Ballast Point Brewing’s new Owner

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 10.56.06 AMSteve’s breakdown: Constellation Brands is now financially and manageally (is that a word?) full owners of Ballast Point Brewing. I cost $1 billion and waiting for the founders to leave but it all happened. Look for Constellation to review advertising before the end of the year.

SAN DIEGO, CA:A key pair of Ballast Point Brewing executives have departed the San Diego-based brewery less than nine months after its $1 billion sale to Constellation Brands, a spokesperson from the larger company confirmed to Brewbound.

Ballast Point president and CEO, Jim Buechler, and chief commercial officer Earl Kight have left Ballast Point to “pursue other interests within the beverage alcohol space,” according to Constellation Brands spokesman Michael McGrew.

In a statement, McGrew said current Constellation Brands president Marty Birkel would immediately assume the role of president for Ballast Point.

“Marty has been with Constellation almost 20 years. He’s a proven leader with extensive experience across beer, wine and spirits, and he’s well-regarded within the beverage alcohol industry,” McGrew wrote. “Marty has an intimate understanding and knowledge of the U.S. beer market, having served as head of sales for our beer business for more than 8 years, from 1998 to 2005. He’s a respected leader who is well-prepared for this role.”

Kight, 50, tendered his resignation on July 12, he told Brewbound.

“The brand is much bigger than me and I hope it succeeds,” he said.

Kight first announced his departure via Facebook on Monday morning, sharing a photo from the brewery’s taproom with the caption, “The final Longfin from my man Zach Borba…all good things must come to an end…my last day at Ballast Point…on to the next project (s).”

Those projects could include a foray into the non-alcoholic beverage segment as well as involvement in the individual spirits labels (like Fugu Vodka and Devil’s Share Whiskey), which were formerly owned by Ballast Point and reportedly not included in the sale to Constellation last November, Kight said.

Kight first began consulting with Ballast Point in 2008 and officially joined the company as the vice president of sales and marketing in 2012. He took over as chief commercial officer in early 2014.

Buechler, meanwhile, had only joined Ballast Point in 2012, serving then as the president and general manager before being promoted to CEO last June.

It’s not all bad news for both Buechler and Kight, however. Both executives owned shares of Ballast Point at the time of its sale to Constellation. Buechler owned 542,500 Class A shares (about 8.3 percent of the company) prior to the sale, according to an SEC filing. Kight owned about 30,000 Class A shares.

Ballast Point products are currently distributed in about 45 states, and will be available in all 50 states before the end of the year, McGrew said, adding that it would be “business as usual” during the executive transition.

“Consistent with our approach when the acquisition was announced last December, we will continue to operate in the same manner, with the leadership team at Ballast Point continuing to run the day-to-day operations and making decisions the team feels are in the best interests of the company and our consumers,” McGrew wrote.

“We’re also committed to maintaining the unique culture, sense of entrepreneurship and spirit of innovation that has made Ballast Point a consumer favorite over the past 20 years,” he added.



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