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The New Frontier: Cannabis in Beer

Keith Villa is the creator of Blue Moon Belgian White and an advocate for the intersection of craft beer and cannabis. Here, he walks us through the challenges, and the possibilities, of a future where alcohol isn’t the only mood enhancer in your beer.

Jamie Bogner Jun 3, 2019 - 12 min read

The New Frontier: Cannabis  in Beer Primary Image

If you’ve been around beer for a while, you’ve seen Keith Villa on TV. He’s the guy in the Blue Moon commercial putting the orange wedge on a voluminous glass of their Americanized white beer.

But in early 2018, Villa made a big move and retired from Coors. After 23 years of championing Blue Moon and shepherding the nascent brand from idea to two million barrels of yearly production, Villa (a Colorado native and University of Colorado Boulder alum) found a new challenge and opportunity—bringing non-alcoholic, THC-infused beers to the market in states where cannabis is now legal.

Villa is the not the weed enthusiast you might expect—mid-fifties, clean-cut, PhD in biochemistry, and a career as an industry guy who was not just passionate about his little niche of the beer world, but fanatical about it. Nonetheless, he and his wife, Jodi, (who retired from her career in civil engineering last year as well) have dived head first into a groundbreaking new venture, producing de-alcoholized beer infused with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of marijuana.

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