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.
We wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know that today, August 1st, is National Mustard Day. There’s a “day” for everything. While you are smothering everything in spicy yellow goodness, there’s a craft beer to pair with it. Oskar Blues Mustard Beer.
It’s craft beer, so you know we aren’t kidding. Oskar Blues partnered with French’s on the collaboration, a tropical wheat beer infused with the yellow stuff. 150 pounds of it to be exact. The result is a wheat beer with a yellowish tinge, boasting flavors of lime, lemon, tangerine, and passion fruit to complement the spice and zip added by the mustard.
Last year French’s made a mustard flavor ice cream for the occasion. We never got to try it, but some folks on social media melted down over its mear existence. (One person even called it a slight against God. That might be a little much.)
Oskar Blues Mustard Beer was available to ship on CraftShack.com, but it sold out pretty much immediately.
Style: Wheat Beer (w/ French’s Mustard)
Availability: 12oz Cans. Limited Release.
Update: Sold out. Everywhere. Next stop, ketchup day.
Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy will be available nationally again this month. This time around, the stout is getting a little packaging makeover.
It takes the better part of a year to brew and barrel-age Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy. 19.2-ounce cans of the imperial stout were first found in the brewery’s taprooms in fall of 2015. The demand was so high, Oskar Blues ramped up production and made it nationally available for the first time in 2016.
This month, Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy will be nationally available again, but this time in 12-ounce cans. Ten Fidy is aged in a blend of Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for at least 8 months.
“Ten FIDY is a complicated beer for our brewers but they really dig into the behemoth task of delivering a big-time stout. Barrel-aging ups the ante even further – ramping up the chocolate, coffee and roasted notes to the maximum.” Tim Matthews, Head of Brewing Operations
To celebrate this beer’s return, Oskar Blues is releasing variety 4-packs of barrel aged variants of Ten FIDY, including JAHvanilla, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Hazelnut Praline, and Java on November 29th.
Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy is available in 12-ounce cans and limited draft by mid-November 2019.
The craft beer industry continues to expand the lower-calorie offerings industry-wide. Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, and Harpoon are among a few notable breweries that added low-cal, low-ABV options earlier this summer. Bell’s Brewery is currently prepping a “light” version of Two Hearted Ale dubbed Light-Hearted Ale for early 2020. Now, nationally distributed Oskar Blues is launching One-y IPA.
Beginning in mid-September, Oskar Blues One-y IPA will join the light beer fray, described as “low-cal” and “high haze.” The brewery’s goal was to create an IPA that huge, hazy, and hoppy, without the calorie count of a regular IPA or Imperial IPA.
Juice Drapeau, the head brewer at Oskar Blues pilot brewery in Lyons, Colorado did so with a heavy hit of hops. One-y IPA is dry-hopped with El Dorado, Comet and Citra hops, with Mosaic and French Aramis added to the whirlpool.
“The aroma hits you first. There are notes of citrus, honeysuckle, peach, and mango. The beer is fruity with a hop haze and a nice biscuit flavor to the malt. The use of pale ale malt and wheat, along with the hefty dry hop load, creates a medium body. It’s easy to drink – pairs well with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”
Oskar Blues One-y IPA is just 4% alcohol by volume, and 100 calories per 12-ounce serving. Available nationwide year-round this month.
Style: Hazy IPA
Hops: El Dorado, Comet, Citra, Mosaic, French Aramis
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: Mid-September 2019
Ten-Fidy has a pretty epic reputation in craft beer. This April, you are going to see it a whole new way, in the form of Oskar Blues JAHVanilla.
This edition of Ten-Fidy is a blend of bourbon barrel-aged stout and double bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, with HotBox Roasters cold brew coffee and Madagascar vanilla beans. The brewery aged it slightly until the flavors blended well. Last year’s release was not blended with the double-barrel.
“The blending of double-barrel aged FIDY and barrel-aged FIDY this year is pretty special. It adds to the complexity and depth of JAHvanilla. Then we hit it with premium vanilla and cold brew and the beer hulks out with flavor.” Tim Matthews, Head of Brewing Operations
Oskar Blues JAHvanilla Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy Imperial Stout will only available in the brewery’s Longmont, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina taprooms on April 20th.
Style: Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged. Vanilla Beans. Coffee.)
Availability: 19.2 Cans
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
Oskar Blues Death by Coconut has been canned and is headed to shelves again soon. At one point it was only sold at the taprooms in Colorado and North Carolina. Now it’s a national hit.
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut was first introduced during Colorado Craft Beer Week in March of 2014. The beer is a collaboration with Oskar Blue’s Jason Buehler, and Shamrock Brewing Co.’s Keith Hefley. The base beer is an Irish porter, aged on dried coconut and dark chocolate.
IF YOU CRAVE COCONUT BEER, IT’S HERE. We’re talking creamy coconut flavors, that finish with a touch of dark chocolate. Oskar Blues Death By Coconut tastes like an alcoholic Almond Joy candy bar. Everything from the smell to the taste is over the top, and we love every last drop we can get. As fall rolls in, so do the coconuts by Oskar. This is your annual heads up.
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut is available in 12-ounce cans, and draft nationally for a limited time.
Images: Beer Street Journal