January 19, 2021 – 25 years ago, a pioneering brewery was born within the hopped walls of San Diego’s Home Brew Mart. As Ballast Point enters this milestone year under new ownership and with a regained spirit of independence, the team is looking to build upon its label legacy with a fresh new look across cans, bottles, and overall packaging. The designs remain anchored in reverence to its iconic flagship, the Sculpin, and celebrate the complete art reflected both inside and out. The first in the new series which hit shelves last fall includes Ballast Point’s gold medal-winner, Longfin Lager. This January, refreshed designs of familiar favorites including the Sculpin IPA family, along with brand new year-round releases to be announced in February, will add to the Ballast Point portfolio.
One of Ballast Point’s biggest differentiators since its inception is the art reflected in and on its packaging. With the first sparks inside an unassuming homebrew supply store that ignited a movement in earnest, Ballast Point grew from a 20-barrel brewhouse in 1996 to now operating six brewpubs, a 300-barrel production brewery and a 5bbl R&D innovation brewery that enables exploration of styles and non-traditional methods. From a Helles-style lager and an ESB-inspired amber ale, to the legendary West Coast-style IPAs [and a clear hazy on the way], to one notorious sour wench and a victorious imperial porter, the exploration of liquid art swims in the DNA of Ballast Point.
A mirrored reflection of the interior, the integration of hand-drawn illustrations into the labeling is as ubiquitous to Ballast Point as its roots in homebrewing. Resident artist and Home Brew Mart statesmen, Paul Elder, has created the majority of Ballast Point labels for the past 25 years. Buoyed by a pursuit of happiness that only a simple, stress-free life by the sea can provide, Paul animates sport fish and seaworthy skeletons into two-dimensional sketches and full works of art with watercolor and rough acrylics. Each one full of story and a wicked sense of humor. And for 25 years this symbiotic relationship of maritime personification and dedication to the craft has endured.
And it will endure for many more.
“I’ve admired Ballast Point for a long time, and I wouldn’t change what’s made it unique for the past 25 years. In our anniversary year, let’s celebrate it,” says Brendan Watters, co-founder of Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. and CEO of Ballast Point. “What we’re doing now is really putting the art front and center. We have this crazy talented, natural-world obsessed artist in Paul Elder who dives into what our brewers dream up. It just works.”
With the launch of Complete Art, 2021 will mark the return to shared innovation for Ballast Point and the first new package release in the past 300 individual beer recipes developed by the brewing team, led by brewmaster, Aaron Justus. As always, Paul’s signature art will bring the story of the beer to life on the outside, and the new packaging will reflect the full scope of his process from sketch to full color art.
Ballast Point’s new look, including those for the flagship Sculpin IPA family, arrive this month with additional designs and new beers to be released throughout 2021 in celebration of a quarter-century in San Diego.