6 % 55 IBUs – 5 mg of CBD per pint!
The first beer in this unique series will be “Two Flowers”. A CBD (cannabidoil) Infused India Pale Ale
The base style is a west coast IPA that is light, crisp, bitter and refreshing. But we’ve also infused this beer with CBD. The bitter grassiness augments the hop bitterness, while the citrusy terpenes in the CBD mirror the aromatics and hop flavors.
Coalition Brewing is excited to announce the release of the first commercially produced Cannabidoil (CBD) infused beer in Oregon. Our mission with this beer series was to encompass a true sense of the synergy that exists among plants that we know and love, whether they be hops, barley, fruit, – the list goes on, but the common denominator is the delicious beers they can make. These plants produce similar organic aromatic compounds known as terpenes. We have been working with leaders in the fast growing local agricultural industry on this project to showcase a harmony of both the beer profile of the Pacific NW and the region’s immense natural bounty. With a focus on community, innovation and a positive impact to the local economy, Coalition is proud to offer the state’s first commercial beer infused with CBD. This beer contains zero THC. We are excited that beer once again is giving us the opportunity and platform of breaking down barriers. Please see the extensive peer reviewed research on our page or more information about CBD
To find out more about this project and CBD, click here for articles and peer reviewed studies.
“I can’t give you too many details about what we’re doing, but we’re using a proprietary CBD product,” Walsky said. “It’s natural CBD but it doesn’t fall under the Controlled Substances Act. … So we’re using a proprietary product that allows us to remain compliant.” Walsky said that Coalition has exclusive use of this product, and he said many other breweries experimenting with CBD beers are taking a risk by simply hoping to slide under the regulatory radar or, worst case, get a slap on the wrist. Of making sure Coalition’s CBD beers stay in compliance, Walsky grinned and said, “We probably put our lawyers’ kids through college four times over.”
This was one of my first questions when I met with brewer Elan Walsky, the co-owner of Coalition Brewing in Portland, Oregon. Coalition makes a line of beers infused with CBD, one of many compounds found in marijuana and hemp (two strains of cannabis) that make the plants unique. Walsky grinned and told me no. I knew this would be the answer, but it’s an obligatory question while drinking a CBD IPA. I was visiting Coalition not only to partake in its CBD beers, but also to understand why they’re so difficult to make, whether I’ll ever be able to legally buy one on store shelves — and most importantly, why brewers so badly want to make them.
Craft beer had a reputation for being snobby; now it’s earning one for being ridiculous. “Personally, I think it is a novelty,” Thomas Shellhammer, a food science and technology professor at Oregon State University, said of CBD beer. He’s not the only one who thinks CBD beer is merely an attention-grabber. Novelty craft beer is nearly a category unto itself. There is a dizzying amount of these excessive beer hybrids, and breweries rely on them not only to capture the passing interest of Instagram-happy foodies, but as a way to challenge themselves. There is a limited-edition Peeps beer. There is also a glitter beer. There’s beer from a 220-year-old shipwreck. There is (and as an Oregonian, I must apologize for this) a Sriracha beer.
A look at all of Coalition’s CBD beers. The Two Flowers IPA and Herbs of a Feather sour are available year-round. Molly McHugh
Victoria Pustynsky, who runs a consulting business in Portland, recently created Aurora Elixirs, a CBD-infused tonic. Pustynsky worked in the wine and spirits industry for more than 12 years when she decided to take her expertise and move into the weed market. “There are so many similarities [between the alcohol and weed industries]. It’s regulated by the same agencies in many cases, it’s a three-tier system, highly localized, state run, and it’s this agricultural product that gets created into this recreational product,” she told me as we chatted at the Portland Hatch Innovation, a coworking center in the Green Mile, the stretch of dispensaries and weed-related business along Sandy Boulevard in northeast Portland.
When I reached out to the commission to ask about its policy on cannabis and beer, and about Down the Road’s ill-fated CBD beer, I was sent the commission’s advisory on cannabis in alcoholic beverages. “Cannabinoid extract from the cannabis plant is considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Infusing or otherwise adding cannabinoid extract in alcoholic beverages is considered adulteration of alcohol,” the advisory states. “Please be advised that even though retail sales of cannabis are expected to become lawful starting July 1, 2018, it will remain unlawful to manufacture and/or sell alcoholic beverages containing any cannabinoid extracts, including tetrahydrocannabinol (‘THC’) and cannabidiol (‘CBD’), regardless of whether it is derived from the cannabis plant or industrial hemp.” The statement goes on to say that any companies found violating this law by making, transporting, selling, or even possessing such products could lose their license.
Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts have laws that should allow for the sale of CBD alcoholic drinks. But there are still hurdles. Down the Road Beer Co. in Massachusetts recently tried to brew and release a CBD beer called Goopmassta Session IPA. The brewery had hoped that because marijuana had been approved for recreational use in the state, its beer could go on sale in July when the law went into effect. But the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission denied the brewery, and that mandate is likely to stand for the near future. Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing faced a similar fate. While recreational weed use is legal in the state, the brewery’s CBD beer, Medicator, was shut down by federal regulators. San Francisco’s Black Hammer met the same fate.