While the market for legalized cannabis products expands by the day, a small Ontario laboratory is looking to finally create the perfect synthesis of marijuana and beer with testing enzymes and fermentation methods to make the best variant of the combination, effectively creating the first beer-product worldwide brewed directly from cannabis.
Although the concept of cannabis beer is not entirely new, this particular lab’s approach to its creation is. Virtually all cannabis beers currently for sale today are brewed from barley, and then subsequently infused with marijuana oil, according to Dooma Wendschuh of Province Brands, the Toronto startup behind the product.
“That’s not what we do. Our beer is brewed from the stalks, stem, and roots of the cannabis plant.”
As reported by The Guardian, Wendschuh, who is originally from Miami, Florida, moved north to Toronto back in 2016 to take advantage of Canada’s then-pending plans for marijuana legalization, using the soon-to-be legalized substance to brew his take on the popular normally alcoholic beverage.
“The idea came from thinking, can we create something that can serve the role that alcohol serves in our society, and can we do that using this monumental sea change that is happening in our world right now?” said Wendschuh.
“I don’t think there was anywhere else in the world where we could do this business. Canada is already leading the world in creating an industry around medical cannabis and we expect them to continue to lead the world in trading and industry around adult-use cannabis,” he added.
Of course, the start-up was met with many challenges in brewing the perfect batch of beer that delivers the desired effects, stating, “The things that we would come up with just tasted horrible. They tasted like rotten broccoli.”
However, they then hired a chemist who came in to measure and scientifically test the amounts of hops, barley, yeast, and marijuana trimmings used in the beer to achieve their desired taste. What was left at the end was a non-alcoholic, gluten-free brew that reportedly “hits you very quickly.”
“The flavor is dry, savory, less sweet than a typical beer flavor,” he said. “The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible.”
The lab’s aim is to create a drink that, when consumed, will be somewhat equivalent to the effects of a single dose of alcohol, but translated into marijuana. As of now, all experimental products coming from the company have averaged about 6.5mg THC a beer.
The company hopes to fully nail down the recipe soon, which will provide the backbone for an aimed C$50 million brewery that will produce a wide range of cannabis-based beers with different flavors, textures, and consistencies, much like traditional breweries do with various beers.