- Monster Energy is debuting this month Nasty Beast, a line of hard iced tea beverages, the company’s co-CEO Rodney Sacks told investors on Tuesday. The 6% alcohol-by-volume offerings are available in three flavors: Original, Tea + Lemonade and Green Tea.
- The product follows the energy drink giant’s launch of The Beast Unleashed in 2023. The carbonated alcoholic drink was the best-selling new brand in the beer space last year with more than $87 million in sales, according to a presentation by the company. Both products are distributed by Canarchy Craft Brewing, which Monster acquired for $330 million in 2022.
- Companies that once eschewed alcohol, such as Monster, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have entered the category in the last four years to capitalize on consumer demand for choice and the boom in ready-to-drink offerings.
Monster has spent the last two years aggressively growing its presence beyond energy drinks, particularly in the alcohol space.
After it acquired Canarchy, a craft beer and hard seltzer company, Monster’s co-CEO Hilton Schlosberg said the purchase would give his company the needed infrastructure to manufacture and distribute alcoholic products. Monster’s popular energy beverages were only sold within the soft drink category.
Nasty Beast will compete with other prominent hard tea offerings that have emerged in recent years.
While never reaching the zenith of success hard seltzer saw at its peak, hard teas have grown in popularity and squeezed out a niche for drinkers looking for another spirits-based beverage. The hard tea market, valued at $2 billion in 2021, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.7% through 2030, according to Grand View Research.
Last year, Coca-Cola and Molson Coors teamed up to launch Peace Hard Tea, a 5% ABV line in three flavors. The drink furthered the soda behemoth and beer producer’s collaborative relationship, which also includes Simply Spiked Lemonade and Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.
Boston Beer has dominated the hard tea space for years with Twisted Tea, which it first debuted in 2001. The beverage accounted for 91% of hard tea sales as of May 2023, according to Bump Williams Consulting data. Alcohol giant AB InBev made a bigger play for the category with the 2021 purchase of Hoop Tea, a Maryland-based brand that makes tea-infused seltzers and malt drinks.