Constellation Brands to Build Ballast Point Brewpub in San Francisco

Constellation Brands is continuing to invest behind an own-premise retail strategy for its Ballast Point brand, yesterday confirming plans to open another California brewpub in 2019.

The new Ballast Point location – its eighth in California and the tenth in the U.S. — will be located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, where the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are building a new stadium.

“Our retail strategy continues to be an important part of building the Ballast Point brand and connecting with our consumers in a unique way,” Constellation spokeswoman Jamie Stein wrote to Brewbound via email.

The new brewpub is located at 705 16th Street, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It is situated less than one mile from AT&T Park, where the MLB’s Giants play, and part of a mixed-use development called “The Exchange on Sixteenth Street,” according to Google Maps.

“The Bay Area community has enjoyed our high-quality, innovative beers for years so opening a tasting room & kitchen is a natural extension of our presence here,” Ben Dollard, president of Constellation’s craft and specialty division, wrote to Brewbound. “As a proud California brewery, we’re eager to make more personal connections with our NorCal neighbors with this location.”

Since announcing plans to acquire Ballast Point for $1 billion at the end of 2015, Constellation has doubled the San Diego-based craft brewery’s tasting room and brewpub footprint, adding locations in Temecula, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Daleville, Virginia; and Chicago.

Constellation also plans to open a Ballast Point brewery and taproom in Anaheim’s downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort this fall.

According to Stein, the Ballast Point tasting rooms “provide an opportunity to create a brand experience” for consumers that aren’t based in San Diego, while simultaneously helping Constellation build a “local presence” in the markets where it decides to invest in brewpub build-outs.

“As one of the nation’s leading craft breweries, we have a powerful brand and loyal consumer base,” Dollard wrote. “Tasting rooms and kitchens give us a great opportunity to create brand experiences for consumers, and connect with them on a whole new level.”

Similar to its Chicago location, which opened in May, Constellation plans to install a 3-barrel research and development brewery in San Francisco and serve Baja-style fish tacos.

The number of draft lines and final brewing capacity is still being determined, Dollard told Brewbound.

Specific investment figures were not disclosed.

When asked about potential pushback from local bar and restaurant owners, Dollard said the new Ballast Point brewpub would enable consumers to “get up close and personal with the men and women that make the beer,” something that isn’t as easy at traditional on-premise establishments.

“For brewers, tasting rooms are core to what we do,” he said. “We do, however, recognize there is a balance, and we want to make sure our partners in the on-premise get a great opportunity to share our beers with their customers, too.”

Constellation added that it doesn’t have any current plans to expand via the taproom model with its other craft breweries – Florida’s Funky Buddha and Texas’ Four Corners.

The company also declined to comment on potential areas of the country where future Ballast Point tasting rooms could be built.

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