With Legal Weed Comes Hemp Beer

Washington breweries ride the green wave

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Producers of Joint Effort covered their label in references to marijuana and made their pull handles out of bongs.

Marijuana’s legalization in Colorado and Washington has led to a boom market of growers, sellers and investors seeking to cash in as the long-illicit drug goes legit. And then there’s the ancillary market. Cannabis swag has been flourishing in each state, with the leaf appearing on everything from throw pillows to key fobs.  So it should come as little surprise that breweries are riding the green wave.

As Washington processes its first applications for pot-related business licenses, local store shelves are being stocked with 22 oz. bottles of Joint Effort, a hemp beer crafted by two local breweries to evoke the aroma of weed. The name is a double entendre about their collaboration and the drug that was legalized there last November. It’s also part of the reason that the brew can be sold only in the Evergreen State.

Beer brewed with hemp, a botanical cousin to hops, can be (and has been) sold elsewhere in the U.S., so long as it tests negative for mind-altering THC. But a hemp brew’s label can’t contain any slang or graphics “implying or referencing the presence of … marijuana” if it’s going to be approved by the federal government for sales across state lines. Joint Effort, made by Redhook Ale Brewery and Hilliard’s Beer, is decorated with the tag line “a dubious collaboration between two buds.” And those puns, a company spokesman says, were enough for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to reject their label application. That left the brewers to sell their resiny ale at home, where the state liquor board approved.

The beer’s presence in bars makes the labels seem subtle by comparison. Pull handles that barkeeps yank to serve drafts of the brew are made out of actual bongs, purchased straight from local head shops. “We’re taking the whole passage of the law and celebrating the fact that we can do something legally that other states can’t,” says Matt Licklider, Redhook’s senior director of brewing and quality. Yes, they could sell their THC-free beer in other places if they toned down the look, but that would defeat the point, he says.

Joint Effort was first sold on tap in July 2013, with bottles following in late October. So far, it’s available at 85 locations, including stores such as Safeway and restaurants like Red Robin. Redhook brand manager Karmen Olson says they plan to sell it through March 2014 and may extend the run if there’s popular demand.

Though Redhook is now part of the larger Craft Brew Alliance, both that brewery and Hilliard’s were founded in Washington. The two companies were brainstorming on ways to collaborate soon after Initiative 502 passed in November 2012. Throwing ideas around over beers, they decided an ode to marijuana was in order. It certainly didn’t hurt to capitalize on the buzz of passing historic legislation either. The 22 oz. bottles are being sold at a price only novelty could justify: $3.99 to $5.99 a piece.

This isn’t the first time Redhook has run a campaign to “acknowledge that we live in a cool progressive state where stuff like this happens,” as Olson says. Last November, voters also passed a referendum that made gay marriage legal. The company, which sells a Long Hammer IPA, put out a celebratory ad with a giant equals sign. “Redhook supports equality,” it read. “Because two Long Hammers are better than one.”

10 comments
MikeCunninghamVss
MikeCunninghamVss

Hmmm,This is a bit nasty, anyone care to pop in and demolish his arguments?
http://worldtruth.tv/who-is-trying-to-patent-marijuana/
God help the world if MON$ATANO gets hold of it!!
.<GWP> are not trying to patent the whole plant, but specific cultivars, just the same as we have done with potatoes, maize, cabbages and so on
.Back in the 60s the popular varieties were Leb Red ... gave me the giggles! Leb Green ... munchies big-time! And LebGold, good all round smooth stone!
GWP are NOT big pharma, but certes they are very clever pharma, having set out to A) break the THC/CBD bond to allow for pain releif without you just sitting there with a big smile in the middle of your head!
B) they are acting as the spear-point into a new direction of research, Green Pharma if you will, which may yet prove to be a new direction for the benefit of mankind.

I really hope so !

A general question, at what point,percentage wist does THC kick in ... anyone?

HempShare
HempShare

Has anyone ever mentioned Patients who are suffering from PROHIBITION of the safest plant medicine on the Planet?  Can't the so-called "journalists" resist the snicker acting like a teen calling it "weed". Funny, you probably have pills in your medicine cabinet that I refer to as DRUGS.

byrondelaney
byrondelaney

Yup just looked it up. Joint effort is made with hemp seeds. Hemp parts other than the seeds cannot be used to make any commercial beer, since the leaves, flowers, and stems contain cannabinoids such as CBD and industrial hemp can contain 0.3 percent THC. The feds would consider any beer made with parts other than the seeds to be a schedule 1 drug. And the seeds would need to federally approved imports because hemp cannot be grown in the US according to federal law, and the fed regulate beer production and sales. 

byrondelaney
byrondelaney

"Beer brewed with hemp, a botanical cousin to hops, can be (and has been) sold elsewhere in the U.S., so long as it tests negative for mind-altering THC."

Only with non-viable imported hemp seeds which do not contain the cannabinoids that the rest of the plant, especially the flowering tops/buds, contain. It should be possible to brew hemp beer using actual hemp buds in Colorado, but I'm not sure about Washington. This beer, if made correctly, would contain all of the cannabinoids that marijuana contains including a small amount of THC, because industrial hemp can contain 0.3 percent THC. All of the cannabinoids are schedule 1 drugs according to federal law, and they do have medicinal value, plus they greatly influence the high that's created by THC. 

#libtardedamerica
#libtardedamerica

"The name is a double entendre about their collaboration and the drug that was legalized there last November. It’s also part of the reason that the brew can be sold only in the Evergreen State."

 why can't it be sold in colorado?

Teddy3inSD
Teddy3inSD

I just had this same idea a few days ago. 

HempShare
HempShare

@byrondelaney THC is not in the bio-synthetic pathway of the Cannabis Sativa.L plant. CBD IS present in Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed / Oil Plant in general has its bio-synthetic pathway end with Cannabidolic Acid (CBDA) which then becomes CBD. You can't get from CBD to THC, only CBDA to THC. Once CBDA becomes CBD it can't go any further down the bio-synthetic pathway because CBD is the result of a chemical reaction now. (Which means external events are effecting it.) All parts of the Hemp Plant can be consumed presuming they meet the DEA testing thresh-hold of 0.3% THC or less. The moral of the BIG LIE is...there is NO THC in the bio-synthetic pathway of Cannabis Sativa.L. Next Question Please?

byrondelaney
byrondelaney

@#libtardedamerica Transfer of a schedule 1 substance across state lines, not to mention that alcoholic beverages must be approved by the feds and contain FDA approved ingredients. Better drink it quick!

HempShare
HempShare

@byrondelaney @#libtardedamerica No federally-prohibited products from Washington State, nor Colorado State can be sold outside of those states. (This is part of how the suppression is maintained to keep the market from the eyes of the people).