CBD-infused beer is already becoming a ‘thing’ in the United States, and it is set to become an international product in the very near future. As it doesn’t provide you with the same ‘high’ as THC, it is legal for breweries in many states (as well as several countries around the world) to include cannabidiol in their “hoppy” concoctions.
While it may seem like a strange blend, adding CBD to beer actually makes perfect sense; hemp and hops are genetically related, which means they share numerous characteristics such as medicinal qualities, aromas, and flavors. Also, since CBD is classified as a ‘dietary supplement’ in most states, it is legal for sale and brewers are taking full advantage. Read on to find out why CBD-infused beer may just be the most exciting thing to hit the alcohol market in recent memory.
Which Brewers Are Getting Involved?
The Long Trail Brewery in Killington, Vermont, is fast becoming one of the east coast’s biggest sellers of CBD-infused beer. The company recently announced its intention to sell a hybrid of American Pale Ale and IPA, which includes terpenes and hemp oil. Known as Medicator, this beer comes from a collaboration between the brewer and another firm in the industry called Luce Farm.
It was a surprisingly long and arduous process coming up with the final concoction, and Long Trail confirmed that it took six batches to finally come up with what is now known as Medicator. In the early batches, too much CBD was being lost and it took a while to figure out how (and when) to include CBD and terpenes in the brewing process.
At present, Medicator is now a limited-edition beer with just 30 barrels, but the company does plan to make more – if demand is high enough. The release of Medicator is actually the second collaboration between the two breweries, as back in the summer of 2017 they worked together to release a beer made from Luce Farm’s CBD-infused honey.
Another exciting up and coming CBD “master brewer” is Oregon’s Coalition Brewing, who released its first CBD beer (named Two Flowers IPA) back in November 2016. It is an Indian Pale Ale infused with cannabidiol, and its taste has been described as ‘crisp, light, bitter, and refreshing.’ According to Coalition Brewing, the grassiness of the CBD augments the bitterness of the hops, while the aromatics and hop flavors of beer are complemented by the citrus taste of the terpenes. Such entirely delicious to us.
The alcohol content is 6%, while each 12 oz glass contains roughly 3 mg of CBD – a very decent dose in terms of therapeutic relief from a range of conditions. However, this is significantly less than the 20 mg of CBD that is infused in Medicator.
At the time of writing, Two Flowers IPA is available in 30 bars across Oregon, with the majority of them located in Portland. The brewery has since released other CBD-infused beers in limited edition form, including Charlie Brown and Herbs of a Feather.
It Isn’t All Good News
Despite CBD’s non-intoxicating nature, some brewers have found it difficult to sell their CBD-infused beers. Dad & Dudes Brewery in Colorado, for example, was the first firm to receive TTB-approval for the new kind of beer, which they began selling back in 2015. However, the company soon faced roadblocks due to the DEA’s declaration that CBD is a Schedule 1 substance.
Dad & Dudes responded by joining the Hemp Industries Association in a lawsuit against the government agency. Unperturbed by federal stupidity, the brewery is now determined to expand, and it actually unveiled several cannabis-infused beers (to excellent acclaim) at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
Additionally, in March 2018 a Massachusetts-based brewery called Down the Road Beer Co. requested permission to add CBD to its brand-new creation, Goopmassta Session IPA. Alas, the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission rejected the application, saying that adding cannabinoid extract to any alcoholic beverage was considered “adulteration of alcohol,” which is illegal in the state of Massachusetts. However, little do they know that the issue isn’t even with CBD itself! Oddly enough, brewers in Massachusetts are allowed to add industrial hemp in the manufacturing of alcohol, under certain specified conditions (including that the hemp is sourced from outside the U.S.)
Unfortunately, we recently learned that Long Trail is having difficulties with the sale of Medicator. The beer’s label is being reviewed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and it will not be available for sale until it receives the ‘certificate of label approval’. What’s worse is that the decision will probably take months. It is a cruel blow for Long Trail, not least because it prevented the firm from selling Medicator at the Vermont Brewer’s Festival, which took place back on March 24, 2018.
Despite the holdup, the company is remaining positive and believes it will receive approval sooner rather than later. When Medicator was unveiled at the Long Trail Bridgewater Corner brewery during President’s Day Weekend in 2017, for instance, all cases (4-packs for $19.99) were sold out within three days.
CBD-Infused Beer Is Going International
Legendary marijuana news publication High Times recently wrote a piece on how CBD-infused beer was on its way to the United Kingdom. The Stockton Brewing Company announced its plan to release a CBD beer called Buffalo Soldier Hemp Ale in Durham, England, and classified it as a ‘refreshing blonde ale.’ The first batch is due at the beginning of May, 2018.
Buffalo Soldier will be the first cannabis oil infused beer ever to be released in the UK. As it doesn’t contain THC, you won’t get high from it, and with an alcohol content of just 3.8%, it is a mild beer that’s unlikely even to give you a hangover. According to the brewery, Buffalo Soldier will be available for £3.50 (which is approximately $5), and will be sold in several bars in the Teesside area.
Final Thoughts on CBD-Infused Beer
The ridiculous lack of common sense being shown by agencies such as the DEA and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau means there is a needless roadblock preventing CBD-infused beer from being sold across the United States. We hope this crazy red tape is dealt with as soon as possible, because not only will CBD-infused beer taste great, but it will also be capable of providing drinkers with a myriad of health benefits. CBD beer has now made its way to the United Kingdom, and it likely won’t be long before other European nations follow suit.