Blue Moon Creator Releases Weed-Infused IPA

Keith Villa is still brewing beer, but he's subbing the alcohol for cannabis now.
Keith Villa is still brewing beer, but he's subbing the alcohol for cannabis now. Danielle Lirette
Colorado cannabis brewery Ceria Brewing Company has added to its lineup of pot-infused barley pops with a new IPA.

Founded by Blue Moon creator Keith Villa in 2018, Ceria debuted in Colorado dispensaries with a Belgian-style white ale and followed it up with an American lager. The newest offering, Indiewave, provides a more hoppy kick for craft-beer fans looking for an alternative to alcohol, according to Villa.

“People in Colorado love to drink craft beer and socialize with friends,” he says. “When my wife and I started the company, we wanted to make a socially acceptable way to have cannabis. There were a lot of edibles like gummies and chocolate out there, but we wanted to create something people could enjoy with family and friends and remove the stigma around cannabis.”

Ceria removes the alcohol from its beers after a traditional brewing process — which includes Cascade, Citra and Amarillo hops — and infuses the beer with THC.

The new IPAs are currently only available at the Green Solution, which now has 21 locations throughout Colorado. According to TGS district manager Casey Efting, Villa's cannabis beers sell quickly at the state's largest dispensary chain.

“The partnership with Ceria is perfect,” says district manager Casey Efting. “We’re drawn toward top brands in the industry, and Ceria products come in quickly and stock quickly. We’ve also carried its products since the end of 2018, and we want to continue that really good relationship we have with Ceria.”

Efting says the new IPA's hoppy flavor profile is geared toward consumers who may not have a taste for sweeter flavors. “It’s good for adults who don’t really have a sweet tooth,” he explains. “It has a more mature taste, and is also good for adults who don’t want to smoke or vape, but are looking for that social aspect of cannabis.”

Villa says the beer is infused with enough cannabis to have similar intoxication levels of a beer's worth of alcohol, but he is considering brewing cannabis beers with less THC than 5 or 10 milligrams.

“It was difficult to create a great-tasting beer that doesn’t have alcohol, but we figured out how to fuse cannabis at levels that are somewhat similar to the same alcohol level if the beer had alcohol," he adds. “People want to stay in control without getting too stoned. The feedback we got is that our consumers want to enjoy a beer without losing control or getting too high, and that’s what we plan to achieve next.”
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