With CBD legalized across much of the U.S. (though not at the federal level) and marijuana legalization slowly — or quickly — sweeping its way across the country, breweries don’t want to be left behind. CBD or cannabidiol has found its way into pretty much every product, whether it makes sense or not. Some of the best examples are the CBD creams and muscle balms for athletes, like those from Beam, and mellow smoking products like Dad Grass. Even a sports drink company, BioSteel, is starting to push products infused with CBD. It’s no surprise the laidback beer industry, which is often associated with marijuana, wants a piece of the industry it’s so close to.
There’s a natural connection, too, when it comes to beer and CBD. Cannabis and hops both belong to the same Cannabaceae plant family. That’s why there are so many beers a novice IPA lover might take a big whiff of and say, “Whoa, that smells like weed.” Don’t be surprised if, as weed becomes more normalized in the world, more beers start to utilize the herb to further enhance its beers. Breweries are combining booze and weed, or booze and THC. But they’re also hopping on the health crazes and mixing CBD oil with non-alcoholic brews. Here are our favorite hemp, CBD, and cannabis beers.
If New Belgium, one of the nation’s largest brewers, can jump on the hemp-derived bandwagon (earlier than most at that), then it’s likely only a matter of time more breweries make beers infused with hemp, CBD and THC. Unlike many of the beers on this list, The Hemperor is wildly distributed. For those who’ve purchased the beer, whether for true enjoyment or pure curiosity, you’ll remember how pungent the weed-like smell was when you cracked open the cap. Really, though, all the hemp in The Hemperor does is amplify the hoppy flavors of the “Hemp Pale Ale.”
Unlike a lot of hemp- or cannabis-derived beers, the long-time brewery Humboldt decided to stray away from the hop-heavy IPA and pale ale style for its hemp beer. Thankfully, Humboldt took a creative route with its beer. The Humboldt Hemp Ale is brewed with toasted hemp seeds to give off the earthy-dank herbal notes. The best part about a well-brewed brown ale is how a well-hopped schedule can actually improve it. That’s the case here, as well.
Keith Villa created a beer that transformed many light beer drinkers into craft beer drinkers: Blue Moon. The two nationwide flagships of his new endeavor, Ceria Brewing Co., are not cannabis or CBD-infused, but non-alcoholic beers. Still, part of the reason Villa retired from MillerCoors and the Blue Moon empire he built was to pursue brewing with cannabis. And he now makes those beers for dispensaries in Colorado and, soon, California. He recently went on a big PR tour supporting a new book: “Brewing with Cannabis: Using THC and CBD in Beer.”
Flying Dog Brewing Co.’s labels are, on their own, plenty eye-popping. The beers, like its infamous Raging Bitch Belgian IPA and Doggie Style Pale Ale are fabulous beers. So Flying Dog’s partnership with Leaf Medical Cannabis provides a delicious example of what a cannabis beer can be. The beer was non-alcoholic, but really, when you’re sipping on a weed drink, what’s the need for booze?
Lagunitas has had its fair share of run-ins with weed, so why not keep it rolling? The Hi-Fi Hops Cannabis-Infused Hoppy Sparkling Water hits all the high notes. First, it capitalizes on the THC craze, building on top of the non-alcoholic buzz with the sparkling water hype. Three separate brands carry a variety of different THC and CBD levels, keeping it all cool with zero alcohol.
Two Roots has a great array of cannabis-infused beers, all registering below 0.5% alcohol. The IPA-spired New West and the new take on a hefeweizen, Tropical Infamy both offer up 5MG of THC with a burst of beer flavor. Grapefruit Fight, Mango Dango and Straight Dank can punch up the fruity hoppiness with 10MG of THC. Shadow Monk drops the THC back down but allows the Dubbel-inspired non-alcoholic beer, perfect for an after-dinner treat.
The labels of Green Times Brewing beers read like a mouth-watering IPA. Take Five, the New England
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