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Alcohol Drinks Features

Blue Moon Creator Shares His Journey To Cannabis Beer And The Difficulties Behind The Brew

Photos courtesy Ceria Brewing

Late last year, Dr. Keith Villa, the founder of Blue Moon, launched his very own line of cannabis-infused beer name Ceria. Based in Colorado, the brew sold out almost immediately upon launch and has become a hot ticket purchase at local dispensaries in the state.

So what was the journey behind Ceria?

Villa, who holds a PhD in brewing from the University of Brussels in Belgium, began his career more than 30 years ago at MillerCoors. Upon his retirement, Villa and his wife immediately began their own brewery based out of Colorado.

His foray into weed beer actually began a little bit before his retirement from Blue Moon and parent company MillerCoors in 2018.

Photos courtesy Ceria Brewing

“In 2014, that’s when recreational cannabis became legal in the state of Colorado. At that time there was still a pretty large stigma around cannabis,” he recalled. “But I thought, it’s very possible to brew with cannabis because if you look at the genetics in the family tree of hops, you’ll see that cannabis is a close cousin of the hops plant.”

Ever the scientist, Villa began to test the concept afterhours.

“So I tried at home and on my own time because I never wanted to endanger the federal brewing permit of Blue Moon and Coors. So I always did it, all the cannabis experiments at home on my own time.”

That’s when the first semblance of Ceria came to existence.

“I found out quickly that, you can brew some beers with cannabis. That really got me to thinking, you know, this could be a whole new category because there are so many people who don’t drink alcohol for health reasons or religious reasons or whatever and they do want cannabis, because a lot of people believe cannabis does have healthful medicinal properties.”

Villa brought his wife onto the new venture, someone who has been working with him from the very start during all of his home tastings and tests.

“She lived with me in Belgium where I was getting my PhD. She’s one of the few people I know and trust that actually has lived in Belgium and can truly judge Belgian Beers and European-style beers.”

Photos courtesy Ceria Brewing

The two put their heads together and discovered that this could be an entirely new frontier that’s been untapped.

“We started figuring out right away that this could be a whole new category for beer. And so yeah, when we retired, we started Ceria Brewing Company and figured out right away that the best path forward was to focus on great tasting, non-alcoholic beers, craft beers that have the effects of cannabis and not the effects of alcohol. It was really hard creating a great tasting non-alcoholic beer. “

Villa didn’t seem like a man who would shy away from the challenge, however.

“Luckily with all my years of brewing experience as a brewmaster, I was able to create a series of non-alcoholic beers that taste really good. The next step is adding the cannabis in. So we have the effects of cannabis inside of a great smelling and great tasting craft beer.”

Photos courtesy Ceria Brewing

Working with cannabis and alcohol is an extremely tricky task. Dr. Villa explained that there were some major legal hurdles they had to overcome before launching their new product.

“Cannabis is federally illegal,” Villa states. “Though it is legal in the state of Colorado. So the first hurdle was alcohol, because the federal government, they strictly forbid anybody to put something that’s federally illegal into an alcoholic beverage. So you cannot add cannabis to it.”

“The Colorado Division of Revenue, through a subdivision called the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), is the agency who controls and regulates the cannabis industry,” Villa explains.

Essentially, you can’t add cannabis to an alcoholic product and you can’t add alcohol to a cannabis product in the state of Colorado.

“So it was real clear right away that we could not have an alcoholic product with cannabis,” he said. “That’s what necessitated me to create a great tasting non-alcoholic beer. So that was definitely the first hurdle.”

Once Villa nailed the taste he wanted for a non-alcoholic beer, he set his sights on a different obstacle.

“After that, the biggest hurdle was getting people to taste our product because so many have read about cannabis or heard about it. And so many are just afraid of getting stoned. Well, our product is always going to be a lower dose so that people can trust it and not get stoned. They can get a mild buzz off, but they won’t get stoned.”

Photos courtesy Ceria Brewing

Finally, Dr. Villa explains the rich history behind his company’s name.

“Ceria is actually from the Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture. She’s in history, she is the goddess of agriculture, meeting hops and cannabis. Her name is Ceres. That’s where we get the names, cereal — like breakfast cereal. That’s where we get the name of Ceria.”

Boasting a medium-bodied taste and some notes of citrus and a smooth malty finish, Ceria can be purchased at select dispensaries throughout the state of Colorado. Villa shares in parting that Ceria plans on expanding to other states in the upcoming months as well as the development of new flavors.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks

Blue Moon’s Founder Created A New Cannabis-Infused Beer And It Sold Out Quickly

Photo courtesy of Ceria

Keith Villa is probably best known for his contribution to the field of alcohol with his creation of Blue Moon. The brewmaster and founder was part of MillerCoors for approximately 32 years until his retirement early last year.

Now, in a time where cannabis-boasting beverages are becoming more and more prominent, Villa has launched a new brew that’s infused with pot: Grainwave Belgian-Style White Ale.

A medium-bodied Belgian-Style White Ale, Ceria is brewed with coriander and blood orange peels. As a spin on Belgian Ale, the beer is de-alcoholized and microdosed with 5mg of THC.

Villa’s new brewing company, Ceria Brewing Co., launched Grainwave last December in local dispensaries around the Colorado area and the initial batch sold out in about four hours.

While non-alcoholic, the brew is said to capture the flavors of a classic Belgian ale while providing the calming effects of cannabis.

Currently those looking to try Grainwave can find them in select dispensary locations in Denver, CO. For now, at least, it will remain a Colorado exclusive.

Categories
Alcohol Beer What's New

Blue Moon’s Creator Is Now Developing The First Ever THC-Infused Beers

With cannabis-infused foods on the rise in the U.S., it was only a matter of time before a big name jumped into the field. The man who created Blue Moon for Coors Brewing Co. is officially getting into the marijuana business with THC-infused beers.

Keith Villa, who retired from Coors a couple of months ago, is working on making beer that actually gets you high.

According to Forbes, federal regulations prevent the combination of psychoactives and booze in the same product, but Villa is getting around that by taking the alcohol out of his beer and replacing it with THC, meaning you could still get a buzz, minus the hangover.

Villa’s new company, CERIA Beverages, aims to create these THC-infused beers in amounts proportional to a brew’s typical alcohol content. If an ale has 4-4.5% alcohol, for example, CERIA’s version would replace that with a comparable amount of THC. The company is working with ebbu to translate alcohol contents into THC dosages.

CERIA would then make the initial booze and distribute it to dispensaries, who would then add the THC in pre-determined amounts before selling to consumers. This allows the dispensaries to customize which strains go into the beer, making for custom psychoactive and relaxation experiences each time you sip on one of these.

If you’re interested in trying this non-alcoholic, psychoactive beer, you won’t need to wait long. CERIA plans to be on store shelves by this fall in Colorado, and is looking to spread to other states where marijuana is legal, soon.

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Beer Deals Fast Food Restaurants

Applebee’s Brings Back AYCE Riblets AND $2 Blue Moons For January

Applebee’s is bringing back a fan favorite and dishing out AYCE riblets for a limited time.

ayce riblets

Photo courtesy of Applebee’s

The cult-favorite is now available in bottomless form at all restaurants, with a side of never-ending fries to pair with the banquet of riblets. For those who aren’t a fan of ribs, there’s also all-you-can-eat chicken tenders available as an alternative. Either option will set you back $12.99.

You’ll start off with either a 12-ounce portion of the riblets or seven chicken tenders, with refill options being either six ounces of riblets or three chicken tenders. The first serving comes with fries and coleslaw, while all refills come with just fries. You can choose to have your riblets slathered in Honey BBQ or Texas Spicy BBQ sauce, while the tenders simply come with Honey Dijon Mustard each time around.

Those hoping to get both riblets and tenders in their meal can do so, as you can mix and match between the two each time you order a refill. Thus, you can start off with a portion of riblets, go for tenders on round 2, and so on.

As a potential pairing for the AYCE riblets or tenders, Applebee’s is also continuing their cheap drinks lineup with a new alcohol deal: $2 Blue Moons. Each order is a 10-ounce draft of the iconic ale, and while it’s not as cheap as the Dollaritas or Dollar Long Island Iced Teas from the past couple of months, $2 for beer is still a pretty good price.

Both deals are only available for a limited time.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Blue Moon Drops Cinnamon Horchata Ale

blue-moon-horchata-beer

Blue Moon attempts to bottle the spicy sweetness of horchata with their latest seasonal flavor: Cinnamon Horchata Ale. While word on the new beer remains under wraps, we suspect a roll-out closer to Fall. Apparently, the cinnamon-spiced ale comes from “brewmaster Keith Villa’s interpretation for a classic Mexican Horchata” and packs cinnamon, long-grain rice and a 5.5 percent ABV.

The boozy horchata will hit shelves as 12 oz bottle 6-packs. While we’re curious to find out how a horchata-flavored ale will fare with the masses — a stout seems more fitting for this originally creamy drink — we aren’t opposed to a milky-textured, sweet and spicy brew.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Nation’s Favorite Beers by State [Infographic]

states-beer-of-choice

Budlight reigns in Texas, while Portlandians are sipping Blue Moon and California beach babes are kicking back with Corona on the beach. This latest infographic by Blowish,  a company that sells hangover-relief tablets (a coincidence? I think not), surveyed the drinking habits of people from all 50 US states.

The boozy study included 5,249 drinkers over the ages of 21 and sheds scintillating insight on everything from the nation’s overall beer of choice to which professions are the most likely to be hungover on the jobs (waiters of America, I raise my glass to you).

Check out the findings in the infographic below:

america-beer-map.jpg

H/T Business Insider

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Red Robin Launches Coors Light & Blue Moon ‘Beer Cocktails’

coors-light-red-robin-blue-moon-cans

From the people who brought you beer milkshakes comes a new line of beer cocktails. Because summer . . . and because beer. Appealing to America’s nostalgia for canned booze and offering an innovative twist on your average bar fare, Red Robin rolls out with two new “Can-Crafted Cocktails.”

The beverages are served in reusable beer cans made of aluminum and have the look and feel of an ice-cold can. The Coors Light Cocktail features a mix of Coors Light, ginger liqueur and lemonade topped off with a squeezed lemon, while the Blue Moon Cocktail features Blue Moon Belgian White, SVEDKA Clementine vodka, orange juice and lime juice.

Although I’m not a die-hard fan of mixing beer and liquor like alcoholic soup,  the Blue Moon Cocktail does sound like a solid buy. I’m thinking its citrus aroma’s going to pair well with the sweetness of the clementine-flavored vodka and orange juice. The Coors Light Cocktail, on the other hand, remains a bit more questionable. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The beer cocktails are available all summer and you can swoop one of their eye-catching beer cans for $5.

I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before the hipsters demand a Pabst Cocktail version — spiced up with Sriracha, of course.

Oh yeah, don’t try to make these cans at home:

Categories
Features

26 Blue Foods to Break Your Blue Monday Blues

Despite Blue Monday’s terrible rep, color theorists believe the color is actually “calming” and “promotes solitude, meditation and independence.” Plus, you know, Blue Moon, for when nothing else can snap you out of your post-New Year’s slump.

Happy Blue Monday!

(And sorry for saying ‘blue’ so much).

1. Blue Popcorn

bluepopcorn

Picthx scarsnevermore

2. Blue Candy

bluecandy

Picthx firelordleo

3. Blue Caramel Apples

blueapples

Picthx Argo2

4. Bloo

bloo

Picthx weheartit

5. Blue Icees

blueicee

Picthx weheartit

6. Blue Sea Salt Ice Cream

seasalticecream

Picthx weheartit

7. Blue Cookie Monster

cookiemonster

Picthx weheartit

8. Blue Doritos Cool Ranch

coolranch

Picthx weheartit

9. Blue Sour Punch

bluesourpunch

Picthx weheartit

10. Blue Macarons

bluemacarons

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

11. Blue Lemonade

bluelemonade

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

12. Blueberries

blueberries

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

13. Blue Flowers

bluecupcakes

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

14. Blue Ombre Cake

bluecake

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

15. Blue Ice Cream

blueicecream

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

16. Blue Superman Cupcakes

supermancupcake

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

17. Blue Kiwi

bluekiwi

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

18. Blueberry & Goat Cheese Crostinis

bluecrostini

Picthx the-f-o-o-d-blog

19. Blue Bunny Peeps

bluepeeps

Picthx -lovelycolors

20. Blue Donuts

bluedonuts

Picthx -lovelycolors

21. Blue Winter Cupcakes

bluecupcake2

Picthx -lovelycolors

22. Blue Cookies

bluecookie

Picthx -lovelycolors

23. Blue Waffles

bluewaffles

(Not that kind.)

Picthx peacemakerbreathtaker

24. Blue Cotton Candy

bluecottoncandy

Picthx volang-linda

And lastly, for the punnies:

25. Bleu Cheese

bleucheese

Pixthx Structures:NYC

26. Blue Moon

bluemoon

Picthx betterbeerblog

And just for good measure: