Molson Coors’ Fort Worth brewery upgrades deliver

Earlier this year, Fort Worth’s $65 million fully automated variety packer facility came online, increasing Molson Coors’ ability to package variety packs of its beyond beer products. 

That followed a major investment in 2021 that grew Molson Coors’ flavoured beverage production capacity by 400%.

Fort Worth has undergone an evolution – moving from a beer only brewery to a facility capable of producing a whole host of Molson Coors’ beyond beer products like Vizzy Hard Seltzer, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Simply Spiked. 

Fort Worth has undergone major upgrades to increase its capabilities, and as such has played an outsized role in helping the company complete that transition.

Now, as Molson Coors continues to increase its ability to produce and deliver above-premium products, Fort Worth stands as the company’s only U.S. brewery producing both hard seltzers and flavored alcohol beverages. It produces about 1.7 million barrels of beyond beer and flavour offerings annually, including Steel Reserve, Henry Weinhard’s Soda and Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, about 20% of the brewery’s total output.

The upgrades have given the brewery flexibility to produce, package and store products in house, making for a more efficient end-to-end process, 

And they’ve come at a time of increased demand for Molson Coors’ products, including Simply Spiked, whose Simply Spiked Peach variety was the No. 1 new product by dollar share in the second quarter, according to Circana, as well as Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Vizzy Hard Seltzer, which the number three and four hard seltzer brands, respectively.

Jim Crawford, vice president of operations for the Fort Worth brewery, said: “These projects have not only set us up to produce what consumers are demanding now, but will allow us to do things in the future we’re not able to do today.”

“In the past, whenever we brew an alcohol base, we’d have to use the same brewhouses we brewed beer in,” Crawford says. “It took away our capacity to brew beer.”

But the upgrades, which included a new, state-of-the-art filtration system, a new brewing line and the variety pack line, have eliminated the problem, as well as Molson Coors’ reliance on outside production for products like Simply Spiked.

“At this point, we are entirely self-sufficient,” Crawford says. “There’s very little we can’t do.”

Molson Coors is in the process of upgrading numerous facilities across the world.

In 2021, it invested about $100 million to upgrade its hard seltzer production in Canada and put another $35 million into its U.K. operations for a variety of improvements, including adding its first hard seltzer canning line. Earlier this year, its new brewery near Montreal came online and the company’s multi-hundred-million dollar overhaul of the Golden, Colo., brewery is expected to be complete next year.

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