Podcast Episode 102: Blue Moon & Ceria Beverage Founder Keith Villa: Exploring Uncharted Territory in Beer With Cannabis

Keith Villa may be best known for creating and growing Coors’ Blue Moon brand of Belgian-style witbier, but his second act—developing non-alcoholic beer infused with cannabinoids—may be his most daring challenge yet.

Jamie Bogner Sep 30, 2019 - 4 min read

Podcast Episode 102: Blue Moon & Ceria Beverage Founder Keith Villa: Exploring Uncharted Territory in Beer With Cannabis Primary Image

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Keith Villa is an unlikely advocate for cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beer. The cerebral PhD with a molecular biology background spent more than three decades working for Coors, with two decades focused on creating and building the Blue Moon brand, and today with Ceria Brewing Co. he approaches the subject of cannabis beer with a scientist’s rigor and a marketer’s soul. In this conversation, he lays the groundwork for his current exploration, discussing the ins and outs of brewing Belgian-style witbiers (from grist composition to mash regimens that lock in stable haze and substantial head), the value of ritual and drama in beer service, and thinking beyond style strictures when envisioning beers. From there, he delves into the new opportunities that blending beer with cannabis provides—utilizing terpenes common to both hops and cannabis to promote certain physiological effects—before finishing with a primer in the process and technical concerns around de-alcoholizing beer.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].