Experts Concerned Over New Monster Energy Alcohol Drink
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Monster Energy Releases ‘Beast Unleashed’ Alcoholic Beverages, But Experts Are Concerned

Monster Energy

Monster Energy is going all-in on alcoholic mayhem with its latest release. Some critics think it represents a dangerous direction for the alcohol industry at large. (Photo: Monster)

Following months of speculation, Monster Energy is finally releasing its Beast Unleashed line of 6% ABV canned alcoholic beverages. But not everyone is happy about it.

Monster Energy first announced the alcoholic brand in late 2022, months after their $330 million purchase of the CANarchy Craft Brewing Collective. Now, they’re debuting Peach Perfect, Mean Green, White Haze and Scary Berries flavors of their boozy concoction across the United States.

Packaging on Beast Unleashed reads, “Our favorite brand Monster is about to turn 21. We figure why not celebrate the big day by making an adult beverage. We hit delete on the energy blend, cut out the caffeine, and ditched the sugar.”

Monster definitely made the right move not to include caffeine. In the eyes of many consumers, the closest relative to Beast Unleashed is Four Loko, the college cult favorite that famously had to remove caffeine from its formula in 2010 following criticism that it hit like a “blackout in a can.”

Still, the very existence of a Monster-branded alcohol drink has been enough to stir controversy.

In a recently published article titled “Big Soda’s Alcohol Drinks Worry Health Experts,” The New York Times compared Beast Unleashed to another recent launch, Hard Mountain Dew.

Monster Energy

The Hard Mtn Dew line. (Photo: Mountain Dew)

Mountain Dew, a subsidiary of Pepsi-Cola, and Monster Energy, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, represent two sides of a well-funded coin that will be flooding the market with green-tinted alcohol drinks for years to come.

NYT writer Ted Alcorn argued that these drinks represent a worrying direction for the increasingly popular ready-to-drink beverage market. By using beloved brand names (whose offerings are readily available to children), big companies are able to pack up huge amounts of alcohol in an unsuspecting and uniquely marketable package.

“Hard Mtn Dew exemplifies these trends. It is sugar- and caffeine-free, and taps into consumers’ connection to a brand they’ve known for years. Although the new product is 5 percent alcohol by volume, a 24-ounce can contain the equivalent of two standard drinks,” said Alcorn.

Consumers are voicing the same concerns, albeit with a slightly different tone.

In a review titled “I Drank Hard Mountain Dew and Felt Like I Was Staring at God,” writer Alex Perry opened by saying, “I feel like the scientist at the beginning of a disaster movie who’s just discovered that something profoundly dangerous is hurtling towards all of us.”

Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages have been exploding as of late; the category is even projected to outpace the popularity of hard seltzers by 2026. But as more consumers are exposed to these hybrid drinks, it’s difficult to predict where public opinion will fall.

Monster Energy

Within the past two years, Coca-Cola has announced the debut of Simply Spiked Lemonade, Fresca Mixed, Topo Chico Ranch Water and a new slickly packaged take on Jack & Coke.

Opinions are bound to vary.

At the very least, we think it’s fair to voice caution about an energy-branded alcohol drink that will do just about everything but give you energy.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.