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Green Flash

Green Flash Brewhouse & Eatery is scheduled to open early next month at 1630 P St.

Despite a nationwide pullback in the distribution of its beers, a San Diego-based brewery is still going full steam ahead on its plans to open a brewpub in Lincoln.

Green Flash Brewing Co. announced in August that it had bought the former Ploughshare Brewing site at 1630 P St. and planned to reopen it with a tasting room, restaurant and brewhouse by the end of the year.

However, in January, Green Flash said it would pull distribution from 32 states and cut 15 percent of its staff. 

According to a report last month from Brewbound, a craft beer-focused website, Green Flash ran into financial difficulties after opening a large brewing operation in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2015.

The website reported that the company, which was the 43rd-largest craft brewer in the U.S. last year, lost $112,000 in 2017 after making more than $3 million in 2016 and was seeking either a new investor or a sale of the company.

Green Flash co-founder Mike Hinkley told the Journal Star this week that its distribution cutback in no way affects its Lincoln plans.

"We're very excited about the opportunity in Lincoln," Hinkley said.

He said the delay in opening the Lincoln operation was due to holdups in getting licenses and permits and did not have anything to do with the cutbacks announced in January.

Dave Adams, Green Flash's vice president of retail operations, said that if all goes as planned, the brewpub, called Green Flash Brewhouse & Eatery, will be open to the public in April.

Adams, who was in Lincoln on Wednesday to check on things and oversee some training, said a brewer, general manager and executive chef have been hired for the operation, and all are from Nebraska.

In fact, he said, of the 20 to 30 employees expected to work in Lincoln, only one will be from California.

Adams said there are no immediate plans for distribution in Lincoln.

"Think of the operation as a small brewpub designed to serve the restaurant only," he said.

"Our number one focus is we want to have a really cool restaurant with really cool beers that were made there," he said.

Hinkley said in an interview with Brewbound in January that the Lincoln brewpub is part of a long-term strategy includes placing small brewpubs in “earlier-stage markets.”

"If that’s successful, that’ll be the model for how to go to another city,” he said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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