Monster Energy acquires US brewery collective

24 Jan 2022

In order to expand into the alcohol space, Monster Energy acquired the craft beer and hard seltzer company Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective for $330 million in cash, according to a press release. The transaction brings the brands Cigar City, Oskar Blues, Deep Ellum, Perrin Brewing, Squatters and Wasatch into Monster’s beverage portfolio, and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Monster is calling this acquisition a “springboard” from which it can now enter the alcohol category. “The acquisition will provide us with a fully in-place infrastructure, including people, distribution and licenses, along with alcoholic beverage development expertise and manufacturing capabilities in this industry,” Monster’s Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer Hilton Schlosberg said in a statement.

Monster Energy acquires US brewery collective

Although the energy beverage giant is bringing Canarchy into its fold, the craft alcohol creator will continue to run independently with its CEO Tony Short at the helm.

There have long been rumors of Monster Beverage getting into the alcohol space whether by acquiring another company independently or by being acquired itself. The announcement of this transaction gives credence to the first while bringing into question Monster’s position as an acquisition target.

Already, Coca-Cola has a minority stake in Monster and is responsible for distributing its energy drinks in the U.S. and Canada, but since Monster’s deal with Canarchy comes with functional distribution systems, there is no indication that Coca-Cola will take over that responsibility. Similarly, this deal also brings into question whether Coca-Cola will acquire Monster or if the duo is to remain partners at an arm’s distance.

Taking this independent step into the alcohol category provides Monster with ample license to become creative with its beverage portfolio. Many other non-alcoholic beverage companies have taken comparable steps, with PepsiCo recently launching a limited-release of Lay’s Potato Vodka in collaboration with Eastside Distilling and Coca-Cola partnering with Molson Coors to produce Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.

It is clear that the infusion of alcohol into historically non-alcoholic brands is becoming trendy — and successful. Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico Hard Seltzer moved from a limited launch in nine states to a nationwide rollout in 2022 as well as an expansion in Latin America. If Monster can tap into this trend in a similar fashion, it stands a chance at becoming a smashing success.

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