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  1. Tyler
    September 1, 2015 @ 8:52 am

    I said this way before I read this article. I always thought GF was way off on the Nelson. I don’t think it’s close at all. I was wondering if McKinney gave them a different recipe to hold onto the secret even though he sold out. I get this heavy pepper taste on the backend of the GF version that I don’t really care for. I can’t really speak for the Duet.


  2. Big Al
    August 19, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

    If you want to compare the beers color and flavor you really should have used the same glassware for each beer. Also, you need to be sure the born on dates were close to each other and that the beers were stored at the same temperature and had the same light exposure. A for effort but F for execution.


  3. dude
    August 19, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    Born and raised San Diegan here who loves BOTH versions of Nelson. I also understand the difficulty in trying to clone any beer at any scale. My hat is off to GF for how close they are to cloning one of the best IPAs in the world. People need to stop and think about that. Homebrewers want to scoff but I don’t think many ever get a chance to see just how insanely difficult it is to nail a recipe at scale as recipes are not linear. I don’t live in SD anymore so when I saw we were able to get Nelson and Duet out here in Louisiana I flipped out. Are they the same? Nah. Are they very close? Yes. Is it a step in the right direction for GF as a whole? Hell yes.


  4. Mike Hinkley
    August 18, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

    Hey guys,
    Here is the real scoop on the difference between beers brewed at Alpine and Green Flash.

    Alpine Beers have always varied somewhat batch to batch. When Pat McIlhenney and and Chuck Silva worked on the recipes for Green Flash, they attempted to mimic the “ideal” batch brewed at Alpine, not any particular batch result. At an all-hands team meeting we had at Alpine last November, one employee asked Pat what he though of the Green Flash versions of Alpine beer. He replied, without hesitation, “Nelson is getting better, Hoppy Birthday is very close, and Duet is better than we ever made it.”

    We continue to work on all of the beers. For the first two years of making Alpine beers, there was one major obstacle. Alpine does not filter beer, but Green Flash must, because of the size of the tanks. This has caused a difference in turbidity in the beers, which we have not consistently been able to overcome. Consistently, being the key word. At times they have been nearly perfect. At other times, they have not.

    Recently, with Pat McIlhenney’s urging and guidance, we purchased and installed a very sophisticated centrifuge to filter the Alpine beer at Green Flash. This allows our brewers to dial in a specific speed to filter each beer, resulting in the targeted turbidity of that ideal batch. We have only been using the centrifuge for the past month, and are still fine-tuning the process for each beer. We are very excited and expect much more consistent turbidity going forward.

    Mike Hinkley
    Green Flash


  5. David G
    August 17, 2015 @ 2:19 pm

    I’ve been drinking Alpine IPA’s since 2008. I WON’T buy GF/ABC. Tried it many times. Not the same. As a matter of fact I haven’t bought GF beers since they changed the WCIPA recipe. Alpine draft is everywhere these days. Not the same. For those who’s never had a Alpine IPA they probably don’t know any better. Maybe by word of mouth only. I will still drive the 2 hours from Huntington Beach to Alpine 4 times a year for bottles. So your 55 miles is nothing for some world class beers. Hell, I drive the 4 hours to Kern River for their beers. DRINK ALPINE…or go to BED! Drink GF/Alpine and get the sh!tes!


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