Tuesday, October 15th
October 21st, 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC
October 29th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC, speaker: CAPT Brien Dickson, USN, CO Naval Base Point Loma
November 18th, 6:00 PM, Monthly Evening Event (location to be announced)
December 7th, Holiday Party (details to be announced)
Who could ask for a better program than today’s? Member Larry Baumann not only arranged a dynamic speaker, but donated samples of the presentation topic to raffle off to breakfast attendees as door prizes. Thank you, Larry! We were delighted to listen to Earl Kight, the National Distribution Manager for Cutwater Spirits, as he talked about the history of one of the most successful entrepreneurial enterprises in our area. Earl worked with Point Loma native Jack White Jr. as the Ballast Point Brewing Company went to unbelievable heights and then with Cutwater Spirits as they opened to nationwide markets. It was a story of innate business savvy, great products, ups and downs, and in some cases pure luck.
Earl described the organization’s amazing milestones and successes:
1992 — Expansion of Jack Jr’s home brewed “kick butt” Yellow Tail Pale Ale to the local marketplace as Ballast Point beer and establishment of the Home Brew Mart in Linda Vista.
1996 — Establishment of a commercial brewery for Ballast Point. Still distributing beer in Jack’s mini-van, though.
2007 — Took the business to the next level, thanks to investors. Up to 8,000 barrels/year now. Started Ballast Point Spirits and effectively created the canned cocktails market.
2008 — Earl expanded distribution for Ballast Point, working for free for 2 years. (But it sure paid off!)
2012 — Hired a CEO from the Harvard Business School.
2015 — Creation of Ballast Point’s Miramar production and restaurant facility. Sculpin outsells Coors Light in San Diego.
Dec 2015 — Sold the company for over $1 Billion! (… but wisely kept the Ballast Point Spirits line.)
Aug 2016 — Started Cutwater Spirits, named after the aquatic bird, a ship’s bow and distillery terminology.
Mar 2019 — Sold Cutwater Spirits to Anheuser-Busch, where 400 cans/minute of canned cocktails are produced.
For those so inclined, Earl suggested looking up Ballast Point’s SEC Form S-1 for some amazing history, facts and figures. We thanked Earl for his history tour and insights, and hope to perhaps one day have an Optimist event at the Miramar facility.