Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego has announced it is acquiring the East County-based Alpine Beer Co. for an undisclosed price.

Alpine Beer officials said in a statement that each company will remain independently operated and maintain their distinct brands and cultures. Alpine founder Pat McIlhenney will remain Alpine’s president and brewmaster, overseeing all of its operations.

Officials said the acquisition will provide more widespread distribution for the relatively small Alpine brewer, founded in 1999, which employs 20 and produces about 3,000 barrels annually. Green Flash began brewing three styles of Alpine beer in November 2013 at its San Diego facility, under a “handshake agreement” between the two companies.

“It was both intriguing and challenging to meld our philosophies while we worked together to scale up Pat’s recipes to be brewed in larger quantities,” said Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva.

In 2015, Green Flash will begin bottling select Alpine brews in 22-ounce bottles, adding to the three current draft offerings.

Green Flash Brewing, founded in 2002 and based in Mira Mesa, is the fourth-largest of approximately 90 craft beer makers headquartered in San Diego County. The company is led by co-founder and CEO Mike Hinkley and reported 2013 revenue of $17.5 million from production of approximately 60,000 barrels.

Green Flash currently employs about 100. It is in the process of expanding production to facilities in Poway and Virginia Beach, Va.