|Ballast Point's Chicago taproom is slated to remain open after the brewery is officially sold to the founders of suburban Kings & Convicts Brewing. (Brian Cassella / Tribune File)|
GUEST BLOG / By Josh Noel, Writer/Reporter, Chicago Tribune--Tiny suburban Chicago brewery Kings & Convicts stunned the beer industry Tuesday afternoon by announcing the acquisition of California’s legendary Ballast Point Brewing. Terms were not disclosed.
Ballast Point was famously bought for $1 billion four years ago by Constellation Brands, whose Chicago-based beer business owns the American rights to top Mexican brands that include Modelo, Corona and Pacifico. Ballast Point quickly became an albatross for Constellation, struggling to grow and adapt to its larger owners.
How did a tiny brewer pull off the Ballast Point purchase? A wine industry magnate stepped up with a big investment.
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Note: Reporter Josh Noel has worked for the Chicago Tribune since 2005, and covered beer and the beer industry since 2009. He is author of the 2018 book, "Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch and How Craft Beer Became Big Business."