Large beverage company acquires Squatters and Wasatch Brewing labels — but not the taprooms

Monster Beverage’s acquisition leaves the future of eight Utah restaurants in doubt.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Wasatch Brewing Company's Polygamy Porter. Monster Beverage Corporation — the company known for Monster Energy Drink — has acquired the collective that includes Utah-based Wasatch Brewing and Squatters. The company is not acquiring the taprooms the two labels run in Park City and Salt Lake City.

The company behind one of America’s most-popular energy drinks is getting into the beer business, buying the brewing collective that includes two well-known Utah beer brands: Squatters and Wasatch Brewing.

Monster Beverage Corporation — best known for its Monster Energy Drink — recently announced it was buying CANarchy, a Colorado-based craft brewing collective whose brands include the two Utah labels, for $330 million in cash.

Monster vice chairman and co-CEO Hilton Schlosberg announced the sale during an online investor meeting on Jan. 13, explaining that the deal provided the company with “a springboard form which to enter the alcoholic beverage sector.”

The sale, Schlosberg said, gives Monster a “fully in-place infrastructure, including people, distribution and licenses, along with alcoholic beverage development expertise and manufacturing capabilities in this industry.”

The sale, which is expected to close before the end of March, includes manufacturing facilities for the beer brands.

What is not included in the sale are physical breweries or taprooms, which means the future of Salt Lake Brewing Company’s Utah restaurants is up in the air. CANarchy, which is the nation’s sixth-largest craft beer company, did not return requests for comment.

Both Wasatch — which was founded in 1986 and is Utah’s oldest microbrewery — and Squatters operate brewpubs in downtown Salt Lake City, in Sugarhouse, in Park City, and at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

The CANarchy sale came three days after a national beer importer, United States Beverage, acquired Uinta Brewing, the state’s largest craft brewer.