What You Need to Know About Marijuana-Infused Beer
Although marijuana-infused beer appears to be another publicity stunt that will eventually fade
away to become a niche product, this time brewers are paying tens of millions of dollars --
sometimes hundreds of millions -- for the privilege. Legal weed is still a new phenomenon, and
because it's not yet national it still has a mystique that makes pairing suds and buds a seemingly
forbidden pleasure. There have been brewers that have been offering a happy mix from the
beginning.In Colorado, where marijuana has been legal longest, Dad & Dude's Breweria has been
successfully selling a cannabis-infused beer for years, and Oregon's Coalition Brewing has
introduced several varieties of beer made with cannabidiol (CBD). Similarly, Heineken's Lagunitas
introduced its SuperCritical limited edition ale made with terpenes, which is responsible for the
cannabis plant's unique aroma and flavor, while Vermont's Long Trail Brewing made a limited run
IPA-like beer made with cannabis compounds.
Although these beers were popular when introduced and enjoy a cult-like following, it's only
because of their newness and the heightened attention to legal weed that they got off the ground.
Marijuana is now attracting the big guns of the business, like Anheuser-Busch, which paid $50
million to partner with Tilray; Constellation Brands, which initially bought a 9.9% stake in Canopy
Growth early last year for $190 million and then added another $4 billion investment later in the
year; and Molson Coors which is forming a joint venture with Hydropothecary inwhich the brewer
will have the controlling interest as it pursues cannabis-infused beverages.
But it's not as if you're going to get high while having a beer. The government doesn't allow the
psychoactive compounds of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be mixed with alcohol, which is
why CBD and terpenes are most often used (there are over 100 cannabinoids, or the chemical
compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that are found in both cannabis and hemp plants).
So if you're buying a marijuana-infused beer thinking you will feel the effects from both, you're
likely going to be disappointed.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) has pretty strict standards about what
products brewers and distillers can use in their alcoholic beverages and what the labels can
say. Brewers have to submit lab analyses of their products stating whether they're using oils,
seeds, or some other component of the plant; how much THC, if any, is detected; and submit
a sample to be tested by the TTB. Also, no words, description, images, slang, etc. can
be used "implying or referencing the presence of hemp, marijuana, any other controlled
substance; or any psychoactive effects."
the crossroads of the beer world
Brewing Monks Use Plant Filters
Koningshoeven abbey is one of only 13 places
in the world to brew Trappist beer, and its
products have won over drinkers around the
world. For all the commercial success, however,
a nagging sense that money has triumphed over
spirituality has prompted the monks to rethink
their use of water after more than 130 years.
The Cistercian monastery on the Dutch-Belgian
border has announced it will be the first brewery
in western Europe to construct a plant-based
water filtration system that avoids the waste of
seven litres of water for every litre of beer made.
In a large greenhouse, 70 species, including
ferns and other sub-tropical plants, sit above
bins of waste water that flows through pipes from
the brewery. The interaction of the micro-
organisms on the plants’ roots and the bacteria
in the water purifies it for reuse.
The new system will purify around 450,000 litres
every seven hours when fully operational without
any need for human intervention. The abbey in
the Dutch village of Berkel-Enschot, in Noord-
Brabant, also produces 43% of its electricity
from solar panels, and the monks even drive
electric cars when they leave the monetary. .
Pizza Hut Delivers Beer
Pizza Hut announced that it will add beer
delivery to nearly 300 restaurants across
Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and
Ohio, as well as additional locations across
initial test markets, California and Arizona.
Further, Pizza Hut aims to have beer delivery
in place at 1,000 restaurants across new
markets by this summer.
Current beers available for the service include
Blue Moon, Bud Light, Budweiser, Busch Light,
Coors Light, Corona Extra, Kilt Lifter, Michelob
Ultra, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Shock Top
and Stella Artois. Sorry, craft beer fans.
Price point varies on availability and market, but
generally range from $3 to $5 for a two-pack and
$6 to $12 for a 6-pack.
The first phase of the latest expansion will be
in place by mid-January, well ahead of the
February 3 Super Bowl LIII game in Atlanta.
The timing is no accident – Pizza Hut took
over as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL
in February 2018 after Papa John’s
seven-year reign. So you won't be seeing those
commercials with Peyton Manning this year.
Pizza Hut does not a a celebrity spokesperson.