Constellation Brands To Close Another Ballast Point Taproom, This Time In Virginia

Posted: Sep 12, 2019

Constellation Brands is closing another Ballast Point taproom. The New York-headquartered beer, wine and spirits giant plans to close the taproom and restaurant at its Daleville, Virginia, production facility by the end of September, according to the Roanoke Times.

Constellation will also cut 25 full- and part-time workers, as well as 16 temporary employees, the outlet reported.

Maggie Bowman, senior director of communications for Constellation Brands’ beer division, confirmed to Brewbound that the taproom will close on September 29. Bowman also shared the following statement:

“As seen throughout the beer industry, growth in craft beer is being driven largely by local brands. With that, we are appropriately reallocating Ballast Point investments to drive growth in core local markets.

“We thank the local Daleville community, its surrounding neighbors and our taproom employees for their support and dedication over [the] past couple of years. We will continue to make a positive impact to the local economy through the operation of the Daleville brewing facility, which represents a robust hub for Constellation’s future innovation in support of our specialty portfolio.”

New of the Daleville taproom closure comes five months after Constellation Brands closed Ballast Point’s “Trade Street” sour beer and barrel-aging facility in San Diego and a brewpub in Temecula, and pulled the plug on plans to open a brewpub in San Francisco. The San Diego location opened in 2017, while the Temecula location opened in 2016.

The decision to shutter those pubs and abandon plans for the San Francisco outpost followed a $108 million impairment charge recorded by Constellation to Ballast Point’s trademarks, essentially admitting it overpaid when it bought the business for $1 billion in late 2015. Constellation previously recorded an $87 million impairment charge to the Ballast Point trademarks in June 2017.

Constellation Brands announced plans to build the $48 million, 260,000 sq. ft. large-scale Ballast Point production brewery, distribution warehouse and retail taproom in 2016 and opened the facility opened in June 2017. At the time, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe hailed winning the craft brewery project as “a top priority” for the state.

“Virginia has truly become a leader in the industry and a destination for craft beer lovers,” he said.

However, some West Coast craft brewers who built East Coast production facilities in Virginia haven’t felt that love as craft beer growth has slowed in recent years.

San Diego’s Green Flash shuttered a 58,000 sq. ft., $20 million 100,000-barrel Virginia Beach brewery in March 2018, barely a year after opening the location. The brewery was later sold at a bank auction to Atlanta’s New Realm Brewing.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has put the brakes on plans to build a production brewery in Roanoke.

After peaking at 430,917 barrels produced in 2016, the nationally distributed Ballast Point brand has suffered double-digit declines over the last two years (-13% in 2017, -15% in 2018), according to data from the Brewers Association. Last year, Ballast Point made 320,000 barrels of beer.

By Justin Kendall
September 11, 2019

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