Collaborations are common in the craft brewing industry. The most typical collabs involve brewers from different companies getting together to put together a joint effort beer like the Highway 78 Scotch Ale from Stone, Green Flash and Pizza Port Carlsbad.
Recently, a different kind of collaboration occured when ingredients suppliers donated product to Green Flash Brewing Co. so that they could brew Treasure Chest, a Belgian pale ale that's available at the company's Mira Mesa facility and retail establishments where Green Flash beers are sold. Why give away all the hops, malt and yeast for free? To help find a cure for breast cancer.
All proceeds from sales of Treasure Chest will go to Chicks For Beer, a non-profit organization that began as a humble yet popular women-only beer education club founded by Ingrid Qua, who is the co-owner of The High Dive in Linda Vista and one of the SD beer scene's most enthusiastic proponents. Qua was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy in 2010. Local brewers rallied and went to great lengths to support her, most notably when Ballast Point specialty brewer Colby Chandler and Coronado Brewing Company brewers Shawn DeWitt and Sean Farrell brewed a Belgian collaboration beer called Ingrid's One In Eight (also made with donated ingredients with profits funneled to the Susan G. Komen Foundation). The name not only honored Qua, but made note of the number of women in America who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Green Flash owners Mike and Lisa Hinkley reached out to Qua upon hearing of her diagnosis, telling her they wanted to do something to help out her efforts against their shared nemesis. Treasure Chest is the result. It's discernable on store shelves by its bright pink label featuring a buxom pin-up standing in front of a key. It's as much of a standout on the palate with a spike of piney hop bitterness that's what one expects from Green Flash's epitomic West Coast style. I picked up a bottle for $2.50 at Bottlecraft in Little Italy and considered it a small price to pay to make an impact in such a multi-facetedly enjoyable way.