Constellation Brands, the third-largest beer company in the U.S., with Corona, Modelo and Pacifico in its portfolio, has purchased San Diego's Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits for $1 billion. The sale of the craft brewery is the latest deal in the torrent of mergers and acquisitions that have reshaped the beer industry in 2015.
Ballast Point was founded in 1996, and — fueled by the popularity of brews such as Sculpin IPA and Victory at Sea — grew into a marquee craft beer brand. Ballast Point has helped develop a market for premium-priced brews with their flagship Sculpin IPA, which is regularly priced at over $15 a six-pack.
It’s this “highest end” of the market that’s a key draw for Constellation. The acquisition of Ballast Point gives Constellation an important slice of the expanding super-premium beer market.
Ballast Point, which employs around 500 people across its four California facilities, will continue to operate as an independent company in the Constellation Brands portfolio.