By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – One of the most important names in beer is hoping to become a pioneer in marijuana.
Keith Villa, the retired Coors head brewer who invented Blue Moon, is starting a new company called Ceria that will make non-alcoholic THC-infused beer.
“We’ll take the alcohol out and then replace it with THC and it will have the equivalent effect as beer,” said Villa. “It tastes like beer, smells like beer, but it doesn’t have alcohol.”
Coors is not involved in Villa’s new project. He has been working on the beer in his home brewery.
Eventually, it will be brewed in Denver and infused with a THC extract developed by Ebbu, an Evergreen cannabis producer.
Villa is developing multiple styles of the beer and intends the products to match what beer drinkers already expect.
He’s planning to brew an American lager, a white ale, an IPA, and an imperial stout. Just like conventional beers, his light American lager will have THC that does not hit the user as intensely as the higher gravity brews.
“You’ll get the buzz, but you’ll have the sensation of bliss,” said Villa. “I’ve tried them with cannabis and the extracts. When people taste it for themselves they’ll see what it can be.”
Ceria Beer aims to solve a problem the marijuana industry has struggled with: how to make consumption social without sitting in a cloud of smoke.
He says he wants consumers to consider the THC beer just like what you buy at a liquor store and drink it in the same settings.
“You don’t have to eat edibles. You can have a great social time with your friends or family,” said Villa.
At Coors, Villa developed Blue Moon through the crowded beer industry into arguably the most successful American craft beer in the world. Now he’ll be the first to give marijuana users something different.
“I want to take the world of beer somewhere it hasn’t been before.”