Constellation Brands has reached an agreement to acquire San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for approximately $1 billion, according to a company press release. Ballast Point is one of the fastest growing craft beer companies in the U.S., its best sellers being Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin IPA. The press release states, “The partnership with Ballast Point provides a high-growth premium platform that will enable Constellation to compete in the fast-growing craft beer segment, further strengthening its position in the highest end of the U.S. beer market.”
Ballast Point was founded in 1996 by homebrewers in the back of a homebrew shop. Ballast Point will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its existing management team and employees running the day-to-day operations.
“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.”
Ballast Point had recently begun the process of going public, but that is suddenly history.
“We believe in the vision that Jack and his team have created and we’re excited to welcome Ballast Point, one of the most respected craft brewers in the country, to the Constellation Brands family,” said Rob Sands, chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. “Along with imports, craft beer is a key driver of growth and premiumization within the beer industry, with craft doubling its share of the U.S. beer market in the last five years. Ballast Point has certainly been a key driver of that growth. Their business philosophy and entrepreneurial spirit perfectly align with our culture and we look forward to strengthening our position in the high-end beer segment with what is arguably the most premium major brand in the entire craft beer business.”
Ballast Point is on pace to sell nearly 4 million cases in calendar 2015, which would represent growth of more than 100 percent versus calendar 2014. The company has more than 500 employees and produces beer in four facilities in the San Diego area.