OT: Ballast Point Tap and Tasting room closing (Daleville)

Trying to understand this, as that place is always packed. They just recently announced on their facebook page that they were going to start having barbecue on Wednesday evenings.

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Damn that sucks for people around there. Ballast Point rules.

This suuuuuucks. My wife and I pop in there on the way into town pretty routinely. Good food and tons of beers on tap.

What a savings

Their ABC license is out with the tasting room, so anyone with kegs needs to return them by the 29th if they want their (large) deposit back.

This is a bummer. We have made it part of our routine to stop here for dinner on our way into town for football weekends. This Friday will be our last time I guess.

Restaurants/Bars are an impossible business. Low margins, tons of waste and theft, etc. That's why they turn over so much in Vegas and Orlando and NYC.. people get sick of the same themes, etc.

Man this sucks, this is the best place in Botetourt. I don't get it, I go there probably once every couple of weeks and regardless of what day it is, the place is busy.

Stopped drinking that stuff when Constellation Brands bought them.

Drink local

I don't get all the hate on small craft breweries that grow immensely due to their popularity and then decide to sell their business to a larger company to make even more money. At the end of they day, If they still make a good product, I'm gonna drink it.

Granted I don't really drink ballast point because it's hella expensive for a 6 pack that doesn't deserve the price when their are cheaper equivalent beers around.

That is the thing about the tasting room... Prices were more in line with reality.

That hate is because large beer companies spend a lot of money lobbying for laws that hurt small craft breweries.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Oh yeah. I completely forgot about the whole controlling the supply of hops nonsense. Absolute bullshit that shouldn't be allowed.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Golden Road is tastey... Still sucks overall.

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Man, I've seen some people on social media get really mad about this. As a small business owner, I get it.

I really hate corporations for all of the power they wield but I'm going to save my energy and hate for ones that more negatively influence the world, like Dominion Energy or the pharmaceutical companies, not ones involving beer. There's just more important issues involving corporate greed than who owns what beer brand IMO.

-Probably the biggest Budweiser consumer on here.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Need to watch Beer Wars or catch up on some of the tactics.

I don't mind big corporations, however they should play nice in the sand box with the little guys. Essentially making it so the little guys can't have a tiny percent of giant market is pretty brutal. They also do a lot of deceptive tactics as well, for example, they will remove any AB-InBev markings from breweries they own and market them as a small brewery.

Anyway, look into it a bit. May change your mind.

Will do, thanks for the info!

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

And there was something about the aluminum can industry. That InBev was going to buy the entire supply or something so small breweries couldn't can any longer unless they purchase a literal truckload or something... Can't remember the details, but there was some BS about that as well.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This aggression will not stand, man.

It sounds like they are expanding the brewery operation into their tasting room property for constellation to try out new things.

As seen throughout the beer industry, growth in craft beer is being driven largely by local brands. With that, we are appropriately reallocating Ballast Point investments to drive growth in core local markets.

Huh.. the area around a Ballast Point brewery location isn't considered a core local market? A packed tasting room means locals are constantly exposed to your brand and your beer...

We thank the local Daleville community, its surrounding neighbors and our taproom employees for their support and dedication over past couple of years. We will continue to make a positive impact to the local economy through the operation of the Daleville brewing facility, which represents a robust hub for Constellation's future innovation in support of our specialty portfolio

Oh I get it. Daleville will no longer be a Ballast Point brewery, it will be a Constellation Brands brewery, likely producing beer for a variety of their beer brands (Ballast Point, Funky Buddha, Corona, Modelo). Ballast Point will probably focus in on being a "local" brewery in San Diego, where they were founded and therefore have more 'local' cred.

Makes me wonder if anyone bought Flying Mouse's location/equipment to reopen that facility... Seems they won't have to worry about competition from Ballast Point for tasting room dollars any longer...

No, the location is available.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Makes me wonder if anyone bought Flying Mouse's location/equipment to reopen that facility... Seems they won't have to worry about competition from Ballast Point for tasting room dollars any longer...

Competing with Ballast Point wasn't Flying Mouse's problem. Bad beer was Flying Mouse's problem.

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Just curious... How often and how recently did you go to Flying Mouse?

When they first opened, they were definitely going through some recipe adjustments and the initial reputation of mediocre beer stuck with them for a while. But we went fairly frequently, as my wife's parents knew the owners and live close by, and their beers steadily improved over time. BP definitely had a hand in squeezing them to the point where they could no longer sustain themselves. That, along with their somewhat remote location ultimately got the best of them.

I didn't think their beer was *GREAT*, but I thought they were better than Soaring Ridge. SR just has great space and location. I don't dislike Soaring Ridge, but they are definitely at the lower end of my list of the valley's microbrews (just for comparison point).

Sucks even more for FM now that Ballast is closing. Tough break.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

I think the last beer I had from them was on tap at Macado's in Salem. Maybe in 2015? 2016? I can't really remember. All I recall was it sold so poorly the bar was selling pints for $1. Never one to pass up cheap beer, and a firm believer in second chances (in reality this was like my fourth or fifth attempt at one of their brews), I coughed up the buck. It wasn't worth it; I didn't even finish it. Left the half empty glass on the counter and ordered something else.

That being said, Ballast Point never did it for me either. They're a one trick pony and that one trick (sculpin) wasn't as good as it once was.

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

They're a one trick pony and that one trick (sculpin) wasn't as good as it once was.

As ballast point regular, one of my favorite aspects of their tasting room is the 30 to 40 different beers on tap. It's crazy to me that someone could think that Ballast Point could be a one trick pony. And Sculpin isn't as good as it once was? My continual weekly consumption of Sculpin suggests otherwise.

But, people have different tastes.

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The east coast version left a lot to be desired. Like you said, we all have different tastes.

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

I'd like to second the fact that the east coast version of Sculpin doesn't hold a candle to what you get on the west coast. For awhile I was thinking they changed the hop recipe or possibly the AB-InBev hop takeover was the cause. It's not the same.

Also, while Sculpin is my favorite of favorites, BP does so much else. Mango Even Keel, Victory at Sea (all of em), and my most off the wall, palette wrecking favorite, Indra Kunindra.

huh... I've never been to the east coast Ballast Point or bought sculpin from an east coast store (when I'm there, I want something different than my west coast go-tos). So, I guess I may not know that Sculpin is inferior out there.

Mango even keel, IPL, fathom IPA, Black Marlin porter, Sculpin series, the Victory at Sea series, the Sour Wench series, and the R&D beers are my continual favorites.

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Even the Sculpin at the Chicago BP is off. I don't know what it is, but in San Diego it is so fresh and crisp and Sculpiny!

The beer was created for the minerals in the water at the SD location and not adjusted for each other location it is brewed or, not sufficiently to account for the other locations.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Which is mind boggling to me that they wouldn't be building the water to match their original. Water tests cost a minimal amount. The items needed to alter water profile cost a minimal amount. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be doing it.

I agree. Perhaps there is a reason for it.
Or perhaps there is enough difference in the brewing systems themselves that there is an impact on the beer.
Such as a difference in the heat delta or contact area or the grain mixer on input.
But with their capitalization hey should have been able to get identical systems.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I truly believe the east coasters are so biased against west coast style IPA, they may have just said eff it and made it different on purpose. While it is subtle, there is a difference. I've been lucky enough to sit and drink both Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper side-by-side before. Pliny is the clear winner when cold at the beginning of the glass. Heady is the winner at warmer end, at the bottom of the glass.
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Wild Goose used to brew in Cambridge, MD. Had some solid offerings for the mid-90's. Then Frederick Brewing (now Flying Dog) bought them and moved production from the shores of the Chesapeake to the hills of westernish Maryland. They brewed with the same recipes, but the beer was way off. Took Them 6 months to understand the different water make up, but by then the brand was basically dead.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'd suspect a weakness in the knowledge of practical beer production than a bias against West Coast IPA's.
I offer the success of Stone in the East coast as evidence.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Probably right. But let's not kid ourselves. Stone is the big bad wolf of west coast styles. I'd maybe stop short of comparing it to the regionalism of BBQ styles, but think there's something to east and west coast.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I also remember hearing about Stone putting a ton of effort into making sure the water they used in Richmond would match what they use in SD. Richmond water was much softer and had to be adjusted accordingly.

Thank you so much for explaining this. I have the sads, but informed sads.

Our water (Cali water) tastes terrible out of the tap and results in lime buildup all over the faucet and sinks. We put filters on our showers so our hair doesn't fall out. The tap water (without filtration) makes terrible coffee too. It's interesting that this terrible tasting, hair-balding, high mineral content water results in magnificent west coast style IPA.

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Gotcha. I agree that it typically didn't sell well in bars. And if it's not selling well in bars, that probably means the same for any cans/bottles in stores, which then leads to fewer and fewer patrons at the tap room. Just a bummer all around since you'd like to see local brews be successful.

I thought BP had a great selection. I mean, they might have been sailing under the Sculpin flag, but a place with a menu that includes at least 20+ options at almost all times, you're bound to find something you like.

Parkway and Big Lick are hands down the cream of the crop in the valley, so I guess we'll just chug all of their beers we can get our hands on!

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

I like Parkway but I wouldn't put it above any other brewery in Roanoke besides Soaring Ridge.

Raven's Roost is probably my favorite beer in town... that gives Parkway a big leg up for me. I'm not a huge fan of anything else they regularly have, but some of the seasonal stuff is great too. Occasionally Big Lick and Olde Salem will have something I like better, and Cocoborealis at Chaos is within spitting distance, but Raven's Roost is tops for me.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I will always be a fan of Parkway due to Get Bent - but the rest of their beers I am not a huge fan of.

Based on the beers you've mentioned, you may enjoy AFOG - if you haven't been yet, you should check it out.

I do like AFOG. I don't go often frankly because the atmosphere doesn't tempt me to drive a little further. However their beers are up my alley. Nothing I've had there hits the spot like Raven's, but that's not a complaint.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Have spoken to several of the employees of the tasting room, they were blindsided by the announcement this morning.

This makes me so sad. We used to go there all the time and it was a great place to take friends/family from out of town.

I like 3 Notch'd beer much better. That said, no one could even come close to the atmosphere of Ballast Point, hell of a view too. It sucks with Deschutes very likely not bringing their EastCoast brewery operations to Roanoke either.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Is there anything deeper to this? The place was always packed whenever I went. I can see closing the restaurant element of the business if that's not profitable (and of course a business is usually losing money on the food and making money on the alcohol) and just serving their beers like a true tasting room, but this seems to be a bit like closing a restaurant but still using the kitchen to cook food out of.

Why not keep that beautiful indoor/outdoor space they created as a tasting room if the beer is kegged steps away?

Bottom line. I bet they make more bottling Corona in the space than running a retail outlet. I loved their Victory at Sea line, but go out of they way to support the small guys because that is still what drives the creativity.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I bet you're right. Which is just sad. I've had way more fun times there than I have had drinking a 6 pack of Corona.

That reminds me, no Victory at Sea day this year in Daleville......sad trombone.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

They've closed a bunch in in SoCal too, and these places were packed all the time too.

Living in Orange County, CA, we've got one location in downtown Disney nearby. I wonder if this one will stand the test of time, but I'm guessing it won't.

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Was thinking the same thing. I've been to a few in San Diego, and while busy, I'd heard that things weren't well. They have been consolidating and doing some other things, not sure if that was due to trying to eliminate waste or what.

Maybe Constellation didn't see the ROI on the tap room. They plan on keeping production going there though.

For the beer drinking crowd, Devil's Backbone got hit with a $30K plus fine from DEQ over discharging waste beer into the stream beside their facility.

As they should, right?

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

As they should, right?

Which do you mean? Get fined or pour their beer on the ground?

The fine part

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Yes they did but don't make it sound like it was on purpose. It looks like it was a construction quality issue, as I don't believe their pipes can be that old.

https://www.roanoke.com/business/brewery-cited-for-leaks-into-rockbridge...

DEQ began an inspection in March 2018, when a citizen reported that discolored water was flowing into the creek from the brewery on North Wind Lane, north of Lexington. The creek is about 900 feet west of the brewery.

It took several months to identify the source and makeup of the discharge. In the meantime, Devils Backbone officials pumped the contents of a storm water management basin into the sanitary sewer, rather than let it continue to flow into the creek.

After using ground-penetrating radar and closed-circuit videotaping to study the brewery's piping network, Devils Backbone found "significant deterioration ... allowing for both the loss of process liquids and the substantial intrusion of groundwater in numerous locations," according to the consent order.

They agreed not to discharge any process wastewater until everything is fixed. Reports have started and they will be fixed by Dec 2020.

Wasn't aware I made it sound like it was on purpose. Just that it had happened. I was at a meeting last night where it was reported.

You mean AB-InBev? Are we surprised?

They had chemicals leaking from some piping as well apparently.

Knowing the brewing side of things, something reported like this, color me skeptical.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I thought the same thing when I heard it on the radio. I didn't think there were chemicals involved haha. They were taken over by Anhueser so who knows? Propylene Glycol maybe?

what do breweries run through pipes?
a) liquid product (beer and pre-beer)
b) wastewater (sparge runoff, cleaning runoff - includes cleaners which can be pretty caustic depending on which ones are used. cleaners are also run through the beer lines periodically)
c) glycol for the temperature control of fermentation vessels .
d) all of the above

As far as running through pipes that would have anything in them on a regular basis, water, propylene glycol alginate (natural ingredient form of propylene glycol), Steam, drainage is already covered under the previous problem but that would all be underground.

That's pretty much it
If you have a glycol leak, your tanks won't get or stay cold and it's expensive.

If somebody saw a drip, it's more than likely condensation or drip from A/C units so, condensation.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Apparently someone didn't like what was leaking in to the creek or there wouldn't have been a fine of almost $31,000. What do you think caused the documented environmental damage and what that damage was? No one is really saying anything.

Maybe they had a sewage leak?

Dave Matthews driver only got a $10,000 fine for dumping 800 pounds of human waste over the Chicago River.

It wasn't sewage, that went to a different septic system.
This was brewery wastewater which is no where near such a big deal as sewage. Essentially spoiled beer with very dilute cleaning chemicals.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

That was the grey water leak underground that was only discovered when a local noticed the creek wasn't right.

That wasn't a chemical leak that could be seen. That took long time to discover the root cause.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

When was this? So ironic since DEQ won't fine Dominion Energy for all it does to pollute and wreck the Virginia environment.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Consent order was dated August of this year.

I'm sure Dominion Energy has a discharge permit via the EPA. That makes things unclear as to who has fining authority, and the extent of discharge amounts/percentages.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

LOL, I can assure you Dominion Energy didn't have a "discharge permit" to dump coal ash into the James and Potomac Rivers for twenty years before finally being caught doing it.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

There's a TMDL discharge permit. There are allowances. Not saying they are abiding by it, and in no way saying they can dump direct junk....but there is a balance. Nor does that ignore for illicit discharges.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Yes, there is a permit. The permit doesn't call for the bullshit Dominion did for so long, leaking it into the local waterways.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

So, the bottom line is that if I stop there around 5pm on my way to Blacksburg Friday, I'll have to stand in a sardine packed room while I drink my beer? Or will I be able to sit in a chair and enjoy it somewhere?

I've very rarely not been able to sit down in there. If ever. But maybe with the going out of business it'll be different.

Drop by Soaring Ridge or Olde Salem maybe instead. I'd suggest Parkway but they're sometimes filled to the brim on Fridays.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Thank you sir!! I'm not a prima donna, but at this stage after sitting in the car 3 hours, the last thing I want to do is fight a crowd for a beer. Thanks again.

I would recommend Olde Salem over Soaring Ridge.

If you like darker, heavier beers, AFOG (not far from soaring ridge) is a good choice too.

Edit: Big Lick is great too (also in similar area to Soaring Ridge).

Personally my go to spot is Starr Hill. You have a lot of great options but it is hard to predict which will not be busy Friday at 5.

As well, Olde Salem is closer to the Freeway and to local food sources.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Correct - I would recommend pairing it with a Boston Zone at MacnBobs.

Rumor within the local industry in Roanoke has it that Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers is going to change quite a bit here very soon.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Hmm... I'll keep my eye on that. I only get out their way a couple times a year... Big Lick is my favorite in that area but I typically stay near the Salem offerings. I'd be interested to see what changes Soaring Ridge has coming.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

As someone who rarely drinks beer it seems like there is an over saturated market when it comes to "breweries" and "local beer places" everywhere I go now. For y'all who go to these places especially even the ones that don't even serve food how do they all stay afloat?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Seriously though, many of the local spots around me, I personally know the owners, brewers, bartenders. I've gotten to a point where I have spent maybe 5% of my beer budget on "national" beers. And I'm not even talking the big boys. I'm talking Sierra Nevada, Ballast Point, Dale's Pale, etc. I keep my money local and support the guys I know; picking up a 4 pack here and there, attending releases on the weekends, eating at their place (or supporting the place attached to it or next door.) There's a following. But also agree that the market may be over saturated...and some of them are starting to close up shop. Supply and demand. The good ones will survive, and the bad ones will shutter.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Only 13% of national beer sales go to local. 87% go to International breweries.
That number keeps getting cut into.

We have a food truck every day that we are open.

Margins are tight and you won't get rich doing it but, the market is there.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Crazy, cause more are opening. I have two on my desk right now, one just signed a lease and the other one is in pricing.

Locavore is popular right now.
Lots of boomers retiring.

You wanna work a desk job or make something.

Retail is where the margin is.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

to some degree you have to consider many of these microbreweries are basically just local bars.
bars that serve only beer, and happen to brew that beer themselves.

breweries that get into distribution, either local, regional or national are a whole different breed IMO, even if they run tap rooms

Damn, my parents are about to move to Daleville, and this brewery was a favorite spot for them. They used to come home with the jugs, and it was a great switchup for me from Natural Light when I would visit from college. Is there any reason as to why? Business seemed to be doing very well there. I get that running a bar/brewery can suck.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Hearing rumors that it may have to do with something related to a California law to why they closed the taproom and tasting room. Not sure on the specifics, but seems like there could be some legal motivation.

Because of the close, expect Constellation Brands to use the facility to brew other brands.

He said that the current facility is set to become Constellation Brands' innovation hub to produce new products including beers, hard seltzers and flavored malts.

He also said that Constellation Brands may consider, down the road, leasing the facility to a third-party operator.

WSLS Link

Ballast Point is an excellent brewery. I'm sorry to see that taproom go. Roanoke and the NRV aren't as full of great breweries as other parts of the state (like Loudoun County or Richmond). Now that's one less choice in the Roanoke area.

Decided to stop by on a whim yesterday and it was flat out awesome. One of the coolest
places I've been to and all that fresh beer to choose from. Getting to see the brewing equipment
up close through the window, the mountains in the background, and the river was something else.
Sorry they're going to close it.