After nearly two years of searching, Ballast Point has finally found a home for its new 150-barrel brewhouse.
The San Diego-based craft brewery today announced that it has begun construction on a $12 million brewing facility in the Miramar district of San Diego. It will house a German-designed brewhouse which Ballast Point purchased in 2012. The new brewery is capable of being scaled to 350,000 barrels, but Ballast Point’s vice president of sales and marketing, Earl Kight, said initial capacity will only be about 50,000 barrels.
“It will be much easier to add tanks at this location,” he said, comparing the new space to Ballast Point’s current “Scripps Ranch” headquarters.
Ballast Point already has three locations in San Diego. Its main production facility, in the San Diego neighborhood of Scripps Ranch, is capable of producing about 80,000 barrels. The company’s Home Brew Mart and Little Italy locations primarily serve as testing grounds for experimental brews, Kight said. Ballast Point has a 15-barrel brewhouse at its Home Brew Mart location and a 5-barrel brewhouse at its Little Italy Tasting Room & Kitchen.
“Right now, we are at capacity,” Kight said. “Increasing production will allow us to expand our distribution in the U.S. and abroad.”
The new Miramar brewery is located at 9045 Carroll Way and is scheduled to open in mid-2014. Ballast Point has signed a lease for the 107,000 sq. ft. property, which will also include a tasting room, restaurant and 18,000 sq. ft. of mezzanine-level office space. Kight said the project is being financed with bank debt.
“There was a time, even very recently, when we couldn’t dream of a brewery this size,” Jack White, the company’s founder and CEO, said in a press release.
Kight said Ballast Point had considered a number of options when looking for space, but ultimately settled on staying in San Diego.
“Keeping it close by is the right thing to do,” he said. “This is where we live and we wanted to have something larger here. We want a strong home market and it gives us that presence.”
When asked if Ballast Point had considered an East Coast facility, Kight pointed to Sierra Nevada Brewing — which is nearing completion of a new brewery in North Carolina — as the growth model the company tries to emulate.
“We worship them,” he said. “Sierra is just shy of 1 million barrels and they are just building their second facility. We didn’t think we were at a point yet to go build something on the East Coast, and there is a lot of room for growth here in Southern California.”
Ballast Point, which will continue to brew and package beer at its Scripps Ranch location, will sell about 50 percent of its anticipated 88,000 barrels of beer in San Diego, Kight said.