Molson Coors Beverage Co., Chicago, announced a partnership with CKBG to distribute Superbird, a 100 percent blue agave tequila-based cocktail. The agreement marks Molson Coors first entry into the premium ready-to-drink (RTD) spirits category and its latest move beyond the beer aisle.

Through the Molson Coors distribution network, Superbird will seek to expand distribution nationally, beginning with 10 new markets in spring 2021.

“We have clearly executed on our promise to evolve our portfolio beyond beer and moving into fast-growing RTD cocktail space with an incredible brand like Superbird only strengthens our position as a true beverage company,” said Pete Marino, president of emerging growth at Molson Coors, in a statement. “CKBG created a delicious, authentic, super-premium brand, and it equips our company, and our distributors with another high-quality option.” 

Joe Marchese, co-founder of CKBG, added: “We’re thrilled to partner with Molson Coors and have a distribution network that aligns with our higher purpose. We’re honored to be working hand in hand with one of the best beverage companies in the world, and one that understands the high-quality standards to which we hold ourselves and our product.”

Superbird is a canned, carbonated, 5.9 percent alcohol-by-volume take on a Paloma made with 100 percent blue agave tequila grown and processed in Tequila, Mexico; natural grapefruit juice; agave nectar; and sparkling water. The hand-crafted premium RTD cocktail has no sugars or artificial ingredients.

Envisioned by industry innovator Richard Betts, Superbird was created after years of research to find the right spirit, locality, materials and equipment needed to create a high-quality handcrafted Paloma cocktail.

“With Superbird, we created a ready-to-drink Paloma with high quality tequila that we handcraft ourselves, resulting in a purer blanco liquid,” said Richard Betts, co-founder of CKBG. “Finding the local craftsmen and canneries who understood what we were trying to achieve was key. And now bringing Superbird to customers with the right distribution partner is the ultimate accomplishment.”

CKBG first launched Superbird as a ready-to-drink cocktail in 2020.  Since then, the RTD spirits category has experienced a 142 percent growth in 2020 and will be worth an estimated $1.2 billion in 2021, the company says citing Nielsen insights.

The partnership represents Molson Coors’ latest effort to expand beyond beer, a move that has diversified its portfolio to include an expanding roster of wine and spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, better-for-you offerings, energy drinks and CBD beverages.