Is Ballast Point Brewing Company Going Under? San Diego's Athletic Brewing Taking Over Ballast Point's Facility In Miramar & Home Brew Mart Selling To New Ownership

May 22, 2024

Non-alcoholic beer maker Athletic Brewing is taking over Ballast Point Brewing's headquarters, the company's longtime Home Brew Mart is changing hands, and its restaurants are being operated by a local hospitality group, so many are wondering, is San Diego's once-revered craft beer brand going under?

Last month, Ballast Point Brewing Company made headlines by announcing the cessation of brewing operations at its Miramar headquarters, opting for contract brewing instead. Athletic Brewing Company, situated nearby, has stepped in to manage production at Ballast Point's extensive 107,000 square-foot brewery and restaurant complex, taking charge of brewing Ballast Point's signature beers until a permanent solution is established. 

Following the temporary closure of its historic Home Brew Mart in Linda Vista, Ballast Point has decided to sell the location that served as the brand's origin. Former Home Brew Mart employee Jim Johnson, set to reopen the establishment on June 1, plans to streamline operations by reverting to the store's original size, approximately halving its footprint. The tasting room will be eliminated, with beer service consolidated to an 11-tap bar area at the store's rear.
Ballast Point's bars & restaurants in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, Long Beach, and San Diego's Little Italy and Miramar neighborhoods are currently operated by local hospitality firm RMD Group. RMD is known for operating such San Diego bars & restaurants as Huntress Steakhouse, Lumi By Akira Back, Rustic Root, Side Bar, Gaslamplighter, and Swing Social.

With Ballast Point Brewing's production now handled by another brewery and its restaurants operated independently by an unrelated hospitality group, questions arise regarding the intentions of the current owner Kings & Convicts. Since relocating its headquarters to San Diego, Kings & Convicts has faced many challenges with little to no success on its area endeavors.

In early 2022, Kings & Convicts took over the 50,000+ square-foot facility which was once the home of Saint Archer Brewery in Miramar, but sold it to Fall Brewing only a year later. Kings & Convicts also opened a tasting room Coast Highway 101 in the Leucadia area of Encinitas but passed that along to Duck Foot Brewing only a short time later.

Established in 1996, Ballast Point Brewing Company rose to fame on the coat tails of the company's iconic Sculpin IPA. After being sold in late 2015 to NY-based Constellation Brands for $1 Billion, in December 2019 it was announced that then Illinois-based Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. signed an agreement with Constellation to acquire Ballast Point for what is believed to be less than $100 million. As part of the transaction, Kings & Convicts acquired Ballast Point’s four brewpub locations in California, Home Brew Mart in Linda Vista, and the Ballast Point brewpub located in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, which opened in May 2019 and closed in March 2021.

The ownership group behind Kings & Convicts brewery actually has some big names under its belt. The company's largest stakeholder is Richard Mahoney, chairman of the board at The Wine Group, which owns well-known brands like Franzia, Benziger and Cupcake. Meanwhile, Kings & Convicts Cofounder Brendan Watters wasn't just some homebrewer looking to go pro; he's reportedly had successful business ventures in the past — specifically in the hotel and tech industry.

Rumors are now swirling that Ballast Point Brewing Company will not survive the year, with speculation that it may attempt to divest its restaurant properties and phase out many of its signature beers. As rumors persist, the fate of Ballast Point Brewing Company remains uncertain, leaving industry observers and enthusiasts alike to ponder its trajectory in an increasingly struggling craft beer landscape.

For more information about Ballast Point Brewing Company, visit