Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tis the season to let everyone know what our holiday hours will be. We have collaborations abounding. An update on our pub move is also in order.

For Christmas Eve, our hours for the brewery will remain the same. Our pub will close promptly at 6 pm this evening. Both pub and brewery will be closed on Christmas Day. Enjoy some quality time with family or friends, whichever gets you more presents.

For New Year’s Eve, normal hours for the brewery 12 – 6 and the pub will open at 11 and close promptly at 10 pm. Both brewery and pub will be closed New Year’s Day. We’ll be back to normal hours on January 2nd.

Pizza Port Solana Beach brewer and all around awesome person Devin Randall and our very own Shawn McIlhenney collaborated on a brew at the Solana Beach brewery and it has hit the taps. It is a Rye Porter called “Ryed’n Dirty,” weighing in at 6.3% abv. It is made with 41% rye in the grist and tastes just as good as two highly talented brewers could make, yum. We have a keg in the pub right now!

The first phase of our collaboration with Mission Brewery has been completed. Around 90 barrels, about 180 kegs, was brewed last week of an over the top single IPA at the Mission Brewery. It will be out before mid-January. It is a 7.5% abv IPA with too many hops to list them all. We did manage to come up with a name which could be our longest beer name ever recorded “Don’t Even Act Like You’re Not Impressed IPA.” It will be draft only and work through the Distributor “Wine Warehouse.” We are pulling no punches on this beast trying to outdo ourselves, if that’s even possible.

The slow, arduous move into our new pub is crawling along at a breakneck snail’s pace. Our new and improved anticipated opening will be in early March. I believe the bamboo still needs to grow before it gets turned into our new tables or something like that.

Weekly updates on bottle and growler availability are posted on our Facebook page, “Alpine Beer Company Pub.” There are also weekly pub specials on Friday and Saturday nights that are unique and always delicious, seriously. Thursday night is Prime Rib night, Wednesday is our “Wing” day and we can’t forget “Taco Tuesday. And for the adventurous minded, we have many blends of beers that make for an even better experience like “The Captain and Vanill,” and “DueHop.”

Be nice to eachother. Peace Love and Happiness

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

Good news is hard to keep quiet, so I won’t. We have holiday hours to report as well as some upcoming releases. So, buckle up, tighten your chin strap and hold on for a whirlwind extravaganza of sophomoric humor and derisive condescension.

Because we love our employees, and we don’t want them calling in sick on a holiday, we have decided to close for business on Thursday, November 27, 2014. We will reopen regular hours on Friday after Thanksgiving. Please take the opportunity on that day to think of all that we have to be “Thankful” for, like loose shoes…

The collaboration brew we helped out with at New Belgium Brewing is in stock and ready to be consumed. “Super IPA,” the defender against bad beer, is brewed to 9% abv and uses Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe and Centennial hops. This beer cranked up the IBU’s to 99 and has acidulated and melanoidin malts for that malty/tart flavor. We’ll be serving it in the pub and for growler fills.

A new beer we named “HFS” is being released on Friday, November 28, it is a single IPA at 6.5% abv and uses Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops throughout. We really like the flavor and aroma of this one so don’t wait too long to try it as I will surely drink more than my fair share.

Next week, by Thursday at the latest, we will be putting on some fresh “Hoppy Birthday,” the most celebrated beer in the world. This beer is our hoppy pale ale that’s brewed like an IPA. It weighs in at 5.25% and is quit sessionable.

Pizza Port’s Strong Ale Festival will be back on Friday and Saturday, December 5 & 6. We’ll be there too, with beer. Yummmy beer. “Super IPA” and for VIP “Barrel-Aged Odin’s Raven.”

We will be a part of the LA IPA Fest on Saturday, December 6, 2014. Mohawk Bend, a bar in LA is, again, hosting the blind judging of mostly local IPAs. Judges are professional brewers and it was a good time last year. Shawn will be there to judge and be a celebrity, be sure to ask for his autograph.

That is all the news that’s fit to print. Look for more news in the coming months on our move to the “new pub” location at 1347 Tavern Rd., #23, next to Ace Hardware.

This is where I’ll usually insert some sage advice on how to avoid an injury or accident. But, this time, I’d like to address a broad scale social issue affecting us all. Morality, the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong. If we teach our kids it’s okay to act like a thug or accept their desire to dress inappropriately are we really doing them and society justice? When they get killed because they think it’s okay to steal and assault, who is really to blame? Right and Wrong or Good and Bad are to be taught by parents, so be a good, moral parent. Thank you and drive safely.



Sharing Resources and Wisdom, A San Diego Craft Beer Alliance Is Formed

November 10, 2014 – San Diego, CA   At Alpine Beer Company this morning, Green Flash founders, Mike and Lisa Hinkley and Alpine Beer Company founders, Pat and Val McIlhenney announced that their breweries will join forces, teaming up to share resources, knowledge and experience. Both the McIlhenneys and the Hinkleys view the partnership as mutually beneficial, and are committed to supporting each other for the success of both breweries. Each company will remain independently operated and maintain its distinct brand and culture. Pat will remain Alpine’s President and Brewmaster to oversee all operations of Alpine Beer Company while also ensuring Alpine beers continue to meet his unwavering standard of quality, whether brewed at the Alpine or Green Flash facilities. The most notable change will transpire over the next several years, as Alpine beer will become available to their legions of fans from across the country who have only experienced the greatness of Alpine beers while visiting California.

In a “handshake agreement,” Green Flash began brewing Alpine beer in November 2013 at their San Diego facility with the goal of helping longtime friends at Alpine raise capital to expand their production capacity. Green Flash has been producing three of Alpine’s brews (Nelson, Hoppy Birthday and Duet), increasing Alpine annual production from 1500 to 3000 BBLs.

The experience of brewing together has been a successful learning experience for both breweries. Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva divulged, “It was both intriguing and challenging to meld our philosophies while we worked together to scale up Pat’s recipes to be brewed in larger quantities. We worked together to stay true to the original beer and were very happy with the ultimate results. Working with a close friend is a real treat, but for me, brewing with Pat and making Alpine beers, is yet another highlight of my brewing career in San Diego.”

The successful arrangement they have shared over the past year was the impetus that prompted the breweries to take their relationship to the next level. Each views the partnership as an organic evolution that will benefit both of their operations in many ways. “Our team was thrilled to be able to brew the awesome beer from Alpine when we began teaming up,” says Mike Hinkley of Green Flash. “The excitement of our brewers is what prompted me to think about additional ways we could work together and help each other. We perceive this solid new partnership as an incredible opportunity to continue to explore our craft while benefitting from the passion and experience of Pat McIlhenney.”

“After working with Green Flash for the past year, I have come to truly trust and deeply respect the entire Green Flash operation – Chuck and all of their brewers are meticulous, yet easygoing, and I am comfortable working with the team,” says Pat McIlhenney of Alpine Beer Co. “There are many benefits in teaming up with Green Flash as a partner. Not only are they committed to producing high-quality beer, the company culture and mom and pop roots of Green Flash are very similar to our own.”

Alpine employees 20 people, is distributed exclusively in California with the ability to produce a maximum of 1500 BBLs from their San Diego County brew-house, with most of their beer sold directly from their on-site pub. Brewing capacity limitations have made it impossible for Pat and his team to support the overwhelming demand for their exceptional products. As partners, Alpine will be able to tap into the growing Green Flash team of talented brewers, their production capacity, access to capital, and human resources in operations and administration. Mike added that “I am hopeful that the culmination of the next few years will be that, together, we build a new production facility in Alpine. Maybe we will even brew some Green Flash ale in Alpine.”

“I know there is strength in unity, which will allow both of our breweries to secure even higher quality ingredients – we will be a great force as a team,” exclaims Pat. “However, the most important advantage is how this partnership will help improve the quality of life for my employees. For the first time, Alpine will be able to offer our team an excellent company benefits package including affordable health care, 401K plans and other perks made possible by this exciting partnership.”

In 2015, Green Flash will begin bottling select Alpine brews in 22oz bottles adding to the three current draft offerings. Collaborative brews are already in Chuck and Pat’s top-secret conversations, so consumers can expect these to appear in their tasting rooms and at the best craft beer bars in Southern California. The two Brewmasters are already talking about how they can work together at Green Flash’s Cellar 3, a special barrel-aged beer packaging facility that is currently under construction in Poway, and will include a cork-finish bottling line.

Chuck said, “I consulted Pat and borrowed some of his ideas when I made our tenth anniversary Flanders-style ale, which was a great success and will be recreated at Cellar 3. I am always on the look-out for ideas. With Pat and me on the same team, you can count on us to push the envelope even further.”

Mike summarizes, “This partnership is win-win-win. Green Flash wins because we are teaming up with a truly iconic brewery. Alpine wins because they get to see their beers enjoyed by so many more of their adoring fans. But most of all, beer geeks everywhere win, because Chuck and Pat will be working together to create beers that will blow their minds.”

About Alpine Beer Company
Alpine Beer Company was founded in 1999 by contracting with AleSmith Brewing Company for their award winning McIlhenney’s Irish Red. Located in the eastern part of San Diego County, this family owned and operated brewery opened in 2002 in their little home town of Alpine. Since that time we have offered over thirty different brews, some barrel aged beers, multiple IPA’s and unique lagers to name a few. A tiny pub was opened in 2010 and offers a delicious barbeque themed menu.

About Green Flash Brewing Co.
Green Flash Brewing Co., is located in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley. Brewmaster, Chuck Silva, leads brewing operations. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer of fine, hand-crafted ales, and specializes in brewing assertive and distinctive beers, such as the nationally acclaimed West Coast I.P.A.: an award-winning beer whose wide acceptance has helped define a category. Green Flash brews a wide variety of beer styles that are available on draft and in bottles as well as a growing lineup of seasonal and special offerings, including several barrel-aged beers, throughout the year. Please visit the Green Flash website for more information.

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Beer is Why We’re Here!

Beer is Why We’re Here
So, it’s the end of summer, no more heat – right? Only good news to report so buckle up your seatbelts in your favorite recliner and prepare yourself for the onslaught of overwhelming jocularity and massive frivolity. Ready? Go…
The last day to trade your Brown Paper Tickets for bottles of Exponential Hoppiness is This Saturday, September 27, 2014. We will drink all the ones that don’t get picked up. After all, you had two weeks to pick them up. Due to the need for additional staffing for this process we have to keep this timeline, and we need the space it occupies.
For some reason there are many people that like a beer we make called “Bad Boy.” And they usually like it when we tell them when it’s available. So, right now, on tap in the pub, are some really good beers we make like “Hoppy Birthday,” “Good” and “Exponential Hoppiness.” Come by and have a plan for your drive if consuming high abv beers. Oh, and we have “Bad Boy” on draft in the pub too. And it’s stunningly good. After all, it’s named after Shawn, the brewer.
A lot will depend on when the labels arrive but we will have our annual holiday ale available very soon, perhaps as soon as next week. “Ichabod” is our pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg seasonal that changes the beer style annually. This year’s version is a 10.5% abv Wheatwine-Style Ale and it is dry-pumpkined, seriously. Reports are that it is lovely and of course will make a featured accompaniment to a fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner. Bottles, very limited growlers and draft in the pub.
Our really good friend, Geoi, the owner of Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights, San Diego, is celebrating the stores third anniversary. We were asked, and accepted, an offer to make an anniversary beer for the occasion. So, we made a 6.5% IPA called “Bine & Vine 3rd Anniversary Ale.” We featured the usual dry-crispness and light color with medium body. But the focus was on Mosaic hops, so we pumped up the aromatics with healthy doses of Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops. Their website will list their availability date. We want to bottle next Friday.
We are very excited to announce some agreements made for some killer collaborations. The new trend to add a bit of spice to the brew scene is a chance to work with others. Our next collaborative beer will be for a Highly requested return “Super IPA!” The fantastic folks at New Belgium will be allowing us into their state of the art facility on October 6th, to remake this 9.5% abv Double IPA. The batch will be exclusively on draft so look for it wherever finer establishments carry New Belgium beer on tap. Other upcoming collaborations will be with “Knee Deep,” “Mission Brewing” and “BNS.”Dates to be worked out but probably early next year.
We have agreed in principle to the terms of a lease for the old “Bread Basket/Paparazzi” at Alpine Creek Town Center. We intend to finalize the deal and open somewhere around the first of the year. Look for an expanded operation with our great beer as the feature with a little awesome barbeque on the side.
That’s all the news that’s fit to print. Stay out of the way of cars. White line don’t stop cars from crossing over them, they hold no magical powers. Take responsibility for your own safety into your own hands, walk facing traffic as far away from the road as possible. Dawn and dusk pose additional risks due to driver visibility issues. Wear the right clothes for the situation, bright when necessary. Be good bikers and share the road appropriately.
Drive safe, be happy, Drink Alpine Ale or Go To Bed!

Alpine Beer is At It Again

Alpine Beer is at It Again

New info has come my way and it seems appropriate to share some of it with you. So……… here goes.

We have an opportunity to lease the old “Bread Basket” restaurant. We are considering it and need to determine interest. The situation created by too many people wanting to enjoy our tiny pub has turned many people off. If we get a bigger place, room for groups, outside seating and dining, would you visit us enough to help pay the rent? Let me know, if enough interest is out there we’ll surely move on the location.

A really cool documentary on “Behind the Brew” produced by The West Coaster has been made. “The Making of Nelson” has been produced and can be viewed at:  Gotta love this stuff.

On Thursday, April 24th, Green Flash Brewing Company will be hosting a “Meet the Brewer” featuring Patrick McIlhenney, owner of Alpine Beer Company. There will be a special tapping of the awesome beer made for little ol’ Alpine, “Nelson.” The tasting room at the Green Flash opens at 3 PM and I’ll be there shaking babies and kissing mommies until 6 PM. Come out and see just how close their version is to what you remember of our version. I love it and think its spot on, really.

Alpine Beer Company News You Can Trust

The time has come once again for another in a long line of chagrining and jocularity. Be careful just how careful you are. There is a new sessionable beer coming out this week we know you’ll enjoy. We have a Holiday closure announcement and more obtuse chances to use weird and fun words.

The pub will be closed this Sunday, April 20, due to a holiday. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s Easter Sunday or some other celebrity birthday like Bob Marley but just the same, we will be closed. The brewery won’t be open either as it is always closed Sundays and Mondays.

This Thursday, April 17, a new beer will be unleashed upon the masses. It’s diminutive at 4.7% abv but carries around a violin case full of hoppy aroma. “Babyface” will be available for growler fills and on draft in the pub. Yes, it is a smaller version of “Nelson” in that it has a handsome helping of rye and a generous dose of Nelson Sauvin hops. Our hope is we can sell this because the new Session IPA by Miller/Coors could bump us right off the planet. Please help.

For those that received the last newsletter you may remember the bit about the g l u t e n. Well, it seems TTB took great offense to what I wrote and issued a lawyered-up, four page letter citing three specific violations of their Amended Interim Act regarding said ingredient. You see, I didn’t include the following mandatory paragraph:

“Product fermented from grains containing gluten and [processed or treated or crafted] to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.”

The TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau), which regulates alcohol related businesses on the federal level, issued the letter and it was delivered 6 days after the initial posting. This is the same agency that took 8 months to approve the keg collars we are using for the Green Flash contract. The Same agency that still doesn’t want us to us our “Incorporated” license number over 2 years after we incorporated. Theonly approved gluten test for alcohol actually tests for gliadin which is a protein found in gluten. It consists of half of the whole gluten protein. Because it’s not a test for the whole gluten molecule TTB isn’t considering it testing for gluten, although the American Society of Brewing Chemists have deemed the test worthy.

So, I apologize for any misleading or damaging information I gave you regarding said ingredient and hope to never make such a mistake in the future.

We have our regular lineup plus “Ugly” and “Token” which are available in the pub and for growler fills as well as some fresh “Nelson.” The end of May will be our next opportunity to tickle your taste buds with “Keene Idea” and “San Diego Surprise.”

We were shut out at the World Beer Cup but it was good to see so many local breweries making world class beer. Congrats to all the medal winners.

We are participating in a fundraising event call “Ales for ALS.” We are making a special beer using specially selected hops by Vinnie and Matt so we are hopeful of creating another stellar IPA like ale. Money from the sale of the beer will go to fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease.

I’ve been asked to include the safety warning I have been omitting. So, here is one that always makes me cringe. When you are walking along the side of the road, don’t trust that you will be seen. Walk as far out of harm’s way as possible, stay out of the street whenever possible. People get distracted all the time when driving and they aren’t necessarily looking for pedestrians. I responded to countless accidents where people and cyclists were struck by an inattentive driver that drifted to the side of the road where they happened to be. You are no match for a 2 ton vehicle. Create your own better odds.

Peace out

Alpine Teams with Green Flash for More Beer

Greetings! If you are receiving this email you have previously signed up for Alpine Beer Company’s Newsletter for the Retailer Group. There is finally something worth notifying this group about.

Alpine Beer Company has been allowed to brew some of our beers on a much larger scale at a world class brewery right here in San Diego. Green Flash Brewing will be making three of our beers on draft on a once a month rotation basis. Under our supervision they will first be making “Nelson,” then next month “Duet” and the third month “Hoppy Birthday.” Then we start over again. The first batch of “Nelson” is in the markets we have chosen and is already being distributed. Only available in 1/6 barrel and ½ barrel kegs.

All of our distribution will be handled by four companies in California. For local distribution requests: San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties please contact:

Artisan Ales 396 W Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 798-2537

For the San Francisco Bay area: San Mateo and San Francisco Counties

DBI Beverage San Francisco 245 S. Spruce Street, South San Francisco, CA 94080

(415) 935-2100

For the Sacramento and surrounding area: Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter and Yolo Counties:

DBI Beverage Sacramento 3500 Carlin Drive, West Sacramento, CA 95691

(916) 373-5700


A note to our friends we have been delivering beer to for the past 12 years. It is with a fair amount of sadness that we can no longer bring you our yummy goodness straight from the brewery. The distribution agreements, and in all fairness to the distributors, having them handle deliveries is just the right thing to do. We selected these distributors because of their stellar reputation and ability to respond to your needs. Placing orders through them is easy, numbers listed above. And, if you have an issue you can’t resolve with them please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.

Thank you,

Patrick McIlhenney