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Monster Beverage buys Craft Breweries Cigar City owner Oskar Blues for $330 million

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Monster Beverage Corp.

MNST 0.41%

had considered switching to alcohol for many years. It finally plunged on Thursday, becoming the latest major beverage company to try alcohol.

Monster, best known for its energy drink of the same name, said it forged a deal to buy craft beer and hard-to-pick company CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC for $330 million.

The deal comes as soft drink producers and liquor companies turn to each other’s pitches in bids to spur growth.

Constellation brand Inc.

STZ.BELL 1.65%

said last week that it had reached an agreement with

Coca-Cola Have.

to launch canned cocktails under Fresca soda brand. Last year, Coke introduced an alcoholic version of Topo Chico seltzer in collaboration with

Molson Coors soft drink Have.

TAP.A 3.91%

Boston Beer Co., owner of popular brands like Sam Adams and Dogfish Head, launched the hard seltzer Truly in 2016. CEO Dave Burwick explains the company’s cultural perspective that made it so 2 in the rapidly growing category. (Video from 5/19/20)

PepsiCo Inc., meanwhile, is set to launch an alcoholic version of Mountain Dew in a joint venture with brewer Samuel Adams

Boston Beer Have.

SAM 0.82%

And

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA

BUD 3.08%

This month will introduce a line Bud Light brand carbonated soft drink in cola, cherry-cola, orange and lime flavors.

In 2019, Rodney Sacks, now president and co-CEO of Corona, California-based Monster, told shareholders that the company had a vision for spirits, malt beverages and Brandy.

“We are very interested in looking at alternative brands and developing more drinks in the non-alcoholic market… as well as the alcoholic market,” said Mr. Sacks.

The CANarchy acquisition includes the Cigar City, Oskar Blues, Deep Ellum, Perrin Brewing, Squatters and Wasatch brands but does not include CANarchy’s independent restaurants.

Monster said it expects to close the transaction in the first quarter, adding that the organizational structure of the energy drink business will remain unchanged. CANarchy, founded in 2015, will continue to operate independently, Monster said.

Mr. Sacks said on a call with investors on Thursday that while CANarchy is primarily a craft beer maker, it also has hard seltzer brands like Wild Basin, “and that’s what we’re working on.” plan to focus and develop”. In addition, Monster is also developing its own hard-seltzer brand, which is “going pretty quickly,” he said.

The Monster CEO added that they are also exploring drinks made from spirits.

Shares in Monster closed trading Thursday up 0.4 percent to $94.37.

Write letter for Jennifer Maloney at jennifer.maloney@wsj.com

Copyright © 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared on January 14, 2022, print edition as ‘Monster Drinks Acquires Owners of Multiple Craft Breweries.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/monster-jumps-into-booze-business-with-330-million-acquisition-of-canarchy-11642084938?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f Monster Beverage buys Craft Breweries Cigar City owner Oskar Blues for $330 million

Ian Walker

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