WC IPA LLC reports that the Green Flash brand will still be sold in eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas and Utah.