Creator of Blue Moon has sights on cannabis-infused craft beer in Colorado
April 26, 2018
When Keith Villa, Ph.D., the creator and head brewmaster of Blue Moon Brewing Co., announced his retirement from MolsonCoors in January after 32 years of service, he hinted about plans to create a new beverage product with "cutting edge" ingredients.
Those plans are now coming to fruition with the official launch of Ceria Beverages, based in Arvada. Among the company's goals this year is to introduce a line of cannabis-infused non-alcoholic craft beverages containing THC, a key psychoactive chemical from cannabis plants that affects how one feels by creating the "high."
Ceria's products will be designed to deliver a consistent user experience with the same onset time as alcohol.
Villa will serve as co-founder and brewmaster of Ceria. The other co-founder is his wife Jodi, a civil engineer who will serve as CEO. Based at the couple's operations in Arvada, Ceria derives its name from the university campus in Brussels, Belgium, where Keith became one of the few people in the world to receive a doctorate in brewing science based upon his dissertation on complex biochemical reactions in beer.
"I'm ready to introduce another high-impact brand to the industry again, this time with a new line of custom cannabis-infused craft beers. Today, the opportunity and the demand are here, inviting Americans to enjoy a more social way of consuming cannabis — by drinking rather than by smoking it or through ingestion of edibles."
'Maintain its beer taste'
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Ceria is working closely with ebbu, a leading cannabinoid research firm also based in Colorado. The company has developed a set of cannabis formulations that inspire specific sensations, all of which can be consistently dosed and delivered in a true water-soluble format.
These cannabis formulations — containing THC and other cannabinoids and terpenes — will be processed and infused by licensed marijuana processors, bottled and/or canned on-site by the licensee, and then sold chilled in licensed dispensaries, first in Colorado, then in other states where the use of recreational marijuana is legal.
Villa's plans for a cannabis-infused beverage with top-quality craft beer taste will be offered in legalized cannabis states by the end of 2018 in at least three strengths — light, regular and full-bodied — with a variety of sensations. Consumers must be a minimum age of 21 and use the product responsibly.
"Ceria will be brewed just like an alcoholic craft beer to maintain its beer taste and aroma, but will then be dealcoholized prior to the infusion of cannabis," Villa said.
The Villas, both University of Colorado graduates and native Coloradans, note that the new brand, whose name is currently being developed, will also be less caloric than traditional beer, due to the elimination of alcohol.
For more information, visit ceriabeverages.com.
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