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Since moving into their 45,000 square foot digs in Mira Mesa in 2011, the folks at Green Flash Brewing Company have done a great deal to fill the place out, not only with brewing equipment, fermentation tanks, barrels, and a bottling line, but with a lot of heart and reasons for beer fans to return.

Their 4,000 s.f. indoor/outdoor tasting room is one of the largest in the county, and it’s a good thing. The place is packed on a regular basis. From Friday nights where 400 to 500 people wade through seas of suds and suds seekers to a wide array of ticketed events like special beer releases, supper society dinners where restaurants come in and cook in the brewery, and upcoming combo classes and tastings educating attendees on craft beer and locally produced artisanal edibles, they’ve made good and creative use of the space.

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This year figures to be another where they pack ‘em in behind a new program called “Hop Odyssey 2013.” Over the next 11 months, the brewery will release a half-dozen hop-forward beers brewed using new and experimental hops from the fertile soils of Yakima, Washington, as well as tried-and-true varieties already residing in Green Flash’s bag of tricks. Some of the beers will be reissues of small batch brews the company has previously produced while others are all new creations.

The first beer in the series is an American-style Black IPA (India pale ale) made using Cascade, Citra, and Warrior hops. Registering at 7.2% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) and coming in at 85 international bittering units (IBU, the unit of measure for a beer’s level of bitterness), it will be released in February on a national scale which, of course, includes Green Flash’s home turf.

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Hops are nothing new for Green Flash. Ever since brewmaster Chuck Silva came on-board in 2004, abundantly bitter West Coast versions of beer styles the world over have been the brewing company’s calling card. Next to the beers, which are likely to be a cut above, the fittingness and legitimacy of the project are the most appealing aspects of the Hop Odyssey. Just like last year when San Marcos’ The Lost Abbey released 12 barrel-aged blends—their specialty as a company—this makes sense and is in keeping with what Green Flash has been doing all along.

The other beers to be released as part of the Hop Odyssey are Imperial Red Rye IPA (8.5% ABV, 80 IBU, brewed with Columbus and Mosaic hops, and available in April), Citra Session IPA (4.5% ABV, 45 IBU, Citra, June), Cedar Plank Pale Ale (6.3% ABV; 45 IBU; Cascade, El Dorado, Warrior; August), a reissue of the Symposium IPA brewed as the commemorative beer for the 2008 Craft Brewers Conference (7% ABV; 75 IBU; Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Tomahawk; October), and Double Columbus IPA (8.8% ABV, 98 IBU, Columbus, December).

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Comments

Dave Rice Jan. 24, 2013 @ 11:01 p.m.

A sessionable IPA...now that sounds like an interesting departure from the norm.

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Brandon Hernández Jan. 27, 2013 @ 10:53 a.m.

Hi Dave. Actually, sessionable was the norm for IPAs before American brewers (primarily the envelope-pushers in San Diego) began boosting the hops and ABV to create imperial IPAs. This growing trend of lowering the alcohol on this English style represents a return to the IPAs origins without sacrificing the vibrant fruity, piney hop bitterness drinkers have come to appreciate and crave.

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