The Brewers Association released a statement today following news that Monster Beverage Corp., makers of Monster Energy Drink hasacquired CANarchy Craft Beer Collective.
Monster Beverage is a multi-billion dollar consumer company, with over 3,000 employees and $4.6 billion in revenue in 2020. Does this acquisition rob the 6th largest (collective) craft brewery of its designation? as a craft/independent brewer?
According to the Brewers Association (BA), the answer is “no”.
The “craft brewer” designation and its ever-evolving perception are in the hands of the BA, a nonprofit trade organization that represents American craft and independent brewers.
While the definition has been tweaked over the years, today the BA has clarified. “Based on our current information, CANarchy is responding to [Brewers Association’s] definition of craft brewer under the ownership of Monster Energy as presently constituted,” the association said in a statement.
This determination is based on the fact that Monster was not previously a member of the alcoholic beverage industry, so this new ownership does not affect how the BA views CANarchy’s independence.
CANarchy does not exceed 6 million barrels (the association-defined threshold) in annual production, which is currently less than 500,000 barrels per year, and meets the criteria that less than 25% ownership or majority is owned by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
CANarchy and the breweries part of the collective – Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin Brewing, Deep Ellum, Wasatch and Squatter’s will retain all “independent” and “craft” designations of the Brewers Association.
More recently, Bell’s Brewery was sold to Kirin who previously acquired New Belgium Brewing. Both breweries have lost or will lose craft brewer status according to the BA. Bell production figures will be included in 2021 ranking reports, but will not be considered for 2022.