Energy-drink maker enters beer, hard-seltzer business with purchase of CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL // JAN. 13, 2022
Monster Beverage Corp. MNST -4.73% has been mulling a move into booze for years. It finally took the plunge Thursday, becoming the latest big soft-drink company to try its hand at alcoholic beverages.
Monster, best known for its namesake energy drinks, said it had forged a deal to buy craft-beer and hard-seltzer company CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC for $330 million.
The deal comes as soda makers and alcohol companies move onto one another’s turf in bids to spur growth.
Constellation Brands Inc. last week said it struck a deal with Coca-Cola Co. to launch canned cocktails under the Fresca soda brand. Last year, Coke introduced an alcoholic version of its Topo Chico seltzer in a partnership with Molson Coors Beverage Co.
PepsiCo Inc., meanwhile, is set to roll out an alcoholic version of Mountain Dew in a venture with Samuel Adams brewer Boston Beer Co. And Anheuser-Busch InBev SA this month is introducing a line of Bud Light-branded hard soda in cola, cherry-cola, orange and lemon-lime flavors.
In 2019, Rodney Sacks, now chairman and co-CEO of Corona, Calif.-based Monster, told shareholders that the company had its sights on hard seltzers, malt beverages and spirits.
“We do have an appetite to look at alternative brands and to develop more beverages in the nonalcoholic…as well as the alcoholic market,” Mr. Sacks said at the time.
The CANarchy acquisition includes the Cigar City, Oskar Blues, Deep Ellum, Perrin Brewing, Squatters and Wasatch brands but excludes CANarchy’s stand-alone restaurants.
Monster said it expects to complete the transaction during the first calendar quarter, adding that the organizational structure for the energy-drinks business will remain unchanged. CANarchy, founded in 2015, will continue to function independently, Monster said.
Mr. Sacks said on a call with investors Thursday that while CANarchy is primarily a craft-beer brewer, it also has hard seltzer brands such as Wild Basin, “and that’s something we are planning to focus on and develop.” Separately, Monster also has been developing its own hard-seltzer brand, which is “proceeding quite quickly now,” he said.
Monster executives added that they are also exploring spirits-based drinks.
Shares in Monster closed Thursday trading up 0.4% to $94.37.
—Colin Kellaher contributed to this article. Write to Jennifer Maloney at firstname.lastname@example.org