With the year of hard seltzer still fresh in our minds and younger generations of consumers moving away from alcohol, craft breweries are scrambling to expand their portfolios. Some are moving to cannabis, while others are making non-alcoholic drinks. One brewery has decided to focus on both, without the alcohol.
After Keith Villa left MolsonCoors in 2018, the creator of Blue Moon's famous Belgian-white ale founded a cannabis-infused brewing company with his wife, Jodi. The two have planted their flag on the niche market in just over a year, releasing a Belgian-white, IPA and lager infused with THC, with the alcohol removed from the beers after the brewing process.
Now, the Arvada-based cannabis brewery is taking the same recipes — minus the THC — to liquor stores and possibly beyond by selling a sober version of its Belgian and IPA beers across the country.
"The popularity of NA craft beers is being driven by millennials opting for a healthier lifestyle, a growing wellness mindset among a broad segment of the population in the U.S. and globally, and others who just want to reduce their alcohol consumption," Villa says in a statement.
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With 20 percent of Americans considering sober-month mottoes like "Dry January" and "Sober October," non-alcoholic beer makers are ramping up their efforts. According to Global Market Insights, there was a 26 percent increase in non-alcoholic beer volume nationwide over the Fourth of July holiday, and the compound annual growth rate of non-alcoholic beer production will grow over 7 percent through 2025.
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Brewers new and old have taken notice. Matt Vincent, co-owner of Durango's Ska Brewing, has partnered with a cannabis company to make THC seltzers, Left Hand Brewing Company recently released a CBD-infused line of sparkling water, and non-alcoholic beer makers like Gruvi are marketing themselves on terpenes and sobriety instead of hops and ABV. California-based Lagunitas Brewing Company launched a cannabis-infused hoppy seltzer in Colorado this fall, and makes a non-alcoholic version of the drink, as well.
According to Ceria, the drinks will be available in February exclusively at Total Wine & More's 200-plus stores nationwide.
Update: This article was updated on January 18 to correct an error stating that Ska Brewing launched a cannabis seltzer line. Ska reached out to clarify that co-owner Matt Vincent founded the company, and Ska is not involved.