In this Craft Beer & Brewing article, John M. Verive dives into the why's and how's of making alc-free beers and seltzers. Read the full article here or a snippet below!
Beer never stands still. It seems like every week there’s another story about changing consumer habits, drinkers’ renewed focus on healthy lifestyle, beer’s slowing growth among a new generation of drinkers, or pressure on the industry from legalized marijuana. Each story seems to presage the announcement of a new brand of seltzer, kombucha, or nonalcoholic (NA) beer.
As craft brewers have shown—while contributing to the proliferation of variously flavored hard seltzer brands—if there’s demand for a drink, then there’s a will to produce it, regardless of whether they’re excited about doing it.
However, there’s a new breed of beverages developing in parallel with the nascent cannabis industry that has some craft-beer veterans particularly excited.
From CBD seltzer to THC-infused (near) beer, the vanguard of these cannabis-tinged functional beverages is already available, with more on the way.
I saw that a local dispensary here in California was offering a sale on CERIA Brewing cans. In the name of research, I ordered a couple cans of Grainwave “cannabis-infused beverage.”
Its lack of alcohol notwithstanding, Grainwave is tasty—like a malty grapefruit soda but considerably drier. There is none of that “weedy” botanical twang that’s often present in edibles—that’s another benefit of the emulsified THC. With just 5 mg of THC, the 12-ounce can hit about as hard as a pint of session beer: almost imperceptibly relaxing. (Notably, CERIA’s cannabis-infused Indiewave IPA, also nonalcoholic, has 10 mg of THC plus 10 mg of CBD. It may hit differently.)
After nursing the glass of infused near-beer in my office, I sat back and imagined a sunny patio bar in the springtime, a breeze in the trees, and high puffy clouds. I could easily imagine ordering another glass of Grainwave.