Canadian cannabis firm Tilray becomes 5th biggest craft beer company in U.S.
Canadian cannabis company Tilray is expanding its alcohol portfolio. Tilray announced this week it would be acquiring eight brands from beverage behemoth Anheuser-Busch, effectively making them the 5th biggest craft beer company in the United States.
Tilray now owns Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company, and HiBall Energy. The Canadian company paid a rough total $85 million for the brands.
The company previously acquired Sweetwater Brewing Company after its merger with fellow cannabis company Aphria. They later took control of Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Green Flash Brewing Company. Tilray also owns Breckenridge Distillery and Happy Flower, a line of sparkling CBD mocktails.
Tilray stock got a major boost after the recent announcement, climbing over 16%. The company, along with other Canadian players Canopy Growth and Aurora, had been faltering over the last few years after the cannabis bubble burst in 2019.
Tilray moved into the alcohol space in 2020. Leadership hoped to boost revenue after the Canadian market struggled, while at the same time planning ahead for federal marijuana legalization in the U.S.
Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and CEO of Tilray, reiterated his plan in a press release obtained by GreenState.
“Upon federal cannabis legalization, we expect to leverage our leadership position, wide distribution network and portfolio of beloved beverage and wellness brands to include THC-based products and maximize all commercial opportunities,” Simon said.
With the explosion of alcohol-free THC drinks in Minnesota, craft brewers have seen a major uptick in sales. It’s possible Tilray had their eyes on the state when negotiating the deal, realizing the market potential if federal officials shift toward reform.
The Biden administration continues to debate the Schedule I status of cannabis. If the plant is descheduled completely, it could be regulated and distributed the same way as alcohol. This would pave the way for companies like Tilray to segue into the THC beverage space.