Ballast Point Boycott Tied to Support for Congressman Paul Ryan and Trumpcare Fight

by on March 21, 2017 · 11 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics

By Doug Porter

A boycott of Ballast Point products is being pushed by groups in Chicago as part of a campaign of resistance to the Trump administration’s hurry-up plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Ballast Point is the largest brewer in San Diego and was acquired by Constellation Brands in November 2015 for a reported of $1 billion. The parent company’s Political Action Committee has donated $25,000 thus far in 2017 in support of Rep. Paul Ryan, who’s leading the congressional fight for passage of what I like to call #TrumpDontCare.

The brewery has reached out via social media as news of the boycott has gone viral, saying “Ballast Point does not support Paul Ryan, nor the healthcare bill.”

While our parent company, Constellation, does have a PAC that contributes to candidates on both sides of the aisle, it does so only in the interest of policy issues directly related to the beverage alcohol industry. The PAC’s primary goal is to educate lawmakers on the benefits of our industry as a whole—creating jobs and contributing to our economy.

That said, Ballast Point has no direct involvement or input into the actions of Constellation’s PAC.

Please know that our only goal as Ballast Point is to brew great beer and provide for our employees and our customers like you.

Follow the Money

While I’m sure they’re horrified in the PR department at Ballast Point, the fact remains that profits from sales of their products fund the corporate executives whose donations make the PAC possible. And yes, the PAC has supported–to a lesser degree–some Democrats.

I’m also sure Constellation will point to the danger posed to profits on their Corona brand by the Trump administration’s threats of import taxes.

Unfortunately for them, import taxes aren’t on the administration’s Congressional ‘do list’ at present. And Paul Ryan, more than anybody else on the Hill, is the leader of a fight for what Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi rightfully calls “Robin Hood in reverse.”

The richest 400 families in America will get a $7 million tax break each year, to the tune of a $2.8 billion break every year. It is $600 billion moving from working class families to the richest families in our country.

After the 1% get their reward, the Medicare Trust Fund will whither, healthcare will be ‘accessible,’ but not affordable, and emergency rooms will be the primary provider for millions of families.

So, I’m sorry, Ballast Point/Constellation, you don’t get to stand by and make excuses. We’re sorry Trump’s Mexico bluster gave you a sad moment and threatens profits. Lives are at stake. You’ve made your choice. It’s Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

Thursday is Get Rid of the Black Guy’s Legacy Day

Thursday, March 23, is a big day for Rep. Paul Ryan’s ‘new and improved’ healthcare legislation. The House of Representatives will be voting that day on whatever ends up in the revised bill, sans an assessment from the Congressional Budget Office.

On the same day ANSWER Chicago, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, and Indivisible Illinois are promoting a protest outside the Chicago Club, where Paul Ryan is the guest of honor at a high dollar ($50,000 gets you a photo with the Congressman) fundraiser.

Both these events are scheduled to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

So what we’re really talking about is a big middle finger aimed at the Black Guy who used to live in the White House.

Why They’re Boycotting

Organizers of the Ballast Point boycott explained their reasoning via a post on Medium.com:

Ballast Point

Flyer for Chicago event

“Voting with your wallet” is very effective. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the mid ’50s to the United Farm Workers’ grape boycott against the Delano growers in the late ’60s to the Gay Liberation Movement’s Boycott of Coors Beer in the ’70s (to this day, you still won’t find a gay bar serving Coors!), financial pressure is real pressure, and corporations will do anything to ease the pain.

Ballast Point is an up-and-coming craft beer owned by Constellation Brands, but their profits don’t just go back into the company. Ballast Point’s owners make huge political donations every election. In 2016 alone, Constellation Brands PAC donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns and PACs of Paul Ryan, House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy, and many of their Republican colleagues.

Ballast Point’s owners raised more money in 2016 than in any of the past five elections, and they are already gearing up to help Republicans win the crucial 2018 midterms. Constellation Brands PAC is listed as “Vice Chair” of Paul Ryan’s upcoming Chicago fundraiser (when the Speaker of the House hopes to raise $2 million in one night). The invitation to the fundraiser, an event that plans to sell special access to Paul Ryan for $50,000, shows Constellation Brands’ name printed at the top.

Another No-Class Move From Paul Ryan


This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at the San Diego Free Press.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Priscilla March 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

oh too sad…there goes my favorite beer….

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unwashedwallmartThong March 21, 2017 at 9:38 pm

I stopped buying Ballast Pt. when Constellation bought it.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page March 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Me too. I liked the beer but I want my money to go to the independents, not corporations.

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Chris March 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm

It seems like after they were sold to Constellation they were really coming up with some some interesting yet not very good concoctions like Red Velvet ale or grapefruit Sculpin (regular Sculpin is just fine, then again double dorado is much better). I like beer flavored beer.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page March 23, 2017 at 9:00 am

Ditto, Chris, beer should not have fruit in it.

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Chris March 23, 2017 at 12:46 pm

One thing I have to admit, I DO like a good dark chocolate or coffee stout. Those kinds of flavors work with beer in a good way the fruit does not.

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Christo March 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

While I do generally agree with you gentlemen on the “fruit in a beer” thing- if you split your growler with pineapple and habanero sculpin- it’s pretty darn good.

And yes- give your $$$ to the local guys.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page March 24, 2017 at 10:08 am

I’ll have to take your word on that one Christo, since I’m not buying Ballast Point but it sounds like something I would at least be willing to try. I’ve had beer with coffee, as Chris mentioned, a few times since I am a coffee lover too, but it just didn’t work for me. Have never tried one with chocolate in it but I’ll take his word that is a good one. I’ve had a beer after eating chocolate so maybe it would be interesting.

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Jon March 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Ok, I can’t resist jumping in on the beer talk….

I really haven’t been a fan of anything Ballast Point has done since the buyout. They have some decent dark stouts, but IMO, went waaay overboard on the sculpin varietals. Pineapple, habanero, etc… all tasted artificial. And I don’t like fruit in beer either. However…. if you mix an original sculpin with actual grapefruit juice 50/50, it’s probably one of the tastiest breakfast drinks ever. It’s my exception to fruit/beer.

As for the coffee/chocolate… YES PLEASE. But must be a porter or stout that is well crafted and not just “flavored.” Try the Mogli chocolate porter from Caldera brewing (usually found at Olive Tree), or if you want something insanely delicious, chocolatey, caramely, and bourbony, The Joint has Deliverance Ale from Lost Abbey on tap right now. It’s 12.5%, so watch yourself kids…

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Geoff Page Geoff Page March 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Well, I can’t resist such a strong recommendation, I’ll have to try the Mogli. The Deliverance one sounds like too much alcohol for me personally, I’ve learned that anything approaching 9% or higher is dangerous for me.

I guess I do have to confess that I put lemon in a lot of my beer so I’m not totally against the fruit thing, I just don’t care for beers made with fruit. Stone has a Passion Fruit IPA, and I love IPAs and Stone, but this one I don’t recommend.

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Chris March 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

I’m bummed about this too but there are plenty of good breweries here in town if you want to protest by not buying Ballast Point. Fall (my favorite), Hess (my 2nd favorite), Coronado, Lost Abbey, Port Brewing, Alpine, so on and so forth.

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