Food

Monster Beverage going all in on alcohol



CORONA, CALIF. – The Monster Beverage Corp.’s acquisition of the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective, Longmont, Colo., gives it the infrastructure needed to establish a position in the market for beer, hard seltzer, mixed cocktails and spirits.

Canarchy has seven manufacturing plants in the United States and the capacity to produce 616,000 barrels of beer and 211,000 barrels of hard seltzer. The company employs 566 and had sales of approximately $134 million in 2021.

“The company, and this is really important, already operates with the people, the distribution network, the licenses the alcohol beverage development expertise, the manufacturing capability and the infrastructure necessary to grow our alcohol business,” said Hilton H. Schlosberg, vice chairman and co-chief executive officer of Monster Beverage, during the company’s investor day held Jan. 13. “And we really are excited to build and expand upon Canarchy’s existing brands with innovative new products.”

A key to the acquisition is Canarchy’s nationwide distribution system, said Rodney Cyril Sacks, chairman and co-CEO of Monster Beverage. Monster looked at other alcoholic beverage businesses, but many were regional. Canarchy’s distribution is fragmented, with Anheuser-Busch distributors accounting for 30%, Molson-Coors accounting for 50% and independents accounting for 20%.

Even though Canarchy is primarily a craft beer brewer, an area of initial focus on product development will be in hard seltzer. 

“We are in the process of developing our own hard seltzer entry,” Mr. Sacks said “We just didn’t want to go in and just compete without a point of difference.

“We actually are pretty advanced now in the development of our own seltzer, which is a different brand. We will be proceeding quite quickly now with the development now that we have this acquisition under our belt, and we hope to close it soon. So, we will actually continue to develop a strategy in the natural seltzer category and other adjunct categories in the hard alcoholic side.”

Beer brands marketed by Canarchy include Cigar City Brewing, Oskar Blues, Deep Ellium Brewing, Wastach Brewery, Squatter’s and Perrin. Wild Basin is Canarchy’s hard seltzer line.

Mr. Sacks said Monster’s initial strategy for Canarchy will be to look at the brewer’s brands and develop them.

“Then there will be opportunity to develop other brands and other products in alcohol, whether it’s spirits, fruit-based and other products that we will look at going forward now that we have a platform,” he said.

One brand consumers will not see in the alcoholic beverage space is Monster. Mr. Schlosberg said he was “vehemently opposed” to putting a strong consumer brand into the alcoholic beverage space.

Mr. Sacks added, “We’ve got to be very careful (not) to take the Monster brand into too wide an area. There are also concerns on mixing or having a single brand (in) both alcohol and nonalcoholic products.”



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