Ballast Point Shutting Down Production

Ballast Point Shutting Down Production

Ballast Point Brewery (Long Beach) (photo courtesy of Ballast Point)

Ballast Point Shutting Down Production in Miramar

Ballast Point Brewing’s headquarters is located at 9045 Carroll Way in Miramar.

Ballast Point Brewing has ceased production at its Miramar headquarters, turning to contract brewing as it continues to focus on distribution and maintain its consumer-facing venues while exploring new brewery locations.

The trend of contract brewing has gained traction over recent years, allowing companies to reduce overheads such as equipment maintenance, staff payroll, and operational costs, while concentrating on sales, marketing, and managing public venues like tasting rooms and restaurants. Notable breweries like Latitude 33 Brewing and Mason Ale Works have successfully adopted this model, with the latter now planning to open a branded taproom after increasing its production capacity through contract brewing.

Ballast Point, one of the largest breweries in the county, follows this path as it suspends operations at its 107,000-square-foot Miramar site, which includes a brewery, bar, and restaurant. This transition led to layoffs within the production staff. The brewery, under the management of Kings & Convicts Brewing, shifted its base to Miramar after purchasing Ballast Point from Constellation Brands in 2019 for a fraction of its initial $1 billion sale price in 2015.

“It’s been a challenging week, but necessary adjustments were needed,” stated CEO Brendan Watters. He expressed that the large-scale facility was unsustainable and not reflective of the original Ballast Point ethos, which he recalls as being more grassroots at Scripps Ranch, operating intensely around the clock.

Since taking over, Kings & Convicts aimed to revitalize the Ballast Point brand, a plan complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and other setbacks despite increased visibility through local sports sponsorships and new venues like a brewery-restaurant in San Francisco.

In 2022, Kings & Convicts expanded into spaces previously occupied by Saint Archer Brewery, including the Miramar brewery and a Leucadia tasting room, both of which are now managed by Fall Brewing and Duck Foot Brewing, respectively.

Despite these changes, Ballast Point will keep its bar and restaurant at the Miramar location operational, along with its Little Italy brewpub in downtown San Diego, the Home Brew Mart in Morena, and several other venues across California, including in Long Beach and Anaheim.

“We’ve secured a contract with another company to oversee the Miramar brewery. In the interim, they will handle production to supply our taprooms and distributors as we look to establish a new facility in San Diego, ideally with an 80-to-100-barrel brewhouse,” Watters explained. “Our goal is to restore Ballast Point as a premier West Coast brand.”

Ballast Point was best known for its Sculpin series of craft beers and was one of the early forerunners of the craft beer boom in America.

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