Another day, another craft brewery buyout.
In a sign of the times, another large, regional craft brewery has sold itself to a larger consortium. This time it’s the beloved Ballast Point of San Diego, CA, loved by craft fans for their hop-forward offerings such as Sculpin IPA. On Monday morning, the brewery announced that it would be acquired by Constellation Brands for a staggering $1 billion. Current management and brewing teams will remain in place.
“We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way,” said Jack White, founder of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. “To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale.”
Constellation is a company previously focused on the wine and spirits market, making Robert Mondavi wines and Svedka Vodka. It turned its interests toward beer in 2013 when it acquired the rights to sell Corona and Modelo brands in the U.S. from Anheuser-Busch for $5.3 billion. Ballast Point, meanwhile, has been absolutely on fire sales-wise, doubling its volume to 4 million cases within the last year.
Already, the typical “sellout” cries are descending on the Ballast Point Facebook account, where the company made the announcement. Representatives of the brewery have already claimed they will “never” change recipes, but it will surely take a lot more than that to convince the company’s longtime supporters.