Cannabis-infused beer could be on tap in the future
Monday, September 09, 2019
Usually, if you told beer lovers that the next big trend would involve non-alcoholic beverages, you probably wouldn’t be very popular with them. But if you tell them that it is cannabis being added to beer and not just a sugary virgin cocktail, then you may just redeem yourself in their eyes.
In that vein, cannabis beer seems to be the new craft beer on the horizon.
However, cannabis-infused beer alternatives have been confusing even for CBD enthusiasts who are game to try anything.
Initially, alcohol industry stalwarts and groups tried to prevent cannabis legalization. But when they saw that the movement is unstoppable, they decided to join it and market cannabis beer as an alternative drink.
The emerging cannabis space offered a viable solution for them when the beer market reached saturation and the craft beer segment slowed down. With consumers continually looking for something new, cannabis beer represents one of the most significant growth opportunities for the industry as a whole.
The latest to make such an entry announcement is Canadian brewer Providence Brands, which is all set to launch a cannabis beer in Ireland next year. The beer will give drinkers a “high” within about five minutes but will also help them come down quickly due to the presence of decelerates in it.
Cannabis beer contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the active ingredient in cannabis and the reason for the high. For regions where THC is illegal, brewers are experimenting with CBD (cannabidiol), another ingredient in cannabis that causes the user to feel relaxed.
Boston Beer is another big name that announced its entry into the cannabis market after the success of its hard seltzer business. Others, like Lagunitas Brewing, launched cannabis-infused sparkling water.
Corona beer maker Constellation Brands bought a sizable stake in cannabis maker Canopy Growth, and Molson Coors acquired a majority stake in cannabis producer Hydropothecary.
Recreational use of cannabis is legal in Canada, many U.S. states, and regions of Europe. But despite all the hue and cry, cannabis beer is not legal yet. Combining THC with alcohol and selling it commercially is illegal almost everywhere.
So, right now, the THC-infused "beers" that are making waves are actually non-alcoholic. Once the fermentation process is over, isolated THC strains are added.
They are also not to be confused with legal CBD beers, which are brewed using cannabis stems, stalks and roots. Makers of cannabis-infused beer say that their products are healthier and more aligned with what millennials want. It remains to be seen where the industry goes from here.
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