Monster Will Buy Cigar City, Oskar Blues & Other Breweries for $330 Million

The energy drink company will buy popular breweries like Oskar Blues, Wild Basin, and Cigar City in 2022.

Monster Canarchy Purchase
Photo by mhazim/Shutterstock
Photo by mhazim/Shutterstock

Yes, that Monster. The energy drink company.

Monster Beverage announced a $330 million deal to buy the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, a group of craft beer and hard seltzer producers. The deal is reportedly scheduled to close in the first quarter of this year. The announcement continues to blur the lines between soft drinks and beer and hard seltzer and RTDS and hard tea and everything else in the constantly changing beer world.

CANarchy is the umbrella under which many familiar breweries reside. The collective includes Oskar Blues Brewing, Cigar City, Wild Basin Hard Seltzer, Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Craft Beer, Perrin Brewing, and Deep Ellum Brewing. The deal does not include CANarchy’s stand-alone restaurants.

This deal, while not identical, follows a similar collision of soft drinks and alcohol that have happened in other alcohol world partnerships. Coca-Cola is working with Constellation Brands to make a Fresca-branded canned cocktail. That will come not too long after Coca-Cola released Topo Chico Hard Seltzer with Molson Coors. (It’s worth noting that Monster’s largest share-holder, per Reuters, is Coca-Cola.) Meanwhile, its rival, PepsiCo, is partnering with Sam Adams and Truly Hard Seltzer-maker Boston Beer Co. for Hard Mountain Dew. Oh, and Anheuser Busch InBev is moving in the opposite direction and has released Bud Light-branded hard soda. What a world.

"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," Hilton Schlosberg, co-Chief Executive Officer of Monster, said in a statement.

The Brewers Association (BA), a trade organization for craft brewers, issued a statement to address the purchase, reports the Beer Street Journal. The BA says that “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.” So, Monster is a craft brewer now, more or less. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.