Green Flash–in the Pan…and How I Got Four Free Bottles

Green Flash came to Idaho, and as quickly as they got here, they were gone… in a flash…could’a been green.

Here is the story.  It starts with a new distributor in Boise.  This new distributor who shall remain nameless, wasn’t fully aware of the legal issues around his profession.  See I guess he thought he could offer any old beer, call the brewery, and get some sent to him, and sell it.  As many of you know there is quite a bit more to how it works than that.

But Green Flash was one of the beers that this distributor was selling on his supply sheet, so a couple of bottle shops saw this and ordered some of the illegal brew, obviously not knowing at the time it was actually bootleg beer.  So this distributor calls the brewery, and manages to get someone on the phone that doesn’t know that they don’t sell in Idaho, and arranges for a shipment to go to Boise.

So now these orders get filled, and everybody is happy happy.  Woohoo, Green Flash is in Idaho, and all is right with the world…until it wasn’t.

These beers were put on the shelves on Saturday, on the following Monday a Distributor rep , who has been trying to convince Green Flash to come to the Treasure Valley (Boise area for you east coast types), walks into Brewforia and notices Green Flash on the shelves.  He is puzzled, and calls his buddy at Green Flash, and his buddy is MAD!  He said not only had he not filled out the paperwork to be in Idaho, but he didn’t want to be in Idaho at this time (a real hazard of being in this state).

So somehow the Idaho State Po Po gets called.  At about 4:00 pm they come in the various shops around town that are selling the brews and tell the owners that they can either close down or pull all the Green Flash beer off of the shelves.  Well of course they all complied and pulled the beer off of the shelves. They were instructed that they could keep the beer, because they did pay for it, but they could not sell it.

Going into Brewforia that Thursday evening, Rick the owner brings me these four beers in a mixed six pack and tells me the story.  How wild!  How sad. 😦 And not one of the checks and balances that are in place to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen worked.  I’m not complaining too much.  I did get some free beer out of it, but how crazy this three tier system is that the State police have to go raid a bunch of beer stores because a new distributor doesn’t know the laws.
I did have the West coast IPA, and it is a tasty brew.  Very grapefruity and a nice sweetness to it with a medium mouthfeel and a bright nose.  We do need good IPAs around here for summer.  I just wish Green Flash would be one of them.

I haven’t tried the others yet.  What do you think about them?  Are we missing out because they don’t want to come here yet, or are we not missing much?  And which beer should I drink next?

Let me know in the comments.


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38 Comments on “Green Flash–in the Pan…and How I Got Four Free Bottles”

  1. April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    GF arrived this past year and I live their beers. West Coast is one of my favorite IPA’s.

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Well aparently they “want” to be in Missouri. I’d like them to be a regular feature around here too.

      • Jason
        April 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

        They actually are available in Missouri. Their beers are fantastic. I’ve had all in your picture except Freak. Double stout is one of the best stouts I’ve had. GF is defintely a go-to brewerey when I’m at the store.

  2. jf1smith
    April 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I can only dream. GF has made it as far East as Alabama I believe, but not to GA yet…

    • jf1smith
      April 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      I recant. Savannah Distributors has it. Just not found in Atl. yet… Grrr…

      • Don
        April 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

        I’m sure it won’t be long. Just hang in there. 😉

  3. Jeff
    April 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    We just got Green Flash here in Maine, actually. I tried the West Coast IPA and the Double Stout last weekend. Both were excellent, the IPA in particular. The stout is actually fairly comparable to North Coast’s Old Rasputin, though I prefer the Rasputin, which also happens to be more reasonably priced. I’d probably be drinking a lot of Green Flash, if only it weren’t so expensive. I do see myself picking up that IPA from time to time anyway, as I was very impressed with it. I haven’t seen Le Freak anywhere yet, but I really want to try it, hopefully soon.

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Interesting, only because I have no Idea how much this beer cost. I was just handed the bottles and told to enjoy. Nice deal for me, but I really do think I’d rather have it as an option to buy whenever I wanted it. So they’ll ship to Maine, but not Idaho? WTF?

      • Jeff
        April 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

        I mean it’s not ridiculously expensive. A 4-pack is like $11-12ish here. It is, however a bit rich for my typical budget, as I can get some damn good IPAs for $9-10ish for a 6-pack. It won’t be a weekly purchase, but it will most certainly be an occasional treat. Really great stuff, and I look forward to tasting more varieties.

  4. April 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    If you ever get the chance, try their barley wine. It’s the best I’ve had and it’s only about $6 for a bomber. I was buying it weekly from my local shop but they have been out for the past few weeks…:(

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      Probably a seasonal release. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try it soon. Would you call it an American Barleywine style with a hop presence, or is it more traditional with that cloying sweetness that furrows my brow?

      • April 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

        FYI Don, I do believe I got a bottle of their Barleywine from Chris. We should meet up some where and taste to round out your tastings. 🙂

        • Don
          April 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

          I’m game. Time and place, please! 😉

  5. April 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Wish I could have found a bottle before they were pulled….

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      I still have the three. We should meet up and split some.

  6. oliverklosoff
    April 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    I bought a growler of Palette Wrecker day before yesterday. Time to grill out tonight…

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      What style is Palette Wrecker?

      • oliverklosoff
        April 9, 2012 at 8:43 am #

        It’s a DIPA. I know there is a crapload of those out there, but I can honestly say this one is a top tier version. Had a wet hop feel to it, very piney.

  7. Alan
    April 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    We’re fortunate enough to get Green Flash up here in Washington and I can say that both the West Coast and the Rayon Vert are very good. I haven’t tried the others but am looking forward to finding them.

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Not sure what the Rayon Vert is. What style of beer is it?

      • Phorestfreak
        April 7, 2012 at 7:41 am #

        Rayon Vert is a Belgian Style Pale Ale. Awesome, lots of Brett

  8. April 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm #


    Thanks very much for attempting to explain to the great people of Idaho what happened around Green Flash’s momentary apprearance in Idaho. I appreciate the support and the kind words about our beer. Your article is well written, but I have two facts to correct:

    Most importantly, we do indeed “want” to be in Idaho. We will be there soon, hopefully within a year. We are currently expanding our brewery to increase production capacity and as soon as we have the beer, we will choose an Idaho distributor and come to Idaho. If anything, the episode has moved Idaho up our list. We received a great response in just our few days on the shelves and a very forgiving response when the beer was pulled.

    Seondly, Green Flash never shipped beer to Idaho. We do ship beer to Washington State. The far reaches of that state are covered by sub-distibutors. The now terminated sub-distributor that covered South East Washington violated the law and our contract when they unilaterally decided to “open” Idaho for Green Flash.

    Cheers to Idaho, see you soon,

    Mike Hinkley
    Founder and CEO
    Green Flash Brewing Co.

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Thanks for the clarification Mike. If you spend any time at all around this blog you will come to understand that we never let the facts get in the way of a good story! 😉 I don’t think I said you didn’t want to be here ever, but just not yet. I’m very excited to hear that you want to be here upon your next expansion, and eagerly look forward to that day. Second, I wasn’t 100% certain on how it got here, as I am retelling this story from a friend of mine that owns one of the bottle shops, but this makes sense as we have gotten beer from the Spokane market before, but said beer has to go through the process of registering in the state. Green flash hasn’t yet, and therein lies one of the many problems that brought us to this point. Thanks for chiming in, and judging by the response to this article, i’m really looking forward to your arrival in the Gem State.

  9. April 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Love Green Flash! I have had the West Coast IPA, Double Stout, Hop Head Red, Imperial IPA, and Rayon Vert. They are all delicious. As far as which to have next, go for the Double Stout. Really really good! Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Le Freak. Been wanting to try that one for awhile.

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Good advice G. When in doubt always go for the double stout!

      • April 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

        LOL! You’re a poet and you don’t even know it. 😉

        • April 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

          Wait, thought I was the poet and didn’t know it. Oh, yeah, I did now it. Nevermind.

          Indeed, some craziness went on with Green Flash appearing in Idaho. I’ve heard multiple stories about how it happened. Keep filling in the blanks with each story. I got a similar Green Flash package, Don. The West Coast IPA is the only one I’ve tried so far and quite enjoyable. Coming from California (Mike, there are A LOT of ex-Californians in Idaho by the way), A LOT of us would love to see Green Flash here in this state. I and we look forward to your return!

        • Don
          April 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

          Plus Chad, your stuff never rhymes.

        • April 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

          Rhyme-y is slimey.

  10. April 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Don, I would say the barley wine is somewhere in between. It’s definitely not cloying but it’s not as hoppy as some of the other American barley wines out there…which is part of what I love about it. Some of them are so hoppy they might as well be IPA’s…don’t get me wrong, I love IPA’s but it was nice to have something different. It was thick and boozy and wasn’t super sweet but had flavors of dark fruits.
    When I was a kid and my grandpa was still alive, he made his own wine from the fruits in his little orchard and aged it in used bourbon barrels in his garage. It was alot stronger than wine as we know it but it was good stuff. The flavor of Green Flash barleywine reminds me of what his garage smelled like…it kinda takes me back….

    • Don
      April 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      Wish I could of had some of your grandpa’s stuff it sounds amazing. And he was a man before his time with the barrel aging he did too. It sounds great. Looks like it won’t be too awful long before I get an opportunity to try it for myself.

      • haastyle11
        April 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

        I think it started out that his friend worked for Jim Beam here in Cincy and got him a used barrel free or cheap…it was something large he could use at a low cost…he figured out how much it added to his hooch and got more used barrels… he called it wine but I bet it was around 50 proof.. Good stuff…

  11. Johnny
    April 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Hey Don just to let you know the Palate Wrecker is a Triple IPA, I haven’t had it yet, but I found a place that has it on tap thankfully! Go for their West Coast IPA, it’s amazing if you enjoy a lot of hops.

  12. April 7, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    I second – or third the motion to try the Double Stout next. It’s delicious. I’ve tried the others besides Le Freak and am currently on the hunt for Palate Wrecker… Props on the loot!

  13. Kid Carboy Jr.
    April 12, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I love the Hop Head Red. LOVE IT. It is amarillo hops, personified. If you ever wondered what pure amarillo smells like, Hop Head Red is it. My assessment: delicious grass clippings.

    • Don
      April 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

      That will be the next one I drink. Sounds great!

  14. Hebro
    April 27, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    You are missing out. Their Imperial IPA, when you can get it, is amazing. It goes to eleven!


  1. Green Flash Double Stout: A “Refreshing” Stout For Summer | Beer & Whiskey Bros. - August 20, 2012

    […] reminded that I had some Green Flash brews that I haven’t tried yet.  I remember when I last posted about Green Flash I had drank their West Coast IPA and it was a really easy drinking IPA that went well on a warm […]

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