After announcing his retirement from MolsonCoors earlier this year, Blue Moon Brewing company founder and creator, Keith Villa has announced his next venture: THC-infused beer.
The new company, called Ceria Beverages, will be helmed by Villa as co-founder and brewmaster, and his wife, Jodi Villa as CEO. “Ceria” is named for a part of the University of Brussels campus, in Belgium, where Villa received his doctorate in brewing science.
This is no hemp beer. According to an announcement from Ceria, which is based in Arvada, Col., a suburb of Denver, the company has been working with cannabinoid research firm, Ebbu to develop a cannabis-infused beverage that contains THC, along with other cannabinoids and terpenes, to produce the psychoactive experience of being “high,” while having the same onset time as alcohol.
This differs from other cannabis-infused beers, which cannot legally contain both THC and alcohol (Ceria will be non-alcoholic), and it differs from other cannabis-infused beverages and edibles, which can be unpredictable. (Cracking a can won’t lead to that “woops, I ate the whole brownie and am high off my ass for five hours,” experience.)
Ceria is calling the beverage “non-alcoholic craft beer” because it will be brewed like beer and taste like beer, but the carbonated brew will be de-alcoholized prior to being infused with cannabis, Villa said. The drink will be sold at cannabis dispensaries, not breweries, Westword reports.
“I’m ready to introduce another high-impact brand to the industry again, this time with a new line of custom cannabis-infused craft beers. Today, the opportunity and the demand are here, inviting Americans to enjoy a more social way of consuming cannabis – by drinking rather than by smoking it or through ingestion of edibles,” Villa said.
This is an interesting development at a time that marijuana is increasingly becoming legalized for recreational use, raising questions among brewers and other beverage industry professionals as to whether cannabis and craft beer, and other alcoholic beverages, will compete.