Hemp Beer: Definition, Effects and Aromatic Interests

Hemp Beer: Definition, Effects and Aromatic Interests

Not a month goes by without us hearing about a new CBD product. Not a month without hearing about a new trendy microbrewery. Of course, it’s true, and that’s a good thing since both products offer large and fascinating universes! But suddenly, can hemp beer be considered a clever marketing invention, a false good idea, or does it have a real interest? Stop by for once; Weedy takes you on an immersion in the world of beer today! But don’t worry, it won’t be oblivious to our beloved cannabidiol.

Let’s start by understanding what hemp beer is.

Hemp beer or hemp flavored beer?

The whole question would be: au hemp beer, hemp-flavored beer, or NO beer at all? But, of course, the answer to this question depends on the country in question, since the name “beer” is regulated by … law. That’s all.

In France

In France, beer is a beverage made from fermented cereals (malt) and alcohol. It is usually flavored with hops, but it can also be flavored with other fruits or herbs, as long as it is the whole fruit, plant, or juice. If flavorings or extracts are added, this is known as flavored beer. A beer containing light cannabis is, therefore, legally a hemp beer. We add a CBD isolate to a beer is nevertheless a hemp-flavored beer. Simple.

This is not the case everywhere in Europe.

A bit of beer history

In Germany, land of brewing par excellence, the famous “Reinheitsgebot,” the beer purity law enacted in Bavaria in the year of grace of 1516, is very clear. A beer is:

  • water,
  • Malt (barley too, they are picky),
  • hops _

And that’s it! Technically, therefore, in Germany, a beer with hemp is not a beer. Officially, this strict decree has a public health mission: to prevent adulterated beers. It must be said that at that time, beer (or “liquid bread”) played an important role in the general diet. Yes, you have to live with the problems of your time.

More unofficially, the Bavarians had all the advantages of banning the other ingredients from giving a monopoly, a bit forced, to their local beer. Because in other parts of the country, especially in the north, it was mainly herbal or fruit beers, such as Kriek (which, if it tasted like a cherry diesel hemp, had nothing to do with the brand we know today).

The German rules have relaxed a bit, particularly when adding yeast to the official list. They were always the source of fermentation, but no one knew this at the time. Hemp-flavored drinks are allowed in Germany anyway. But don’t talk to them about beer!

Beer and hemp: they were made to love

Whether German law likes it or not, any fermented hemp drink is historically part of the great tradition of herbal beers. This is true for Kriek, but also Belgian lambics (sour beers) with fruit, French beer flavored with mint or spices, or gose (coriander and salt).

As for the more “classic” beers, simply the hops add character to the final drink.

More precisely, hops occupy three main roles in a beer  :

  • Protects it (helps conservation),
  • It gives it bitterness (thanks to the hops added at the beginning of the brewing, which is “infused” into the beer),
  • it aromatizes it (thanks to the hop terpenes added at the end of the production, which stays for less time and gives it its flavor).

Doesn’t that remind you of anything? But, come on, in case it’s still not clear: do you know what veil of an unfiltered beer? The haze (mist).

After that, some still doubt the marriage of convenience between hemp and hops.

Why a hemp beer?

Finally, you will understand hemp plays a role similar to hops when brewing a beer. Like him, it comes to adding bitterness and aromas to the concoction. Thus, we can imagine a thousand and one recipe taking advantage of the aromatic qualities of legal cannabis rich in CBD to make a beer that transmits, in the best of cases, the bitterness, the earthy side, and the nutty aromas so appreciated by consumers of light cannabis.

Integrated at the beginning of the elaboration, we can imagine the hemp infusing its bitterness in the infusion before fermentation. But, on the contrary, used after boiling the basic ingredients, hemp can be used above all for its specific aromas: exotic fruits, citrus, biscuit notes, etc. In brewing terms, this is called dry hopping when the technique is used with hops.

What are the effects of beer with CBD?

Within the European Union (EU), whoever says legal cannabis says a very low level of THC and a high level of CBD. Therefore, the hemp beers currently on the market show interesting levels of CBD and, consequently, potential calming effects.

However, cannabinoids are fat-soluble molecules assimilated in fatty substances but do not like water very much. More than 90% of the beer is water; the rest is a mixture of grains (malt), yeasts, alcohol, and possibly other flavors, including hemp. Therefore, one should not expect particularly marked effects from consuming a hemp beer, even if it has been brewed with legal cannabis with a high content of cannabidiol. On the other hand, it will have an original flavor, incorporating the characteristics of your favorite variety.

Hemp Beer: Definition, Effects, and Aromatic Interests



Every week, we'll be sending you curated materials handpicked to help you grow as a Cannabis professional.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.