Constellation’s gonna do Constellation. That means lots of buying and selling and shifting personnel. On Tuesday (12.03), the alcohol conglomerate announced the sale of Ballast Point. The move is notable because it was only four years ago that Constellation Brands spent one billion dollars buying the formerly indie brewery.
Ballast Point is now the property of Chicago based Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to welcome the team at Ballast Point into the Kings & Convicts family,” said Kings & Convicts CEO Brendan Watters in a statement,“As craft brewers, we have long admired the quality and spirit of the Ballast Point brand and team. Their best-in-class brewing standards will remain unchanged, delivering the same high-quality, award-winning beer the company has become known for over the years. Our goal is to leverage Ballast Point’s deep know-how, talented and passionate employee base, and outstanding operating team to grow both Ballast Point and Kings & Convicts together.”
According to a joint press release, Kings & Convicts does not plan to shake up much at the San Diego based BP. Ownership said that they plan to keep all 560 BP onboard. In addition, they will continue to use the existing BP distribution network domestically.
Kings & Convicts will also continue to operate the Ballast Point’s six consumer facing locations (brewpubs Downtown Disney/Anaheim, Long Beach, Miramar, and Little Italy in SoCal; a new brewpub in Chicago’s Fulton Market District; and Ballast Point’s original homebrewing supply and tasting room in San Diego.)
“We look forward to engaging the community and getting a connection back to the local markets through our distributor partners, on and off-premise retailers and our dedicated salesforce ambassadors,” said Kings & Convicts CFO Chris Bradley in a release. “Ballast Point has well-established R&D programs and we want to continue fostering that innovation and experimentation by listening to our consumers and serving specialty and local beers in each market.”
Despite the excessive sum spent initially, the recent move is not entirely surprising. In Also in April, the company shuttered their Ballast Point Brewing’s 80,000 sq. ft. “Trade Street” sour beer and barrel-aging plant in San Diego along with a brewpub in Temecula, California. In addition, the company 86’d plans to open a new brewpub in San Francisco’s bev mecca in the Mission.
Plus, Constellation is in the midst of a multi-year dervish of acquisitions and sales— it’s what poker players call “on tilt.”
As readers may recall, back in July, the megalith purchased Montanya Rum out of Colorado.
Back in April 2019, the company executed a complex warrant swap to up their bet on marijauna legalization. The maneuver was the latest in a series of moves into the THC market that began in October 2017 when Constellation dropped a cool $191 million (US) to pick up a minority stake in Canopy Growth (CGC), a large, Canadian marijuana provider. In a second pickup, in August 2018, Constellation spent another $4 billion (US) to increase their existing stake in Canopy from 9.9% to 38%.
Also in April, the corporation announced a deal to sell 30 low-end wine and spirits brands and six wineries to E. & J. Gallo for $1.7 billion.
In October 2018, the company announced that its chief executive of 11 years, Rob Sands, will conclude his tenure in March, with Newlands taking the helm. Likewise, the summer re-up on cannabis was accompanied by layoffs of entire craft beer sales team. There is even precedent for the wine sales; in 2016, the conglomerate’s Canadian wine portfolio was sold to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for about C$1.03 billion ($775 million).