DENVER — Molson Coors Brewing Co. has acquired Clearly Kombucha, a beverage maker based in Fairfield, Calif., from Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. Financial terms of the transaction, which closed June 1, were not disclosed.
The acquisition furthers the company's goal of building a strong non-alcoholic portfolio, moving Molson Coors closer to its 2025 target to "offer consumers exceptional quality no-alcohol and low-alcohol choices in 100% of the markets where we sell beer," the company said in its most recent goals report. Last year, the company took a minority stake in Bhakti, Inc., a Boulder, Colo.-based chai tea company.
Clearly Kombucha will become part of the Molson Coors U.S. business, MillerCoors, and be incorporated into its craft and specialty import division, Tenth and Blake.
Founded in 2010 by Ali Zarrow and Caleb Cargle, Clearly Kombucha makes six varieties of cold-filtered non-alcoholic fermented tea beverages that are U.S.D.A.-certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. Flavors include Asian pear, black currant, raspberry ginger, raspberry lemonade, strawberry hibiscus and ginger mint lemonade. The brand has distribution in California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Oregon and Montana.
“We believe the kombucha category is in its early stages,” said Pete Marino, president of Tenth and Blake, in a note to distributors. “Molson Coors, MillerCoors and Tenth and Blake are ideally suited to help Clearly Kombucha grow in the years ahead by driving greater awareness, strengthening its brand reputation and boosting retail availability.”
Ms. Zarrow and Mr. Cargle will remain in their positions with the company and will report to Molson Coors global innovation team general manager, Maria del Rio.
In a Facebook post to its followers, Clearly Kombucha addressed the acquisition, saying, "We have officially partnered with Molson Coors Brewing Company, which will allow us to grow the CK brand in exciting ways. Rest assured we will remain heavily involved in the business, crafting authentic fermented beverages while leveraging new and exciting expertise in developing great flavors, innovation, and amplifying our portfolio of products to provide more options to more people in more places."