Cannabis continues to be a trending ingredient in the beverage industry with major alcohol manufacturers interested in producing cannabis-infused beer and wine products, however, none of these products have been launched yet. Heineken’s Lagunitas Brewing Company is planning to beat them to the punch with a unique take on a cannabis-infused beverage. The California-based company is set to launch the first cannabis-infused sparkling water, Hi-Fi Hops, in California dispensaries on July 30.
The beer company has partnered with California-based cannabis company AbsoluteXtracts to produce their IPA-inspired beverage. This launch also marks the first time a beer company has legally and successfully produced a cannabis-infused beverage in the THC-infused beverage space. Although the company did release a cannabis-infused beer last fall that contains cannabis terpenes – the aromatic compounds found in marijuana – the beverage does not contain any THC. According to the company, Hi-Fi tastes “as refreshing as water” and it’s infused with sun-grown cannabis.
“Hi-Fi Hops is not the first chapter in the love affair between cannabis and Lagunitas, but it is one of the most exciting,” said Maria Stipp, CEO of Lagunitas Brewing Company. “The idea of being a part of a no calorie beverage infused with cannabis seemed like a perfect next step in our product innovation and a natural way to marry our past with our future.”
The fact that this product contains zero calories will likely attract consumers because it adds a health appeal. Traditional beer contains an average of 13 grams of carbs per bottle, which might deter health-focused consumers. With Hi-Fi being made with water and cannabis, Lagunitas can also play on the all-natural ingredients trend with their product.
Hi-Fi sparkling waters will come in two varieties with different dosages of THC. The company’s most potent beverage is packaged in a bright purple can and contains 10 milligrams of THC and no CBD. Their second beverage contains five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of CBD, which is a component of the marijuana plant that provides pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. Both beverages are packaged in child-resistant packaging.
“We have come to realize that our passion for hops is a big part of our passion for beer,” said Jeremy Marshall, Lagunitas Brewmaster. “We often dream of hops and their cannabis cousin partying together at their family reunion and wanted to bring this party to life in a drink. We believe it’s high-time that good beer inspired a provocative yet refreshing tasting non-alcoholic alternative – bubbly, aromatic, bitter, fruity and herbaceous with no gluten, no carbohydrates and a smidge of California sun-grown cannabis in every sip.”
According to Lagunitas, beer companies are loyal to their craft and it is frowned upon for them to produce other intoxicating beverages, which is why they only produce the IPA-inspired sparkling water. CannaCraft, the parent company of AbsoluteXtracts, infuses the sparkling water with THC in a way that ensures that the THC is evenly dispersed throughout the beverage.
However, the company did not disclose information on how long this beverage will take to provide consumers with a buzz. When cannabis is consumed, it usually takes some time for its cerebral and physical effects to commence, which means that consumers can easily consume too much edible cannabis as they look for quicker ways to produce a buzz. This might become an issue for cannabis-beverage producers as this market expands.
Nevertheless, Lagunitas has an advantage in the cannabis-infused beverage market because they are the first company to launch such a product in the US. With Canada’s nationwide legalization set for October 17, the company would be wise to make their products available north of the border as well.