Last week, it was announced that Houston’s Bayou City Hemp Co., which touts itself the leading cannabis operator in Texas, announced the acquisition of 8th Wonder Brewery, Distillery and Cannabis — one of the city’s most popular craft brewers and distillers. The announcement follows a series of successful collaborations between the two to create non-alcoholic THC beverages for canna-curious Texas consumers.
The acquisition integrates the artisanal expertise of the iconic Houston craft brewer with the cutting-edge science of Texas’ largest and most trusted cannabis operator. With a C-suite that draws from a wide range of experience (oil and gas, beverage sciences, CPG branding and marketing), Bayou City Hemp is poised to capture the Texas adult beverage market with a diversified portfolio of leading brands. The transaction has enormous implications for both the Texas beverage industry and the U.S. cannabis market, which is expected to grow to more than $86 billion by 2030.
“We’re excited to welcome the 8th Wonder Team to the Bayou City Family,” said Benjamin Meggs, chief executive officer of Bayou City Hemp. “Our commitment to provide quality products and trusted brands to consumers is strengthened with 8th Wonder, who has been a Texas staple in craft beer and spirits for over a decade. We look forward to growing market share and distribution to the entire portfolio of products through expanded resources and combined expertise. This is not merely an acquisition. It is a bold declaration of our intent to lead and innovate in the heart of Texas.”
As the first of its kind, the combined company houses cannabis, craft beer and spirits under one roof to be distributed and sold together in traditional sales channels across the country. Bayou City Hemp will leverage the established and trusted brand awareness 8th Wonder has built over the last decade to accelerate its portfolio’s speed to market.
“From day one at 8th Wonder, our goal was to build a hundred-year company,” said Ryan Soroka, cofounder and principal architect of the highly successful 8th Wonder brand. “This transaction will provide the leadership and resources needed to achieve that dream. We look forward to a refreshed and revitalized 8th Wonder as we move forward with Bayou City Hemp into the exciting future of the beverage and cannabis industries.”
The acquisition is expected to provide, among others, the following strategic benefits:
Texas’ Most Innovative and Integrated Beverage Company: The acquisition of 8th Wonder by Bayou City Hemp creates a ground-breaking new entity, committed to bringing innovative beverages to market and meeting consumer demand across all categories. The cutting-edge nano-emulsions pioneered by Bayou City Hemp, complemented with the complex beverage formulations from 8th Wonder, results in redefining what is possible, and expected, by Texas beverage consumers, retailers and restaurants.
Strategic Footprint: The transaction positions Bayou City Hemp to leverage 8th Wonder’s existing distribution network, industry relationships and strong brand equity to immediately gain shelf placement in traditional sales channels, across thousands of points of distribution, including at top Texas retailers such as HEB, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Total Wine, and Specs.
Accelerated Growth: Bayou City Hemp assigns significant value and resources to 8th Wonder. Industry partners will see a refreshed and revitalized 8th Wonder, with the capability to reach new consumers, while preserving the iconic spirit of the brand that Texans know and love. As part of Bayou City Hemp, 8th Wonder will have access to significant capital, expanding the brand’s footprint to compete with national players in craft beer and spirits as well as the emerging NA beer and RTD spirits categories.
Bayou City Hemp welcomes 8th Wonder principals to the combined executive team. 8th Wonder’s Brewmaster and co-founder Dr. Aaron Corsi, joins as Chief Operating Officer. Ryan Soroka, 8th Wonder president and cofounder, joins as chief brand and marketing officer. The company will continue under the leadership of Benjamin Meggs as chief executive officer and cofounder, Jeromy Sherman as chief business officer and cofounder, Karen Trotter as chief financial officer, Joel Canada as chief revenue officer and Stephen Horton as chief innovation officer.
Bayou City Hemp’s combined portfolio of THC beverages hit menus and store shelves in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas earlier this year. They are available for order across the state through Flood Distribution now.