Monster Closes Cigar City Brewery Facility, Lays Off Most of its Staff

March 15, 2024 – Monster Beverage Corporation has closed its main Tampa production facility for Cigar City Brewing and laid off most of its staff there, including founding brewmaster Wayne Wambles. The facility will transition into a hub for the beverage company’s beer, flavored malt beverages, and spirits.

The move follows a similar closure in November of last year of the company’s Oskar Blues facility in Austin, Texas. Production for that brand now takes place at other breweries around the country.

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Cigar City, which was founded in 2007 by Joey Redner, is one of Tampa’s oldest breweries. In 2016 it became part of the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, a group of breweries backed by private equity group Fireman Capital Partners. In 2022, the group was purchased by Monster for $330 million, While it first operated as a subsidiary with some degree of autonomy within the organization, CANarchy officially became part of Monster Brewing Company last month. The division also makes alcoholic versions of Monster’s energy drinks, including The Beast Unleashed and Nasty Beast Hard Tea.

Wambles, who has been with the company since 2007, would have celebrated his 16th anniversary with the company this month. He was laid off on February 9th.

Cigar City’s taprooms in Tampa, as well as its outpost in the Tampa Airport, are not affected by the layoffs and will remain open.