It might strike some as odd, that the largest cannabis producer in the world has purchased yet another craft brewing unless you’re thinking strategically and looking towards the future.
A future where recreational cannabis is legal nationally and Tilray can start producing cannabis-infused brews…And its purchase of Montauk Brewing only furthers that eventual goal.
This journey started when Aphria Inc., a Canadian pot-producer, purchased SweetWater Brewing in 2020.
It was a $300 million transaction involving both stock and cash, which gave Aphria, a publically traded company, entry into the US market and the infrastructure to advance its cannabis business as state laws evolved.
Two weeks after closing on the acquisition of Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing, Aphria reached an agreement to merge with Tilray, a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company forming the world’s largest cannabis company valued at $3.8 billion.
On July 21, 2021 the now Tilray-owned SweetWater Brewing announced that it had expanded its reach to Colorado, where recreational cannabis has long been legal, with a new brewery in Fort Collins and a taproom at Denver International Airport.
Then in December SweetWater Brewing announced that it was acquiring San Diego, California-based Green Flash Brewing and Alpine Beer, both companies that have seen better days.
California is an equally pot-friendly state, but that said, the company will be moving the actual brewing of those brands to the brewery it purchased in Colorado.
And now comes news that Tilray has purchased Montauk Brewing, a Long Island craft brewery that is hardly a national name.
Downplaying that it primary product is cannabis, Tilray was all about the beer and its distribution in its November 7, announcement…
“Montauk Brewing is an iconic brand with leading market share and distribution in the northeast,” said Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and CEO. “Tilray Brands intends to leverage SweetWater’s existing nationwide infrastructure and Montauk Brewing’s northeast influence to significantly expand our distribution network and drive profitable growth in our beverage-alcohol segment.
But given that Tilray is the largest cannabis producer in the world we suspect that what’s really at play here is a nationwide network of cannabis-infused beverages down the line.