Molson Coors to cease operations of Saint Archer following pandemic hit

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Molson Coors to cease operations of Saint Archer following pandemic hit

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Molson Coors Beverage Company will stop production of its Saint Archer brand and sell its San Diego-based brewery and taproom to Kings & Convicts Brewing Co., which owns the Ballast Point brand.

Saint Archer was founded in 2013 and acquired in 2015 by Molson Coors. While the company has invested ‘significant resources’ behind Saint Archer’s production and commercialization efforts, including expanding the brand beyond its home state and launching nationally a light lager called Saint Archer Gold, Molson Coors cites significant pressure amid the pandemic in a declining San Diego craft market as the reasons for the brand’s demise.

Taproom, bar and restaurant closures in California hit Saint Archer hard overall: while the launch of 'big-bet' Saint Archers Gold was also affected by the pandemic, with the product struggling to build awareness with consumers without events, festivals and other sampling opportunities (the product was shelved in July 2020).

Molson Coors will retain the rights to the Saint Archer brand, though it will cease packaging and distributing its brands effective immediately.

“The Saint Archer team has built a distinct brand that has a very loyal following in Southern California. Unfortunately, the overall business has struggled to grow despite investing significant resources behind its production and commercialization,”​ said Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth & Blake, Molson Coors’ US craft division. “We’ll maintain ownership of the Saint Archer brand as we determine the best long-term plan and remain focused on growing our regional breweries that continue outpacing home-market competitors.”

"We tried to do everything we could to keep the brand going, but it just wasn't financially viable to continue operating.”

Kings & Convicts will take over Saint Archer’s 100,000-barrel capacity Miramar brewery and adjoining taproom, as well as its 1,200-square-foot taproom in Leucadia, Calif. Kings & Convicts, headquartered in San Diego and Highwood, Ill., and plans to retain operations and retail team members at both locations.

Molson Coors says the sale will allow its Tenth & Blake craft division to redirect resources to its other partners, which are faring better. Molson Coors' other US craft brands include Hop Valley Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., Revolver Brewing and Atwater Brewery: which each posted growth through the third quarter.

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