Craft beer makers have for years given discreet, and not-so-discreet hints at their love for cannabis. From every can of brew out of Oskar Blues Brewery coming equipped with a picture of a screen in the perfect place for a hole punched pipe to Red Hook Brewing’s “Joint Effort,” a beer distributed with a tap handle that was shaped like a bong. Now, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company is using carefully extracted cannabis terpenes to give their latest IPA some seriously skunky vibes.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lagunitas has linked up with California marijuana producer CannaCraft, the company behind the vape cartridge brand AbsoluteXtracts, to create “SuperCritical” a weed-flavored IPA using terpenes isolated and blended to specifically match with Lagunitas’ carefully crafted hop profile.
"These are created using a combination of dozens of terpenes that we isolate and refine during cannabis extraction, and they are what give our strains their unique flavor and sensory profiles," Kial Long, the vice president of marketing for AbsoluteXtracts, said. Adding that the company prepared a number of terpene blends "with the Lagunitas-style taste in mind."
The end result is a flavor mix of Blue Dream and Girl Scout Cookies, blended with six specially matched varieties of hops, including Summit, Tomahawk and Zeus. Because hops are another plant in the Cannabaceae family, and also rely on terpenes for their flavor, the marijuana marriage came together with eaze.
"We really just wanted to pool our resources to see what we could create," Long said.
To reciprocate the collaborative goodwill, AbsoluteXtracts is making a special line of vape cartridges using psychoactive cannabis oil and terpenes extracted from hops selected by Lagunitas - meaning you can now sip on a weed-flavored beer and smoke on a hop-flavored vape pen.
But while the vape cartridge collab will definitely get you stoned, and a few glasses of the “SuperCritical” will definitely get you drunk, terpenes are non-psychoactive, so you won’t find the inverse effects in either. To push that point even further, Karen Hamilton, Lagunitas' director of communications wants to very clearly tell consumers that the beer does not get you high.
"Lots of people have had the beer, at this point, and NO ONE has experienced any psychotropic effects (to the dismay of some!)"
For now, Lagunitas has only produced 120 kegs of the “SuperCritical” IPA, all of which have been distributed to bars across California, with most headed for the cannabis mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area. If the beer is as big of a hit as we expect it to be, Lagunitas says they could produce more batches of the skunky brew.
"There may be more SuperCritical coming in the future, and this time to other areas in the U.S.," Hamilton said.