As cannabis continues to proliferate the mainstream, customers are allowed more and more avenues to their beloved THC. Way back in the day, folks regularly went the brownie route when they didn’t want to smoke pot, and if they had a friend with some ingenuity they ate weed butter popcorn or weed butter pasta. Now, however, consumers are afforded an array of elegant chocolates, chewy gummy worms, deep fried soul food and even—yes—infused drinks.
While the marijuana industry continues its rise up the monetary ranks, craft beer is rising right along with it. In the past five years, the number of microbreweries in the U.S. increased from about 2,000 to nearly 6,000. That’s a lot of thousands! And as pot continues its path toward total legalization, more of the creative folks who cook up our craft beer are getting into the infusion industry, with products ranging from hemp- and CBD-infused beer to THC-infused apple ciders.
In August, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Co. rolled out a beer brewed with elements extracted from cannabis plants. While the beer won’t get you high, it’s a step in the right direction. And Lagunitas, while one of the bigger breweries moving towards canna-beer, isn’t the only one. Humboldt Brewing Co., also from the Golden State, makes beer with toasted hemp seeds; Oregon’s Coalition Brewing invented the world’s first CBD-infused brew; and in Montana, the famed KettleHouse Brewing Co. created a Pale Ale made with Canadian-grown hemp. Aside from the novelty, brewers enjoy using industrial hemp (hemp without THC) because it contains certain fatty acids that are healthy for the consumer and—fun fact!—using hemp seeds adds a nice creaminess to the beverage.
A handful of other breweries have released similar hemp-infused brews, but so far there are no commercially available suds infused with THC. But don’t let the lack of THC-infused beer get you down: There are still delicious drinks on the market that will get you high. Remember that sparkling cider you used to drink as a kid on Thanksgiving when all the adults were drinking champagne? Well, now you can drink something similar—and get stoned while doing it!
Washington’s Happy Apple, a 10mg, 12-ounce bottle of delicious, Washington-picked apples carbonated and pressed into juice, finished with the joy of cannabis, is now available in stores—the closest thing to a drink you can find in your favorite pub. Happy Apple, which is non-alcoholic, is made from a new and unique emulsion process (aka wizardry), so the stuff doesn’t taste or smell like those skunky brownies and pot pasta you had decades ago.
And as the pages of the calendar continue to turn, more innovations will befall the happy pot lover. While craft beer and weed haven’t met in the middle the way perhaps we’d all like to see, these two lovebirds will assuredly wed soon. In the meantime, try a frothy, CBD-infused brew and finish it off with a THC-infused cider. Cheers!