Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. Buys Ballast Point Brewing Co. from Constellation Brands

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Dec 3, 2019.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,682) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    SAN DIEGO, – Dec. 3, 2019 – Chicagoland-based Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. announced today it has signed an agreement with Constellation Brands, Inc., to acquire Ballast Point and a number of its associated production facilities and brewpubs, excluding the production brewery in Daleville, Virginia, which will remain a part of Constellation’s Craft & Specialty division. A pioneer in the craft beer movement in San Diego, Ballast Point has a 20-plus-year history of supporting the art of homebrewing and creating high-quality, innovative and award-winning beer.

    “We’re excited to welcome the team at Ballast Point into the Kings & Convicts family,” said Brendan Watters, Kings & Convicts’ chief executive officer. “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.”

    Kings & Convicts will retain all positions within Ballast Point’s existing workforce, which is comprised of approximately 560 employees. The company will continue to utilize Ballast Point’s current U.S. distribution network and plans to hire a sales and marketing workforce to support long-term growth in all 50 states.

    Kings & Convicts is a privately-held company backed by a small group of investors who are passionate about the Ballast Point brand and who are focused on the long term. Co-founded in 2017 by Englishman, COO and head brewer, Chris Bradley, and Aussie and CEO, Brendan Watters, Kings & Convicts brews ales and lagers out of its 5,000 sq. ft. Highwood brewery and taproom in the North Shore of Chicago, which are available on draft and in cans at the taproom and in bars and restaurants across Chicagoland and Wisconsin. With many years between them separately operating and managing successful global businesses in the hospitality, finance, GPS and mobile technology sectors, Chris and Brendan connected over their mutual love for good craft beer. The duo announced plans earlier this year to open a second location of Kings & Convicts in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, approximately 30 miles from Milwaukee. The 48,000 sq. ft. destination brewery will house a large production brewhouse, taproom, restaurant and event space and is expected to open in Fall 2020.

    As part of the transaction, Kings & Convicts will acquire Ballast Point’s four brewpub locations in California, including Downtown Disney/Anaheim, Long Beach, Miramar, and Little Italy, as well as the newest Ballast Point brewpub located in Chicago’s Fulton Market District which opened in May of this year and Ballast Point’s original homebrewing supply and tasting room in San Diego’s Linda Vista neighborhood.

    “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 Chris Bradley, Kings & Convicts’ chief operating officer. “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.”

    Current volume of Ballast Point is expected to surpass 200,000 barrels in 2019 and is available in all 50 states as well as internationally in 19 countries including South Korea, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close once all licenses and permits have been received, were not disclosed.

    About Kings & Convicts Brewing Co.
    Kings & Convicts is a privately held company headquartered in Highwood, IL, in the North Shore of Chicago. Conceived by an Englishman and an Aussie, Kings & Convicts started brewing for the public in 2017 and was built on the freedom of anti-authority and the spirit of fellowship. They brew ales and lagers inspired by the tales of convicts, royalty and the undercurrent of American gangsters. Every beer tells a story. Kings & Convicts’ beer is available on draft and in cans at its taproom and in bars and restaurants across Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin. For more information, follow along on Instagram and Facebook and visit

    About Ballast Point Brewing Co.
    What started in 1996 as a small group of homebrewers who simply wanted to make great beer evolved into the team of adventurers known today as Ballast Point. From bringing a hoppy twist to a porter or adding four types of malt to its amber ale, to creating the breakthrough gold-medal winning Sculpin IPA, the San Diego-based company is known for adding its touch and asking if there’s a better way. Now an internationally recognized leader in the craft brewing industry with 6 brewery locations in California and Chicago, the company makes over 50 styles of beer and distributes to all 50 states and 17 countries internationally. For more information, visit

    #1 Todd, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    ChicagoJ, chrismattlin, bobv and 7 others like this.
  2. aussiebeer

    aussiebeer Devotee (453) Oct 23, 2013 Illinois

    I just asked 'For real?' on the FB post and they replied " Yes sir! We've long admired Ballast Point and are so excited at the opportunity to continue to grow both breweries together."
    ChicagoJ, GOBLIN and AlcahueteJ like this.
  3. bread_c

    bread_c Initiate (140) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    Yeah, this is completely buck wild
  4. PatKorn

    PatKorn Aspirant (200) Aug 30, 2007 Oregon

    Miramar is a brewpub? Pretty big brewpub.
    ChicagoJ and SouthAtholSuds like this.
  5. jamshard2mash

    jamshard2mash Initiate (105) May 4, 2017 California

    I bet Kings didn't pay anywhere near 1 billion lullzzzz
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Miramar is also the location for production brewing. I too was a bit confused by the above discussion here at first.

  7. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,587) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    Methinks Constellation brands saw an opportunity with Ballast Point, and as time went on found it less in line with their plans.

    Let me ask; does this put Ballast Point back into the Independent Brewery status?
  8. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (365) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    "Expected to surpass"? Yikes:
    It's remarkable to me how a nationally distributed brewery's sales can collapse within the span of a couple of years.
    #8 Crusader, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  9. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,284) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    The folks at Ballast Point were always a step ahead of those that were eager for the brand. Kinda like Wicked Weed. Timing really is everything.
    ChicagoJ and Crusader like this.
  10. PatKorn

    PatKorn Aspirant (200) Aug 30, 2007 Oregon

    They have a 100BBL and a 150BBL brewhouse there I believe, or the equivalent in HL. Constellation dropped a ton of money in that place both back and front of house.
    ChicagoJ and ryan1788a5 like this.
  11. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,946) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Wow. I imagine Constellation wouldn't have paid $1B if Ballast was declining.. That being said, this is totally the case of buyers protesting their sale to big-beer with their wallets.. Seems it worked in this case, as they are now independent once again.

    Let's buy again to reward them! :wink:
  12. JLaw55

    JLaw55 Poo-Bah (1,523) Jul 10, 2014 Missouri

    Wow, definitely a surprise to hear. I'm sure Constellation Brands is licking it's wounds on this one.
    chrismattlin and Bitterbill like this.
  13. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,560) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader


    Schadenfreude is a terrible, wonderful feeling.
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader



    :rolling_eyes: So, is the brew kettle shaped like a giant stainless steel prison toilet?
    Yeah, I bet.
    Well, that's kinda weird. Will they contract-brew BP beers for the east, or just use it for their other "ex-craft" breweries, Funky Buddha and Four Corners?

    Constellation has offices in Chicago, too. Something tells me there's more to the deal...
    #14 jesskidden, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  15. mando31

    mando31 Aspirant (253) Oct 15, 2009 Illinois

    This is insane! Never heard of them. Just googled them and they also have golf simulators. Might check them out and work on my golf game.
    GuyFawkes likes this.
  16. osseo222000

    osseo222000 Initiate (147) Jan 26, 2016 Illinois

    This doesn’t make any sense. I live 12 minutes from kings n convicts, and ballast point has got to be 10x their size.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    A bit more than that, according to the Brewers Assoc.'s figures for 2018:

    Ballast Point - 320,000 bbl.
    K&C - 1,687 bbl.

    :astonished: Of course, "barrels of beer" doesn't buy breweries, money does ...
    #18 jesskidden, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  19. cquiroga

    cquiroga Initiate (174) Oct 14, 2004 California

    A busy day or two on the Ballast Point brewhouse has to be able to surpass the entire annual production for Kings & Convicts.

    I knew I shouldn't have been so shy about putting "multinational beer brand" on my Christmas list.
    ChicagoJ, JA_26, Somajiahu and 16 others like this.
  20. PatKorn

    PatKorn Aspirant (200) Aug 30, 2007 Oregon

  21. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,946) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Kings & Convicts started 2 years ago, and already has Ballast Point purchasing dollars?

    They also have less than 900 Instagram followers and their website is down.. Shitty at social media, good at raising investment dollars, I guess. Seems really weird, though.
  22. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,229) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Looks like Constellation's expectations were out of this world.

    I haven't seen any Ballast Point beers in a long time in Casper. The only beer I miss of theirs is Victory at Sea...

    DISKORD Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2017 South Carolina

    Well, that's interesting and different. That's pretty good news, in my opinion. Now BP can sport that fancy Independent Craft logo/emblem.

    My only question now is...who's gonna buy FB from them?
    #23 DISKORD, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That would make more sense.

    From the below linked article from 2017:

    "Ballast Point’s East Coast brewing operation will include 100 and 300 barrel systems."

    My guess is that the second 100 barrel brew kettle was installed in the Daleville, VA brewery (and the second planned 300 barrel never installed due to decreasing sales).

    mikeinportc likes this.
  25. HopSessions

    HopSessions Initiate (47) Mar 1, 2019 Illinois

    they sell really well surprisingly, I live right down the street and visited the brewery over the summer. You would be shocked if you saw how small the place is that they have BP dollars.
  26. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,229) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    I don't see any dollars mentioned. I wonder how low Constellation went selling it?
    mikeinportc likes this.

    DISKORD Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2017 South Carolina

    I have a feeling it's way less than $1 billion.
    mikeinportc and Bitterbill like this.
  28. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,229) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Ya reckon? Lol!

    DISKORD Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2017 South Carolina

    Is that Aussie, Kiwi or Southern accent?
    mikeinportc and Bitterbill like this.
  30. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,229) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Having lived in Australia, I try to keep some semblance of my living there in my posts here and elsewhere.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It's a Wyoming cowboy accent! :wink:


  32. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (157) Feb 25, 2013 California

    My first thought was what kind of markdown Constellation is taking on this. I think that's probably the only pertinent news anyone cares about in this acquisition. This % difference will really speak volumes as to the direction craft beer is going (regional/national model is crumbling before local model).
    chrismattlin, meefmoff and DISKORD like this.
  33. Doma

    Doma Initiate (27) May 19, 2019 California

    Putting aside all the business, volume, etc. issues, what I'm curious about is if they can replicate the OG Sculpin. It was a great beer, crisp and bright like the San Diego good weather. Memories...
  34. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,229) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    What ya talking aboot? We don't have an accent in Wyoming.
    russpowell, DISKORD and JackHorzempa like this.
  35. ktr5010

    ktr5010 Aspirant (248) Dec 12, 2014 Illinois

    This is so fucking crazy. Never even heard of the brewery who bought Ballast Point.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I reckon you're right!:wink:

    jakecattleco and Bitterbill like this.
  37. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (2,507) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    They've already been brewing Funky Buddha in Daleville for some time, as well as their Svedka seltzer line and a bunch of other stuff.
    jesskidden likes this.
  38. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (2,507) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    I saw the sale coming a mile away, and called it in some thread or another here probably the better part of a year ago. The buyer, though, is admittedly a huge surprise. Scuttlebutt within the industry was that Mahou San Miguel was very interested, and that would have made sense to me. Never even heard of these guys. Hope they know what they're doing.
    officerbill and russpowell like this.
  39. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,366) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    This makes no sense. A no name brewery wouldn’t have this kind of capital solely only their beer. This is either owned and fronted by an investment group or Ballast Point still has board seats and control, but gave up “operations” to a “craft brewer” in the sale, but Constellations would maintain 90%of the shares and value of new venture. I think they want to appear independent or have a re-brand to revive a stale brewery concept.
  40. waltari

    waltari Initiate (82) Jan 28, 2016 Georgia

    Same here in GA, my favorite beer stores have been getting rid of all BP stock. I will miss V@S the most.
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