In announcing that Green Flash Brewing Co. selected Virginia Beach for its new East Coast brewing operation, the city mentioned that the “new brewery will provide a significant amount of beer to the East Coast.”
The company, founded in 2002,currently has a brewery in San Diego that is close to reaching capacity. It will invest $20 million in the project creating 41 new jobs.
Craft beers will be manufactured at the new 58,000-square-foot facility which will also feature 7,400-square-foot tasting room, retail store, event space, outdoor beer garden and brewery tour program. Production is estimated to be 100,000 barrels of beer per year.
The new plant will be similar although slightly larger than the San Diego facility and will allow the company to improve its time-to-market performance. About 40% of its beers are sold to locations between the Carolinas and Massachusetts. It is estimated that 95% of the beer produced in Virginia Beach will be shipped out of state.
Construction is slated to start in 2014 with an anticipated opening in 2015.
“The Mid-Atlantic region provided logistical advantages,” said Lisa Hinkley of Green Flash. “Virginia is a great place to do business, has a developing craft beer culture, and Virginia Beach felt like home.”
Like San Diego, Virginia Beach offers Green Flash a resort destination and proximity to a strong military population.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority will meet on March 19 to formally approve an Economic Development Investment Program grant to Green Flash Brewing Co. in the amount of $275,000 based on the capital investment and the number of jobs created.
Last year Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed two pieces of legislation to support Virginia craft brewers. House Bill 359 (McClellan) allows manufacturers to now lease space in their brewhouses to smaller-scale brewers. Senate Bill 604 (McWaters) allows retail sales of beer and sampling on the premises of Virginia breweries.