San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing Co. plans to open a tasting room and kitchen early next year in Chicago, which will be the beer-maker’s first location in the Midwest.
A company statement said the 12,000-square-foot venue, in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, will house a three-barrel “research and development” brewery with a restaurant and a rooftop bar.
The venue will serve several Ballast Point beers including its flagship Sculpin IPA, along with exclusive, limited-edition brews available only at the Chicago location. The opening is planned for early 2018, though a specific date was not announced.
“We’re thrilled to bring the San Diego spirit of Ballast Point to such a great beer-drinking city like Chicago,” Ballast Point President Marty Birkel said in the statement. Officials said the Chicago restaurant’s menu will include items from its San Diego venues, including Baja-style fish tacos and a house-made pretzel with beer mustard, along with more localized fare.
Ballast Point currently operates its main office and brewing facilities in Miramar, along with six tasting room and restaurant locations including Little Italy, Long Beach and Temecula. The company recently opened a brewery and tasting room in Daleville, Va., and is in the process of building out its East Coast production facilities in suburban Roanoke.
Established in 1996 by founder Jack White, Ballast Point was acquired in 2015 by New York-based Constellation Brands, for a reported $1 billion. White last year left the company to start his own craft spirits company, known as Cutwater Spirits in Miramar.
According to the Brewers Association trade group, Ballast Point is the nation’s 13th largest beer-maker based on 2016 sales volume, though it is no longer considered a craft beer company by the association due to its corporate ownership.
Ballast Point maintains its own local headquarters and management team and is the largest of more than 100 beer producers based in San Diego County. It brewed 375,000 barrels in 2016, up from 277,152 in 2015, the company reported earlier this year.