Constellation Brands, the parent company which bought Ballast Point for a cool $1 billion in 2015, has confirmed that the beer brand it hoped would alter their company’s image will shutter two Southern California facilities while cancelling a future brewpub, as first reported by Brewbound. The company’s Long Beach location will remain open.
Impacting current locations in San Diego and Temecula and a planned San Francisco brewpub, the closures are connected to a decline in sales—Ballast Point saw a 3.4 percent drop in sales last year—and the harsh fact that Constellation lost $108 million due to Ballast’s lackluster performance in 2018 and $87 million the year before last.
Stephanie McGuane, communications manager for Constellation Brands, said via email to the Long Beach Post that the company plans “to align resources based on declining craft trends.”
The brewpub in Temecula—located at 28551 Rancho California Rd. and opening in 2016 after taking over the Captain’s Cabin restaurant—was closed immediately with no formal notice. The other location is “Trade Street,” a 40-barrel warehouse located adjacent to Ballast Point’s Miramar brewpub in San Diego; according to McGuane, this facility will “restrict operations within the coming months.”
Some claim that employees weren’t even notified of the closure, like this concerned parent:
My son found out he was getting laid off on Tuesday. It's devastating after working so hard for years for a company. Constellation destroyed Ballast Point.
— bob (@megapersonality) April 18, 2019
Ballast Point’s Long Beach location, which was the first of Constellation’s satellite Ballast locations after it purchased the brand, opened in 2016 to much fanfare. Constellation recently opened its Downtown Disney location just over a month ago in Anaheim. These locations, according to McGuane, will remain open as they are high-performing spaces given their proximity to crowds—in the case of Downtown Disney, its constant flood of beer-seeking parents looking to escape Toontown—and their distinct vibe—in the case of its Long Beach location, a two-story building directly on the water with spectacular views.
“Ballast Point will continue to have a robust presence in Southern California and be available in markets across the country,” McGuane said. “We remain committed to providing consumers with great tasting, quality products they have come to enjoy.”
The purchase of Ballast Point was meet with both sneers and sarcasm by the independent brewing scene: For brwery Modern Times, it meant pulling a joke that smelled like they were selling out, only to have its owner, Jacob McKean, write an eviscerating blog post about what “selling out” really means and eventually becoming an employee-owned company last year. For the owners of Long Beach’s Beachwood, it meant mocking Ballast—quite literally.
Beachwood might just have to create a new series in jest…
Ballast Point is located at 110 Marina Dr.
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