Blue Moon creator launches new brewery to produce THC-laced cannabis beer
Blue Moon creator Keith Villa has launched a new business dedicated to producing cannabis-infused craft beer.
Villa, who announced his retirement from US drinks giant Molson Coors in January after working at the firm for 32 years, has now launched Ceria, a company “dedicated to the creation of custom and cannabis-infused
non-alcoholic craft beer.”
Ceria, which was co-founded by Keith and his wife Jodie, will brew non-alcoholic beers infused with THC, the psychoactive chemical compound present in cannabis, in a variety of strengths with a view to rolling the drinks out in legalised cannabis states by the end of the year.
“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,” Villa said.
“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.”
The Villas added that the new beer brand, which has yet to be named, will also be less caloric than traditional beer, due to the elimination of alcohol.“
“Ceria will be brewed just like an alcoholic craft beer to maintain its beer taste and aroma, but will then be de-alcoholised prior to the infusion of cannabis,” said Keith.
The beers will be offere in at least three strengths – light, regular, and full-bodied – with a “variety of sensations,” according to the website.
Ceria is working closely with Ebbu, a cannabinoid research firm also based in Colorado which has developed a set of formulations that “inspire specific sensations.”
“We are honored and thrilled to partner with Keith, Jodi and CERIA to bring this groundbreaking new product to cannabis consumers in legalised states,” Jon Cooper, CEO of Ebbu, said.
The news comes after a number of drinks firms have shown an interest in cannabis-laced products since the US government relaxed laws around recreational use in a number of states.
In the US, recreational marijuana use is currently legal in eight US states, while 21 states allow it for medicinal purposes, while recreational use of cannabis was made legal in California on 1 January 2018.
The industry was worth US$6 billion in 2016, and is forecast to reach $50 billion by 2026.
Last month, Chris Burggraeve Anheuser-Busch’s former chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg that cannabis is set to take over from craft beer in terms of consumer appeal.
“The same way that craft beer started and, for the longest time, was ignored and then exploded, there’s no reason why the same thing wouldn’t happen in this space.”