In recent years, craft brewers have been producing a beer that captures the essence of cannabis. Here’s are the best and dankest weed-style beers on the market that you must be on the lookout for.
What is a weed beer?
Weed beers on the mainstream market do not actually contain THC, CBD, or cannabis flowers or leaves. It does not have psychoactive properties. Most commonly, the reason why these are marketed as cannabis beers is the aromatic resemblance to green, unsmoked marijuana. Occasionally, cannabis-style beers are brewed with hemp seeds also known as hemp hearts.
How are weed beers made without adding cannabis in the brewing process?
The answer is terpenes and hops have similar taste and aroma—which helps illicit cannabis tones. Terpenes are the natural compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant which produces the distinct piney and ‘dank’, aromatic scent. But terpenes offer more than just scent. They have therapeutic properties such as help induce sleepiness and relax muscles. According to Popular Science, Hops (Humulus lupulus) have similar smell and taste properties as Cannabis Sativa1. Humulus and Cannabis are scientifically grouped into the same species family called Cannabinaceae. Hops and cannabis also share some similar physical characteristics such as the lobed leaves. Therefore, certain hops can be used to brew some dank and pungent-smelling weed beer.
The Waldos’ Special Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Company declared The Waldos’ Special Ale as ‘the dankest and hoppiest beer ever brewed at Lagunitas’. Lagunitas brewed the beer in honor of The Waldos’. Who are The Waldos’? The story is explained on the Lagunitas website. In the 1970s, five students in Northern California sat and hung out on a wall, calling themselves The Waldos’. They had a treasure map to a rumored field of abandoned marijuana plants. Every day at 4:20 P.M., The Waldos’ would meet behind a Louis Pasteur statue to smoke up and set off to search for the weed plants. The Waldos’ were credited with coining the term 420—as related to pot smoking. Lagunitas collaborated with the original Waldos’ crew to brew the ale.
The Waldos’ Special Ale is a triple IPA with citrusy and cedar-like undertones.
The Waldos’ Special Ale Specs
The Waldos’ Special Ale Availability
The Waldos’ Special Ale is a highly limited beer. Be on the lookout for it in the month of April.
Hemperor by New Belgium Brewing Company
The New Belgium Brewing Company is known for being one of the foremost players in the craft beer industry. New Belgium’s flagship beer, Fat Tire, released in 1991. The brewers at New Belgium created a new style of IPA called HPA, or hemp pale ale. They proclaim Hemperor “The World’s Dankest Ale”. New Belgium set out to recreate hemp terpene flavors with Nugget, Cascade, HBC 522 and Simcoe hop varieties. To complement those hops, they use hemp hearts to achieve their unique aroma. Visually, Hemperor is fairly light and gold in color. The state of Kansas banned the beer so it must resemble cannabis.
Another reason to love New Belgium Brewing is that they have partnered up with the Vote Hemp organization to help fight industrial hemp legal status in the United States. Hemp has been illegal since 1937. Sign your name and join the cause on their website.
New Belgium’s Hemperor Specs
New Belgium’s Hemperor Availability
New Belgium Brewing’s Hemperor is widely available.
SweetWater Brewing Company out of Atlanta, Georgia released a suite of beers called 420 Strain—reproducing the scent and taste of specific strains of cannabis. SweetWater also hosts an annual 420 Fest on Earth Day. 👍
420 Strain Mango Kush by SweetWater Brewing Company
SweetWater Brewing Company’s 420 Strain Mango Kush is an American wheat beer packed with herby, fruity, tropical, mango hints with the familiar dank weed fragrance. 420 Strain Mango Kush is definitely reminiscent of kush cannabis strains. The beer is a flood of fragrance to the senses. You’ll feel like your sniffing into a baggie of weed. Mango Kush is a hybrid cannabis strain that actually tastes a lot like the mango tropical fruit. In addition to tasting like mangos, Mango Kush is sweet and piney. The 420 Strain Mango Kush beer definitely captures the essence of the popular strain.
SweetWater’s 420 Strain Mango Kush Specs
SweetWater’s 420 Strain Mango Kush Availability
SweetWater’s 420 Strain Mango Kush is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.
Chocolope Stout by SweetWater Brewing Company
SweetWater offers a wide beer variety in their 420 Strain collection. Chocolope is a dark, chocolatey stout with a surprising hoppiness. In addition to the complex chocolate flavors, there are distinct terpene and hemp flavors with tones of coffee. Chocolope is a sativa strain derived from cross-breeding Chocolate Thai and Cannalope Haze.
SweetWater’s Chocolope Stout Specs
SweetWater’s Chocolope Stout Availability
SweetWater’s Chocolope is available seasonally. It is sold in 12 oz. cans and bottles and on draft.
420 Strain G13 IPA by SweetWater Brewing Company
SweetWater’s G13 IPA is an aromatic sticky-hybrid IPA. G13 IPA mimics the famous G13 cannabis strain. The G13 strain is a super potent indica strain that was first bred in the 1960s. The brewmasters at SweetWater added double Columbus and Simcoe hops to give the beer the dankest flavors.
G13 IPA has a citrusy, earthy and dank flavor with a viscous and resiny feel. The G13 beer is visually a bit hazy.
SweetWater’s 420 Strain G13 IPA Specs
SweetWater’s 420 Strain G13 IPA Availability
SweetWater’s 420 Strain G13 IPA is available year-round. It is sold in six-pack bottles and on draft. 16 oz. cans are available on limited distribution. Use SweetWater’s beer locator tool to find the brew near you.