Article by Zoe Wilder, Merry Jane
Recent studies have shown that CBD helps our bodies process alcohol more efficiently. So, when MERRY JANE heard that Coalition Brewing is unveiling Oregon’s first commercially produced cannabidiol (CBD) hemp-infused beer, we had to visit their Portland tasting room for a celebratory sip or two. Actually, it was more like three frosty glasses of Two Flowers IPA, named after the fusion of “kissing cousins” hops and cannabis. Coalition’s co-owner and head brewer Elan Walsky, joined by regional beer ambassador Phil Boyle and Half Baked Labs’ William J. Stewart, were kind enough to walk us through the process of how their delicious CBD and suds came to be.
MERRY JANE: What inspired the creation of this beer?
Phil Boyle: We’ve been interested in creating this beer for a while, but when we heard the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved a formula and label for a Colorado brewery’s CBD-infused beer, theoretically allowing it to be distributed nationwide, we knew we had to get started. As luck would have it, we were invited to the CannaSociety Soirée, a farm-to-table, multi-course, cannabis-infused dinner party….
And that’s where you met William Stewart?
Elan Walsky: Yes, we met Bill at the event and from the outset it was clear that he was the man. With his background in chemical engineering and extensive experience in cooking with cannabis, Bill was vital in educating our brewing team about the various forms and uses of hemp. In addition to illuminating the biological similarities between hops and cannabis, such as their shared terpene profiles, Bill assisted us in the early flavor development of Two Flowers. It was a challenge working with ingredients that were foreign to us. Our goal was to showcase elements of both plants, and how they can be brought together to form a cohesive, delicious whole. Bill’s extensive knowledge and trained palate was a great help.
After attending the soirée, how long did it take to create the infused brew?
William J. Stewart: We got together, along with Josh Taylor of Oregon’s Cannabis Concierge, about three days later for a tasting party. I brought a variety of extractions and hemp products like toasted hemp hearts, hemp sugar, and hemp juice, so they could taste, smell, and combine them with various beers to inspire potential recipes. They started the pilot brew less than a week later. One of the best things about working with Coalition is that, when they get an idea for a new product, they try it out right away. Elan does a masterful job combining flavors and aromas.
I genuinely enjoyed Two Flowers IPA. For me, the effects were lovely and subtle and I didn’t feel tired or heavy after having a few, like I do with a lot of other beers. What effects have other people described?
PB: Please note that this is anecdotal evidence, and Coalition is NOT making any specific health claims or claims about the effects. We encourage people to try it for themselves and research information about the medicinal benefits of CBD to form their own opinions.
One friend described it as having a few beers in the hot tub; I would say that is not far off. Another described the sensation as “elevating” the natural calming properties of hops and alcohol. Several people have said that it seems to lessen the negative effects of drinking alcohol, including reducing hangover.