Mark Anthony Brewing, the 4th largest brewery in the United States according to its own website,today announced plans to build a new brewery and production facility in Columbia, South Carolina. The company’s USD 400 million investment will create 300 new jobs and represents one the largest economic investments in the history of the city. In addition to production, warehousing and distribution operations will also be located at the facility.
Mark Anthony Brewing provides supply chain management and brewing services for The Mark Anthony Group, one of North America’s fastest-growing beverage companies, and is the leader in the explosive Hard Seltzer and Flavored Malt Beverage categories, according to IRI Worldwide data.
Located in Pineview Industrial Park in Columbia, Mark Anthony Brewing’s new facility will produce White Claw Hard Seltzer, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Mike’s Harder Lemonade and Cayman Jack Cocktails. The new facility will provide much-needed capacity to keep up with consumer demand in the southern United States.
“Once complete, this new state-of-the-art facility will be a center of excellence for our patented PureBrew process which allows White Claw, Mike’s and our growing portfolio of market-leading beverages to taste like no other.”Mark Anthony Brewing President John Sacksteder was quoted in a media release.
Construction is slated to begin almost immediately, and the more than one million square-foot facility will be built at record speed and is expected to be fully operational by summer 2021.
The Columbia plant will be Mark Anthony’s third own production facility. The first plant is located in Hillside, New Jersey and the second one will be in Glendale, Arizona.
In January, the company announced to invest USD 250 million in the new 916,000 square foot state-of-the-art operation in Arizona and said it planned to start production within seven months (inside.beer, 14.1.2020). In July, even before construction was finished, the company started to hire personnel for the Glendale plant.
Anthony von Mandl, Canadian billionaire and owner of The Mark Anthony Groupearned his wealth with Mike's Hard Lemonade, a mix of vodka, natural flavors and carbonated water which defined the flavored malt beverage category after its introduction in Canada in 1996. Three years later in 1999 when the product was launched in the U.S.A, the vodka base was replaced by a proprietary malt base.
In 2015, Mark Anthony Group sold the rights to its ready-to-drink brands in Canada (including Mike’s Hard Lemonade) to Labatt Breweries, part of AB InBev, for USD 350 million but retained the rights to sell the beverages US market which is 5 times bigger.
Building on the success of Mike's Hard Lemonade, the company introduced in 2016 White Claw Hard Seltzer, an alcoholic seltzer water beverage which is sold in six different fruit flavors. White Claw took the market by storm despite the fact that the brand was not the first of its category. Within a very short time White Claw could capture more than half of the fast growing market which takes it appeal from the increased demand from health-conscious consumers who do not want to refrain from alcohol. According to a survey, hard seltzer is sourcing 55% of its drinkers from beer, 37% from wine and spirits, and 8% from FMBs and cider. Within beer, about 15% are coming from craft.