Ballast Point to build Virginia brewery

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits will invest $47.8 million to establish an East Coast brewing operation in Botetourt County.

“I am thrilled to announce that Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits will join the Commonwealth’s world-class, award-winning roster of craft breweries,”the governor said in a press release. “Winning this significant project was a top priority, and we are proud that Botetourt County will be home to the company’s East Coast brewing operation. Virginia has truly become a leader in the industry and a destination for craft beer lovers. Today is another milestone of our ongoing success in diversifying and building a new Virginia economy, and we look forward to Ballast Point thriving in the Commonwealth.”

“This project is great news for the growing tourism, manufacturing and craft beverage sectors in the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said in the press release. “Ballast Point’s decision to locate its East Coast operation in Virginia is a strong testament to our great talent, strategic location and superior business climate. Additionally, the company will benefit from our outstanding workforce training programs. Congratulations to Botetourt County and Ballast Point. We look forward to a long, prosperous partnership.”

Ballast Point began selling beer in 1996, brewing in the back of a San Diego homebrew shop.

Last November, Constellation Brands acquired the company for approximately $1 billion. Ballast Point is one of the fastest growing craft beer companies in the U.S., its best sellers being Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin IPA. At that time, it was announced Ballast Point will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its existing management team and employees running the day-to-day operations.


Brooklyn Brewery to move into Navy Yard

Brooklyn Brewery will move its headquarters to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Wall Street Journal reports the company is leasing 75,000 square feet at Building 77, a 1-million-square-foot industrial warehouse. Plans call for for the Brooklyn Brewery’s space to open in 2018.

The space is slated to include offices and a beer garden, as well as an area for manufacturing and a pub in the building’s food-manufacturing hub.

The Navy Yard, established in 1801, produced warships for the U.S. Navy through World War II. After closing as a naval yard in 1966, the site has emerged as a popular hub for manufacturing, industrial and creative businesses.

“For generations, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was behind a wall,” Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. president David Ehrenberg said. “But the nature of the yard is really changing. We want to open it up to the public to show that things are still being made in Brooklyn.” Brooklyn Brewery has signed a 40-year lease.

Brooklyn Brewery will remain in Williamsburg until its three leases end in 2025, co-founder Steve Hindy said. After that, he hopes to maintain a retail space or potentially a brewpub at that location.


Smithsonian to document craft beer history

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced today at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia that it will launch a three-year initiative to “collect, document and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers and the beer industry to explore how the beverage and brewing connect to larger themes in American history.”

A press release stated that the initiative is made possible through a donation from the Brewers Association. It added:

Museum staff have researched and documented American food and beverage history for more than two decades and will work with the Brewers Association, American brewers and beer historians to document and collect the stories and history of modern American brewing. Beer and brewing have been an important part of the American experience since before the nation’s founding and into the present day, and beer production for the past 30 years has been connected to significant social, cultural, economic and environmental movements across the country. The team will explore the unique connections between brewing and broader themes, including advertising, agriculture, industry, innovation, business and community life.

“Brewing has a long and deep connection to our country’s history, and the museum’s collections explore the history of beer from the late 19th to early 20th centuries,” said John Gray, the director of the museum. “The support of the Brewers Association allows our staff to collect the more recent history, including the impact of small and independent craft brewers who continue to advance the U.S. beer culture and inspire brewers worldwide.

The museum currently houses several small collections related to brewing and beer consumption in America. The bulk dates from the 1870–1960s.

“The craft brewing revolution in America has had a profound social, cultural and economic impact on this country,” Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, said for the press release. “America is a beer destination. We are honored to support this effort and work with the National Museum of American History to chronicle and showcase the significant achievements small and independent brewers have made throughout this nation’s history.”