If you think the beer industry has cycled through every weird style trend or odd business acquisition, think again. Monster Beverage Corp, makers of Monster Energy Drinks has acquired CANarchy, the craft beer collective. CANarchy includes Oskar Blues, Cigar City Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Deep Ellum, and Squatters and Wasatch Brewing.
It had been heavily rumored that Monster Beverage had intended to enter the alcoholic beverage industry as early as pre-pandemic 2019.
The $330 million all-cash deal sees Monster gaining the 6th largest craft brewing company in the United States, with an annual beer volume of nearly 500,000 barrels. In addition, the beverage company gains instant access to all brewery infrastructure, employee expertise, and distribution channels.
In a press release, vice chairman and co-CEO Hilton Schlosberg of Monster stated, “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.”
In 2020 it was also rumored that Monster wanted to make their mark in the hard seltzer market, competing with Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico, and Pepsi’s Hard Mtn Dew, a collaboration with Boston Beer that debuts in the spring. Additionally, Monster was in talks with Constellation about a potential merger as well last year.
With the purchase of CANarchy, Monster Beverage picks up nationally distributed Wild Basin Hard Seltzer, Cigar City Limeade Seltzer, Ellum Ranch Hard Seltzer, and Rewired Hard Seltzer by Perrin Brewing.
Monster plans to roll out new beverages later this year, testing them regionally before ramping up to national distribution.
CANarchy will continue to operate independently of Monster Beverage Corp.
UPDATE: The Brewer’s Association, the not-for-profit trade organization representing the craft brewing industry, has issued a statement surrounding the purchase of CANarchy this afternoon.
The Brewers Association (BA) is aware of CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective’s pending sale to Monster Beverage. Based on our current information, CANarchy meets the Brewers Association’s craft brewer definition under the ownership of Monster Energy as presently constituted. In this instance, Monster is not a beverage alcohol industry member, so this new ownership structure does not affect CANarchy’s independence in regard to the beverage alcohol industry. The Brewers Association defines small and independent craft brewers as:
- Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
- Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
- Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.
Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing has launched their first mixed 12-pack of cans this week, which includes a new, exclusive Space Pope IPA.
The brewery kicked off their 12-pack lineup with their flagship Jai Alai IPA. According to Cigar City, Jai Alai is the second best selling craft six pack nationwide.
This new mixed pack will include Jai Alai, Guayabera Citra Pale Ale, and Florida Cracker White Ale, along with the new Space Pope IPA. This new release is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Hallertauer Blanc, and Galaxy hops. Expect Space Pope IPA to make sporadic draft appearances this year, but will remain a taproom and mixed pack only release, nationally.
The Cigar City Mixed 12-Pack will be available in the brewery’s full distribution by mid-2019. No estimated retail price was provided.
Cigar City Space Pope IPA launches exclusively in the brewery’s new Mixed 12-Pack in January 2019.
The Tampa, Florida brewery describes this release as “a bright, citrusy IPA of 7.3% ABV that’s loaded with Mosaic, Citra, Hallertauer Blanc, and Galaxy hops to highlight notes of candied orange and tangerine.”
Available in 12-ounce cans nationally in the newly released Mixed 12-Pack, and sporadic draft releases as well as the brewery’s taproom.
Hops: Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic, Hallertauer Blanc
Availability: 12oz Cans (Mixed Pack), Draft.
Debut: January 2019
This collaboration is a big one, perfect for a winter release. The two breweries created an imperial stout, aged in both whiskey barrels and brandy barrels, with figs and dates. After blending into the finishing tanks, Bamburana was then aged again on Amburana wood spirals. Amburna is a tropical tree native to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the vanilla and gingerbread spice nuances this South American wood contributed into the finished beer and look forward to putting this delicious beer in front of folks,” said Wayne Wambles of Cigar City Brewing
Oskar Blues Cigar City Bamburana is a national release in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in mid-January, 2019.
Debut: Mid-January 2019
Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing adds North Carolina distribution this month. The brewery has selected a handful of distributors to cover the state.
This distributor list includes: Skyland Distributing Co., United Beverages of North Carolina, R.H. Barringer Distributing Company, Long Beverage Inc., Carolina Distributing LLC, Healy Wholesale Co Inc., Atlantic Shores Distributors, Coastal Beverage Co. and City Beverage Co Inc.
Fans can expect 12 ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style Lager. Draft will follow shortly after launch.
North Carolina brings the brewery’s distribution network to eight states, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee. The brewery also distributes to Denmark.
In 2016, Baltimore, Maryland’s Heavy Seas Beer announced a new collaborative series they call “Partner Ships.”
The series kicked off in February with a red India pale ale, brewed with Maine Beer Company. That release was followed with an “aggressively hopped” doppelbock, aka Hoppelbock in May.
That was 2016.
Coming in 2017 are three more collaborations coming to the Heavy Seas Partner Ships Series. This first is in February with neighboring Union Craft Brewing.
In July, the Floridians of Cigar City Brewing (Gulf of Mexico waters) will collaborate with the brewery on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Rounding out the year will be Madtree Brewing out of Cincinnati, Ohio. (To keep them from feeling left out of the waterway association theme we arbitrarily started, their closest body of water is the Ohio River.)
Heavy Seas tells Beer Street Journal that the first release’s style (with Union Craft Brewing) has been decided. The beer will be an 8.5% alcohol by volume old ale, brewed with locally based Domino Brown Sugar.
Hints of nuts, cocoa, molasses and dried fruits oat over a chewy, luscious body of English malt goodness. Inspired by the rich, warming brews of a bygone era, the addition of local Domino Brown Sugar and neighborly camaraderie helped us produce a true comfort ale that should kindle its own Baltimore nostalgia.
Each release will be available again in 22 ounce bottles.
Cigar City Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov debuts on November 23rd. Even this guy loves desserts.
If the Tampa, Florida based brewery is known for just two beers, they would be Hunaphu and Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout. Both are imperial stouts. Both very different.
Zhukov is the Russian imperial stout. A big, chewy imperial stout that pours like 40 weight motor oil. Tastes like espresso and molasses. Tomorrow, the Marshal is being treated to dessert with the release of Cigar City Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout.
That big imperial stout has been spiked with hazelnut and vanilla beans, resulting in a dessert beer fitting for the coldest Russian winter. Or Florida.
22-ounce bottles of Cigar City Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov’s will be available at the brewery’s Fermentorium, starting at 9 am. $20 each.
Image: Beer Street Journal