Pull Up A Stool with Chuck Silva
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Was La Freak the first of the American-produced beers in the Belgian IPA vein?
I think so. We’ve been bottling it since 2008, but we were brewing it in 2006. Then a lot of others got inspired to try these hybrids.
Did you get your brewing start in Southern California?
I did, actually. I was in the United States Navy, then in the defense industry afterwards. Making beer was my hobby at that time. I saw that the American Brewers Guild had trade school and apprenticeship classes. I joined the guild, quit my day job, relocated to San Diego and landed a job in 1998.
Is Rayon Vert your only Brett beer?
It’s the only one we package. We have some other barrel beers we’re playing around with that we may develop into specialty-bottled beers. I do have a house Brettanomyces which has a different character. We have a beer called Little Freak, another called Super Freak, one called Black Freak. Those are beers we’re trying to develop further, but it might be another year or two before we can get those out.
What else is new on the horizon?
The current thing is our Hop Odyssey. We’ve chosen six beers, each one very hop-centric, kind of getting back to our hoppy roots. There will be a different hoppy beer, draft only, every other month. Starting in February, the first release is a black IPA. The second is an imperial red rye, with the focus on Mosaic hops. Mosaic is a new variety. The red will be dry-hopped with all Mosaic, but there’s different hops in the brew. Through 2013, each one will feature a different hop.
A lot of people just know us for our hoppy beers, so it’s good you’re asking about our Belgian styles as well. It’s a funny thing, we just won three medal at the GABF, and two were gold medals for our Belgian style beers—the Trippel and Le Freak. Somebody was watching the live streaming and told me somebody comments “Green Flash winning medals for Belgian beers? Is this a new thing?” And other people were able to chime in and say, “No, they’ve been brewing these two for years now.”
Julie Johnson is the technical editor of All About Beer Magazine.