After creating and building Blue Moon, legendary brewer Keith Villa retired in 2018 and began looking for a new project. He found an outlet for his mile high aspirations at home in Colorado. Villa’s new brewery, Ceria will produce de-alcoholized beers infused with marijuana.
“Now, with the opening of markets and minds to the amazing experience of cannabis, we are marrying beautifully crafted beers with the magic of cannabis, proudly bringing into the mainstream an experience both happily familiar and entirely extraordinary,” explained Ceria’s mission statement.
The brewery’s first offering will be Grainwave, another Belgian-style White Ale. The zero ABV ale is described by marketing materials as offering “a medium bodied ale brewed with blood orange peel and coriander.”
And, then there’s the marijuana part. The beer is infused with THC (not CBD, the real stuff). Grainwave comes in 10oz. bottles, each delivering 5mg of THC. For comparison, that’s about the same dosage found in most gummy bear edibles.
Grainwave will go on sale at marijuana dispensaries in Colorado in December. Expanded distribution in California and Nevada is planned for December.
In addition, Ceria’s range is slated for expansion in the first quarter of next year. American Light Lager will offer 2.5mg. of THC and an India Pale Ale will deliver a stronger dose, clocking in at 10mg.
The fusion of legalized marijuana and alcohol is a building wave. In much publicized moves, Constellation bought a chunk of Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth; Breakthru partnered up with CannTrust, and Diageo is reportedly courting a weed producer of their own.
However, while marijuana is now legal in Canada and several American states (welcome to the club, Michigan!), it is still illegal under federal law. The national prohibition is likely the impetus behind Villa’s de-alcoholized beer.
Many breweries that tried to brew suds with buds experienced a clampdown by the Federales; others were forced to make marijuana beer by removing the marijuana. Others like Lagunitas Brewing Company opted for the booze free beer route like Ceria.
Still, as far as near-beer is concerned, we have high hopes. Villa is a pioneer in the beer biz’. After earning a Doctorate in beer brewing (in Belgium, of course,) he created the Blue Moon brand for Coors contributing to a paradigm shift in American drinking. He also knows a few things about marketing; famously, Blue Moon was struggling to stay afloat until 2001 when Villa began promoting the idea of an orange garnish for his pints… The rest is history.
And, we’re, er, high on the future.