Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Ballast Point Brewing
& Spirits Company
Ballast point brewing logo.png
Location San Diego, California
Opened 1996; 21 years ago (1996)
Key people Marty Birkel (president)
Owned by Constellation Brands
Website ballastpoint.com
Active beers
Name Type
Ballast Point Pale Ale German/Kolsch Pale Ale
Sculpin India Pale Ale
Black Marlin Porter
Big Eye India Pale Ale
California Amber Ale Amber Ale
Wahoo White Belgian Witbier
Tasting room in the brewery.

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Company is an American brewery founded in 1996 by Jack White in San Diego, California. Ballast Point Brewing Co. started in the back of Home Brew Mart, a homebrew supply store White founded in 1992. As of 2015, it was the second largest brewer in San Diego County and the 17th largest brewery in the country based on sales volume.[1] The company's main production facility is in Miramar. It also has brewery locations in San Diego's Little Italy and Scripps Ranch neighborhoods, as well as its original Home Brew Mart location in San Diego's Linda Vista neighborhood.[2]

Ballast Point was also the first microdistillery in San Diego since Prohibition. Following the sale of the brewery to Constellation Brands, the distillery will spin off to a new company named Cutwater Spirits.

History[edit]

Founder Jack White developed a taste for beer in college. He and his college roommate Pete A’Hearn began home brewing in their apartment at UCLA. They found they had trouble obtaining the various supplies and ingredients they wanted, and had no access to other home brewers to share ideas with.

In 1992, White opened Home Brew Mart in San Diego, selling the supplies and ingredients needed by home brewers. The shop also became a place where home brewers could communicate and share ideas with each other. Many of Home Brew Mart's customers went on to found breweries of their own, and the store has been credited with helping to launch San Diego County's reputation as a craft beer mecca.[3][4]

While White ran Home Brew Mart and dreamed of starting his own brewery, A'Hearn went off to the University of California, Davis to get a master brewer’s certificate. He became the company's founding brewmaster; however, he left the company soon after the launch of the brewery and became a science teacher. The two hired Yuseff Cherney, an award-winning home brewer, as Home Brew Mart’s first employee. A'Hearn and Cherney developed a “back room” brewery behind the shop, and in 1996, Ballast Point Brewing was born. The company takes its name from Ballast Point, a historically important site on San Diego Bay in Point Loma.

By 2004, Ballast Point had outgrown its back room location and moved into a larger production brewery in Scripps Ranch. In September 2013, Ballast Point added a third location: a brewery, tasting room, and restaurant in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, which functions as the company's laboratory for research and development. By the end of 2013, Ballast Point had outgrown Scripps Ranch. In mid-2014, Ballast Point finished construction on a 107,000 square foot brewery in the Miramar area equipped to support the brewery’s growth. Two large copper kettles discovered in a brewery in Lohr, Germany are the centerpiece of this new brewery headquarters, which also features a state-of-the-art laboratory, tasting bar, and restaurant.

In 2008, Ballast Point Spirits was founded, with Old Grove Gin as its first product released. The Ballast Point Spirits family eventually included 14 spirits, as well as 2 cocktail mixers: Bloody Mary and Mai Tai.

Ballast Point tasting room in San Diego, Little Italy, 2016. View the 360 photosphere

White served as CEO from the company's inception in 1992 until 2015. In 2012 Jim Buechler became the company's president and general manager, and in June 2015 he became president and CEO, leaving White with the title of Founder.[5] Cherney is the company's chief operations officer and head brewer.

In October 2015 Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Inc. filed an initial public offering of stock. This offering would make it the first of San Diego County's breweries to go public.[5] However, on November 15, 2015, Constellation Brands announced it would acquire Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for $1 billion.[6] The acquisition, which was completed in December 2015, was financed with a combination of debt and cash.[7][8]

By July 2016, four of the founders of the company, including founder White, chief operating officer Cherney, and CEO Buechler, left the company to "pursue other interests". Marty Birkel was named the new president of the brewery. The departures reportedly stemmed from disputes with the new owner, Constellation Brands, over the status of Ballast Point's distilled spirits operation, which was not part of the sale. White and Cherney plan to move that operation to a new company called Cutwater Spirits.[9]

Awards[edit]

In 2010, Ballast Point won three gold medals for their beers, as well as the "Small Brewery Champion" award, at the World Beer Cup.[10]

In 2013 and 2014, Ballast Point's distillery arm was named the California Distillery of the Year two years in a row at the New York International Spirits Competition.[11]

By beer:[12]

Abandon Ship

  • 2008 Gold Ribbon at the San Diego County Fair: Craft Brewer's Competition
  • 2012 Silver at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition

Big Eye

  • 2006 Silver, 2008 Bronze, and 2009 Bronze at the LA County Fair
  • 2004 2nd Gold, 2005 Silver, 2007 Bronze Certificate, 2008 Silver Certificate, and 2011 1st Gold at the California State Fair
  • 2002 Bronze at the World Beer Cup
  • 2010 Bronze at the Great Japan Beer Festival
  • 2008 Silver at the Australian International Beer Awards

Black Marlin

  • 2002 Gold, 2004 Gold, 2006 Bronze, 2007 Gold, and 2008 Bronze at the LA County Fair
  • 2005 2nd Gold, 2007 Bronze Certificate, 2008 Bronze Certificate, 2011 1st Gold at the California State Fair
  • 2003 Bronze at the Great American Beer Festival

Brother Levonian

  • 2008 Gold Ribbon at the California State Fair
  • 2013 Bronze at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition

Calico

  • 2002 Best of Show Gold, 2003 Gold, 2004 Silver, 2006 Gold, and 2008 Bronze at the LA County Fair
  • 2004 2nd Gold, 2005 Gold, 2007 Silver Certificate, 2008 Gold, and 2011 Silver at the California State Fair
  • 2002 Gold at the World Beer Cup
  • 2001 Gold at the Great American Beer Festival
  • 2011 Bronze, 2012 Gold, and 2013 Gold at the San Diego County Fair International Beer Competition
  • 2012 Gold and 2014 Silver at the European Beer Star Awards
  • 2011 Bronze at the Australian International Beer Awards
  • 2014 Gold at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition
  • 2014 Bronze at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Dorado

  • 2004 Gold, 2005 Gold, and 2009 Gold at the LA County Fair
  • 2007 Silver Certificate at the California State Fair
  • 2006 Bronze at the World Beer Cup
  • 2002 Gold, 2003 Gold, 2004 Bronze, 2005 Gold, 2006 Bronze, and 2007 Gold at the Bistro Double IPA Fest

Even Keel

  • 2007 Silver Certificate at the California State Fair
  • 2014 Bronze at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Fathom

  • 2010 Gold at the World Beer Cup
  • 2010 Gold at the Great American Beer Festival

Grunion

  • 2014 Gold at the Great American Beer Festival
  • 2015 Silver at the Best of Craft Beer Awards

Indra Kunindra

  • 2012 Bronze at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2013 Gold at the LA County Beer Competition

Longfin

  • 2007 Gold at the LA County Fair
  • 2007 Silver Certificate at the California State Fair
  • 2007 Gold at the San Diego County Fair: Craft Brewers Competition
  • 2013 Gold at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2013 Gold at the LA County Beer Competition

Navigator

  • 2002 Gold and 2007 Bronze at the LA County Fair
  • 2013 Silver at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2014 Bronze at the World Beer Cup

Pale Ale

  • 2004 Gold, 2006 Bronze, 2007 Gold, 2009 Gold at the LA County Fair
  • 2004 Silver, 2005 2nd Silver, 2007 Silver Certificate, 2008 Bronze Certificate, and 2011 Silver at the California State Fair
  • 2011 Bronze at the San Diego County Fair International Beer Competition
  • 2013 Honorable Mention at the LA County Beer Competition
  • 2014 Gold at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition
  • 2014 Silver at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Pescadero

  • 2002 Bronze at the LA County Fair

Piper Down

  • 2003 Gold and 2007 Silver at the LA County Fair
  • 2014 Silver at the Great American Beer Festival
  • 2015 Gold at the Best of Craft Beer Awards

Reef

  • 2012 Silver at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition

San Salvador

  • 2013 Beer Category Winner at the Great Food Awards

Sculpin

  • 2011 Silver at the California State Fair
  • 2010 Gold and 2014 Gold at the World Beer Cup
  • 2007 Bronze and 2009 Silver at the Great American Beer Festival
  • 2012 Bronze at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2006 Bronze at the Bistro 9th Annual IPA Festival
  • 2011 Gold and 2012 Gold at the Great Japan Beer Festival
  • 2010 Gold and 2011 Gold at the European Beer Star Awards
  • 2014 Bronze at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition
  • 2014 Modern IPA Gold at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival

Sea Monster

  • 2011 2nd Silver at the California State Fair
  • 2013 Silver at the LA County Beer Competition
  • 2014 Imperial Stout and Porter Silver at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival

Three Sheets

  • 2005 Silver at the LA County Fair
  • 2013 Silver at the San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2014 Bronze at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition

Tongue Buckler

  • 2007 Gold at the LA County Fair
  • 2005 Silver at the Great American Beer Festival
  • 2013 Silver at the San Diego Beer Festival and Competition
  • 2013 Gold at the LA County Beer Competition

Victory at Sea

  • 2009 Silver at the LA County Fair
  • 2007 Silver Certificate and 2011 1st Gold at the California State Fair
  • 2007 Silver and 2008 Gold Ribbon at the San Diego County Fair: Craft Brewer's Festival
  • 2011 Bronze at the San Diego County Fair International Beer Competition
  • 2014 Gold at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Wahoo

  • 2002 Gold, 2003 Gold, 2006 Silver, 2007 Gold, and 2009 Silver at the LA County Fair
  • 2004 Silver, 2005 Bronze, 2007 Silver Certificate, 2008 Silver Certificate, and 2011 Silver at the California State Fair
  • 2013 Silver at the LA County Beer Competition

Main packaged beers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/brewers-association-lists-top-50-breweries-2015/
  2. ^ "Ballast Point announces new brewery location in San Diego". Ballast Point website. November 4, 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Beer lovers learn to brew-it-yourself". San Diego Union Tribune. September 12, 1999. 
  4. ^ Elder, Adam (March 2010). "San Diego: America's Beer Capital". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Graves, Brad (October 19, 2015). "Ballast Point, S.D.'s No. 2 Brewer, Files for IPO". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Constellation to Acquire Ballast Point for $1 Billion". Brewbound.com. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  7. ^ Tripp Mickle (November 16, 2015). "Constellation Brands to Buy Craft-beer Maker for $1 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ http://www.beveragedaily.com/Markets/Smart-investments-for-Constellation-Brands-beer
  9. ^ Hirsh, Lou (August 2, 2016). "Founder White, 3 Other Leaders Leave Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Past Winners: 2010". World Beer Cup. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Levy, Adam (October 9, 2013). "New York International Spirits Competition 2013 Winners Announced". New York International Spirits Competition. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Beer Awards". BallastPoint.com. 
  13. ^ "Wahoo Wheat Beer". 
  14. ^ a b c d "Ballast Point Limited". 
  15. ^ "Pineapple Sculpin | Ballast Point". www.ballastpoint.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°53′54.66″N 117°6′39.43″W / 32.8985167°N 117.1109528°W / 32.8985167; -117.1109528