'Made in San Diego'? Ballast Point makes its case

Is Ballast Point a San Diego brewery? Before answering, consider:

Last year, Ballast Point’s economic impact on the San Diego region hit $234 million, or more than one-and-a-half times Comic-Con’s $140 million.

Those stats are courtesy of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which is partnering with Ballast Point on “Made in San Diego,” a new Kölsch now available on tap and next month in cans.

This beer is a fundraiser, as 50 cents from every case will support the EDC Foundation Entrepreneurship Fund, and a rebuttal. While founded in Linda Vista in 1996, Ballast Point was bought by New York-based Constellation Brands in November 2015.

Since then, many have considered this an out-of-town operation. The San Diego Brewers Guild, which requires members to be locally owned, revoked its membership.

Constellation is building a national brand, buying print and TV ads showcasing Sculpin, Victory at Sea and other Ballast Point stalwarts. Coast-to-coast distribution is bolstered by a Virginia brewery. There are already brewpubs in Long Beach and Temecula, with new ones emerging this year in Chicago and Anaheim’s Downtown Disney.

But Ballast Point’s Miramar plant remains its headquarters, and its county workforce numbers 375.

“And we haven’t laid people off locally,” Hilary Cocalis, the brewery’s vice president for marketing. “In fact, we are adding people here.”

To hammer home the we-are-still-local point, the brewery is organizing a “Made in San Diego” festival this fall, featuring local artists, businesses, cideries and, yes, breweries.

“The plan is to invite as many other local San Diego breweries and cider makers as we can,” Cocalis said.

The festival’s date and location has not yet been announced. But it will be — this is a pretty safe bet — local.

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