Who owns White Claw? All about the family-owned company behind the seltzer brand

White Claw

White Claw, while it is not the first seltzer to hit the market, has established itself as the go-to brand for a can of hard seltzer. In 2019, the drink became a “victim of its own success” when its unanticipated and rapid popularity caused a nationwide shortage of its stocks in the United States.

After only five years in the business, White Claw owns nearly half of the seltzer market share and pulls in billions in annual sales. On the other hand, the brand’s Vancouver-based parent company is now entering its 50th year since its founding.

Mark Anthony Group is home to the ‘genre-defying’ hard seltzer brand White Claw

The Mark Anthony Group of Companies, known for its innovative beverage brands such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Cayman Jack Margarita, launched the White Claw Hard Seltzer in 2016 to overwhelmingly positive reception.

According to Bloomberg, White Claw is one of the “genre-defying alcoholic beverages” created by Anthony Von Mandl, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mark Anthony Group. He also founded Mike’s Hard Lemonade in 1996 which became popular in its own right.

As of 2019, Mark Anthony beverages were the fourth largest beer company in America with a sizeable share in the drinks market. The company also witnessed a growth of 85 percent within the financial year despite the growing competition from the existing beer brands and the new up-and-coming hard seltzer brands.

Von Mandl, however, has faith that “the consumers flocking to White Claw today are not going to magically return to the mega-beer brands of yesterday” and remains confident about the trajectory of his hard seltzer brand and company as a whole.

Anthony Von Mandl founded the Mark Anthony Group as a wine-importing business in 1972

Anthony Von Mandl
Mark Anthony Group owner Anthony von Mandl | Photo by Getty Images for Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The origin of the Mark Anthony Group can be traced to 1972 when a fresh out of college 22-year-old Von Mandl began a modest business of importing wine to his hometown Vancouver, Canada. However, the business did take off as swiftly as he had hoped since the liquor boards of Canada were not too keen on buying foreign imported wine.

“[Von Mandl] had a little office the size of a cupboard in the back of a building downtown. He was selling German wines, primarily, out of his car,” John Schreiner, Canadian writer and wine columnist, described the humble beginnings of the company to Bloomberg.

Today, the Mark Anthony Group is valued at $3.5 billion. Its portfolio includes a collection of wineries and estate vineyards in Canada’s Okanagan Valley, premium-crafted spirits, and beverage brands that are on the verge of becoming household names.

The company is a family-owned business and prides itself on having “grown organically from a one-person import wine business into an international drinks company”.