The Brewmaster Behind Blue Moon Is Launching a THC-Infused Beer Company
From Blue Moon to Blue Dream, Keith Villa is the latest alcohol executive to ditch the booze business for legal weed’s green rush.
Published on March 29, 2018

After 32 years brewing beer for one of the world's largest alcohol companies, Keith Villa is going green.

In 1995, Villa founded Blue Moon, the Molson Coors-owned wheat beer largely credited with bringing the craft beer craze to a mainstream audience. Now, after retiring from the booze industry in January, Villa has announced his newest venture, Ceria Beverages, a THC-infused brewed beverage scheduled to hit Colorado's adult-use cannabis market this year.

Villa is the latest in a long line of alcohol brands and bigwigs taking their talents to America's burgeoning green rush, following in the footsteps of Anheuser-Busch executive-turned-ganjapreneur Chris Burggraeve, Corona parent company Constellation Brands, and breweries like Lagunitas and Fat Tire (which have both experimented with adding non-psychoactive cannabis terpenes to beer).

But unlike Burggraeve, who has invested in a number of California cannabis companies, including a pre-roll producer, Villa is carrying his decades of brewing experience into Ceria, with plans to produce a marijuana-infused beer — minus the alcohol.

According to a press release announcing the Centennial State company, Villa and his wife, Jodi Villa, will team up with local cannabinoid research firm ebbu to develop water-soluble "formulations." These will then be added to traditionally-brewed beer that's had its alcohol removed, much like current commercially sold non-alcoholic beers. Under Colorado's adult-use and medical marijuana regulations, THC and alcohol cannot be sold in the same product.

Villa claims that Ceria will be the world's first cannabis beverage that is brewed like a beer without losing its THC concentration. That said, there are others who've been experimenting with similar techniques, including Lisa Molyneux of Canna Vine.

"I'm ready to introduce another high-impact brand to the industry again, this time with a new line of custom cannabis-infused craft beers," Villa said. "Today, the opportunity and the demand are here, inviting Americans to enjoy a more social way of consuming cannabis — by drinking rather than by smoking it or through ingestion of edibles."

In addition to the new method of cannabis-infused brewing, Villa said that his non-alcoholic bud beer will get users high at the same rate that a traditional beer would get a consumer drunk.

Villa has yet to announce a firm release date for Ceria's new concoction, but he expressed confidence that the new brew would hit Colorado dispensary shelves by the end of this year.

(h/t Westword)

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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