Monster’s New Alcoholic Beverages Taste Like Energy Drinks

  • Monster’s newest beverage isn’t an energy drink, but a hard seltzer.
  • The Beast Unleashed contains 6% alcohol by volume and flavors inspired by its energy drinks.
  • Big beverage makers like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have added alcoholic options in recent years.

Monster’s newest beverages taste a lot like some of the brand’s energy drinks — with one big difference.

The company spent the early weeks of 2023 rolling out a line of alcoholic beverages. Called The Beast Unleashed, the drinks are made with malt alcohol and contain 6% alcohol by volume, though no caffeine or energy-inducing ingredients. The flavors, including Peach Perfect and Scary Berries, are modeled on those Monster already uses for its energy drinks.

The beverages are for sale in six states so far in 2023: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Iowa. They will be available across the US by the end of the year, Monster Co-CEO Rodney Sacks said during the company’s earnings call late Tuesday.  

Energy drinks make up the vast majority of Monster’s sales. But the Beast beverages are its latest attempt to diversify its business.

In January 2022, Monster paid $330 million in cash to acquire CANarchy, a collective that owns several breweries including Oskar Blues and Deep Ellum Brewing Company. The acquisition was Monster’s first foray into alcoholic beverages.

Beast Unleashed, which the company announced in early 2022, is the company’s first alcoholic beverage that uses the Monster brand. That choice is meant to make Beast beverages “distinguishable from the many hard seltzer brands that have become so ubiquitous over the last several years,” Co-CEO Sacks said during an earnings call in August.

“Our alcohol innovation pipeline is robust with a number of additional innovative product lines currently under development,” Sacks said during the call.

Monster is among the big beverage companies that have unveiled alcoholic options over the last few years. Coca-Cola started selling hard seltzer under the Topo Chico brand in 2020 through a partnership with brewer Molson Coors. The launch marked the first alcoholic beverage that the cola maker sold in the US.

Last year, Coca-Cola added to its alcohol lineup with a canned cocktail made with Fresca. The beverage was also the result of a partnership, this time between Coke and Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona.

Rival PepsiCo has also launched Hard Mountain Dew through a partnership with Boston Beer Company, which makes Sam Adams.

Casual alcohol options, including hard seltzers and canned cocktails, represented $10 billion in sales in 2021, according to Grand View Research. 

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