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Alpine Beer Company Founders Open McIlhenney Brewing Company In San Diego's East County

May 26, 2021

The family that founded San Diego's popular Alpine Beer Company has opened McIlhenney Brewing at the site of their original brewery.

In November 2014, it was announced that Green Flash founders Mike and Lisa Hinkley and Alpine Beer Company founders Pat and Val McIlhenney would join forces. Essentially, Green Flash acquired Alpine and the "partnership" eventually went sour when Green Flash was foreclosed on in March 2018 by Comerica Bank, which had previously issued a loan to owner Mike Hinkley. Green Flash was ultimately acquired in 2018 by an investment group that included former executives from Budweiser. This past March, the parent company that owns Green Flash, WC IPA LLC, laid off longtime Alpine brewer and son of original founders Shawn McIlhenney and other longtime members of the Alpine team. Green Flash continues to brew beer sold under the Alpine Beer Company name. 

Last summer, Alpine's original father-and-son brewing team Patrick and Shawn McIlhenney found out the lease on their original brewery space was up for grabs and decided to return to where it all started. The duo formed a company called McIlhenney Brewing and signed a lease on their original brewery and tasting room in Alpine, essentially taking it away from Green Flash.

Debuting today, McIlhenney Brewing Company is family business through and through. While Pat and Val will be on hand to help with almost anything, their son Shawn and his wife Jamie will run operations. The tasting room has been renovated and now has a new bar, 750 square-foot interior and a 1,300 square-foot back patio. The launch lineup of beers includes Bells Bluff blonde ale in various flavors, Surname Red Irish red ale, DryRish Stout, Wizards Want West Coast IPA, Wild Child Double IPA, Muntz New Zealand hopped rye IPA and Palo Verde pale ale. 

Mcilhenney Brewing is now open at 2363 Alpine Boulevard in San Diego's East County town of Alpine. For more information, visit mcilhenneybrewing.com.