By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4)– Marijuana dispensaries in Colorado will soon start to resemble liquor stores with the introduction of a new THC-infused beer. The beer is non-alcoholic but it’s creators can attest that it will give you a buzz.

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“You’ll feel good, you’ll have a buzz but you’ll stay in control,” said Keith Villa, co-founder of Ceria Beverages.

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If you don’t recognize his name, you’ll recognize what Villa is famous for: he created Blue Moon. Everything from the brand to the recipe.

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“I was going to become a pediatrician so instead of becoming a people doctor, I became a beer doctor, went to Belgium and got my doctorate,” said Villa.

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Villa retired but it wasn’t long before he wanted to change the beer world again.

“We’re at the forefront of brewing here in the state. I mean, this is the Napa Valley of craft beer so what better place to have a beer infused beer.”

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Villa partnered with Keef Brands, a company specializing in THC infused sodas.

“It’s a no brainer, especially with Keith, with his background,” said Matt Baumgartner, General Manager of Keef Brands Colorado.

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Baumgartner says it is the combined expertise that creates the perfect partnership.

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“I never thought it was going to happen this quick, or within my lifetime of being a professional in this. I’m just super excited to be a part of it,” said Baumgartner.

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Keef Brands infuses the beer at its Denver facility and this week, was in full swing labeling and readying the beer for dispensaries.

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The goal was to make it taste like a beer without the alcohol but with the high that comes along with THC.

The first release is a Belgian-style ale containing 64 calories and 5 milligrams of THC.

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“It’s low dosed. Micro-dosed, so you can have one or two and not get stoned,” Villa continued. “You’ll feel good, you’ll have a buzz but you’ll stay in control.”

CBS4 talked to others working on the bottling operation Friday wondering if a beer infused with cannabis, sans-alcohol, could really taste good.

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“I thought the taste was perfect, you actually thought you were drinking beer,” said Nikki Walsh.

Walsh was busy labeling bottles as she described what it felt like to drink the beer.

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“You can definitely tell that there’s something going on in your body with it.”

Walsh says her tolerance is a bit higher than the occasional pot user.

“I would probably have to drink 3 or 4 to actually feel something.”

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Villa hopes this new beer will break the stigma associated with cannabis.

“We have a beer that people can socialize with instead of smoking,” said Villa.

Villa says the beer will be on shelves before the New Year but he isn’t stopping there.

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Down the road, he plans to brew a lager with 2.5 milligrams of THC as well as an IPA with 10 milligrams of THC.

“It makes me happy to make beers that people really enjoy drinking,” said Villa.

Jamie Leary


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