To be honest, I think of Green Flash as something of a San Diego superhero. Blue with lime-green tights. Carrying bottles and pints of beer masterminded by the Justice League of Craft beer in America.
Let me elaborate.
Driving down Mira Mesa Road you can no more miss the silvery reflective spaceship at Flanders Drive than you can miss the Design Center pyramid on Miramar Road. Ahhh, but the secret entrance is in back of the building. You turn north up Flanders and wind westward on Sequence Drive where you find a parking lot chockablock with cars. Or, like me, you end up parking further down Sequence and walking out of the car past streets like Genetic Center Drive and Top Gun Avenue. Surely this is where the Justice League convenes daily to ensure the security of great beer in America.
The tasting room is jammed with drinkers. And yet, by paradox, the room is spacious with the high-ceilinged production facility looming just behind. Tours of the tanks and mechanical moving parts are offered every couple hours, often chaperoned by a brewer. The bar has 22 taps, every one of them strikingly different from each other. This is always a tough choice.
I choose five tasters and sip these potions with their high ABV s-l-o-w-l-y, writing notes for them. I try the Hop Therapy Black IPA, an imperial stout with serrano chiles, the 5th Anniversary Imperial IPA, a rye barleywine collaboration with Cigar City in Tampa. I am most astounded by the entry suggested by the beer server: Little Freak. It is the popular Saison Diego aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels. Magically: a beer and a wine all at once. This could be the solution to those couples’ nights out where one doesn’t like beer and well, you know… Or it could please no one. I loved this beer and will probably return for more tomorrow, since it probably was a top-secret experiment designed by superheroes gone wild and will vanish from the taps at any time.
Green Flash offers an abundance of beer and logo swag at a long counter reaching into the side exit. One more t-shirt to point up how bitter we are in San Diego because of our IPA fondness is always a temptation. The side door leads to an enclosed courtyard/picnic area that is caboosed with a daily food truck. The area is a lovely place to get out of the tasting room limelight and enjoy some food with all the masterly elixirs.
That Green Flash is only in their 12th year of existence is astonishing to me. On their base of solid IPAs, barley wines, and stouts, they seem to experiment successfully with every conceivable beer style. RateBeer recently ranked GF as #21 best brewer in the world. Their move from Vista a couple years ago gave them a higher profile and we city beer lovers access to some of the best out there. Never mind the dicey chance of an optical phenomena on the ocean front. Just keep the capes flying in Mira Mesa.