Alright humans we know how upset some of you are about the recent news that Constellation Brands had purchased Ballast Point for a record breaking $1-billion dollars, so we decided to catch up with Ballast Point and learn more about what’s actually next for them. The current perception of some humans is a bleak one where the beers don’t stay the same and Ballast Point stops being dedicated to the craft we all love. We caught up with Earl Kight, the Chief Commercial Officer of Ballast Point, to help shed some light.
Many people were excited when you announced you would be going public and having an IPO, what lead to the decision to go in a different direction and sell to Constellation instead?
“A couple of things led to this decision. We have always had several options in play. We were always talking to people who wanted to talk with us…private investors, other breweries, larger brands, and of course Constellation. As we were going through the process of getting an IPO we realized the environment of IPO is not fantastic right now. A lot of IPO’s that launched back in October have not performed well. That mixed with feeling that Constellation Brands was a good fit for us and would allow us to continue to run our company as a stand alone company led us to the decision to sell to them. To clarify Constellation is not a brewery. They just own the brands. We also felt an obligation to the shareholders who started the company and with such a strong valuation it was the right decision for us.”
Are any of your beers slated for production in a Constellation owned facility to allow for mass production?
“No. We will continue to make all of our own beer the way we always have. We are currently looking for the right location to build our own facility on the East Coast that will allow us to continue to meet the demands of our customers.”
Are there any plans for expansion or new locations?
“The same plans we had prior to the acquisition. We were already in the process of installing a 300 barrel brewing system in our Miramar location to increase production. Our ability to ramp up quickly is what made it easy for other brands to want to be a part of our growth. We are also working on a few other tasting room locations throughout the country as well. Once we find the right locations we will be sharing more about that.”
As part of our ongoing investigation into what some humans describe as “a war on craft beer”, what is your reaction to the question: Is there a war on craft beer?”
“In my opinion, purchases are not being done to stomp on craft beer. The reason they are wanting to purchase the smaller craft breweries is our category is growing fast and they want to be a part of it. More and more people are wanting to reach for more flavorful beer options and companies are seeing the increasing value in craft beer. Constellation is already performing well with Mexican Beers and is an extremely successful company. Constellation saw the growth of craft beer industry and simply wanted to be a part of it. In my opinion, the larger companies purchasing smaller craft breweries are not doing it to slow them down. Many of the smaller breweries that have been purchased by larger ones are like us and get to continue to run the company as a standalone company brewing the beer that they love.”
Note: Ballast Point Spirits will become a separate company owned by Jack White and Yuseff Cherney. Their craft spirit line was not acquired by Constellation Brands. Check out our reviews on their Three Sheets Spiced Rum and their Three Sheets Barrel Aged Rum.
Worry not humans, Ballast Point is still as dedicated to the craft as ever. They may now be owned by Constellation Brands, but at the heart they are still operating as the same company you have grown to love over the last 20 years. So you can trade in those pitch folks for glasses of the Sculpin we all love because it is here to stay. Cheers!
Constellation is the third-largest producer and marketer of beer for the U.S. market and the world’s leading premium wine company with a leading market position in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. Constellation’s wine portfolio is complemented by select premium spirits brands. Constellation’s brand portfolio includes Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico, Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Rex Goliath, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino, Jackson-Triggs, SVEDKA Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky. Our mission is Building brands that people love.
At Constellation, we’re building brands that people love:
Artfully – with a passion for premium winemaking and industry-leading standards for quality.
Smartly – through leading innovations, consumer insights and marketing that help grow our business and the business of our partners.
Responsibly – by caring for the land, people and communities where we live and work.
You can find out more about Constellation Brands by visiting their website: http://www.cbrands.com/home
From day one, Ballast Point’s philosophy has always been doing what we love, and making what we love to drink. So, naturally, we named the beers after something many of us love almost as much as brewing—fishing. Today, many of the beers are named for fish or fishing terms, and the labels have fish on them as a reminder to always do what you love.
Soon after the brewery opened, our founding brewmaster Pete decided to take his love for brewing into the classroom as a science teacher—inspiring the next generation of homebrewers, perhaps. He is still an active ambassador for our brand, with a wealth of brewing knowledge to boot.
By 2004, Ballast Point had outgrown its back room location and moved into a larger production brewery in Scripps Ranch. In this location, Ballast Point continues to brew around the clock to meet the growing demand for its beer.
After a decade of growth on the beer side, Jack and Yuseff decided to take on a new challenge—distilling—to see if they could add their own spin on another centuries-old craft. The Ballast Point Spirits family now includes 14 spirits, all made and bottled on site in Scripps Ranch.
Be sure to follow us on Social Media as we invade more breweries and discover more awesome craft beers from all over the world! Cheers humans!