When you think of an amalgamation of beer and cannabis, you’d be forgiven if your first thoughts scream Fresher’s Week. Not that students wouldn’t enjoy this beer but if you delved a little deeper, you’ll discover it’s quite the opposite. Cloud 9 Brewing and Manchester-based firm CBD Ultra combined the CBD extract from cannabis (basically the bit that has no psychoactive effects) and combined it with their craft beer. The result? A wittily named 4.3% session IPA called High Flyer. I’m lucky enough to try some of this before it hits the supermarket shelves, before it’s even had the label put on it on it. And I’m excited.
CBD beers have already proved popular in the USA where views on special herbs are a little more liberal, and this is the first of its kind in the UK. The health benefits of CBD are unquestionable in my mind. Just ask the thousands of people using it for life-affecting issues ranging from anxiety and depression, to chronic pains and illnesses. There is a particularly heart-warming story about Charlotte’s Web; basically, a strain of marijuana developed with no mind-altering effect that has literally been a life-saver for children with severe epilepsy in America. When will our government catch on? Anyway, back to the beer.
As I crack open the first ice-cold cannabinoid-packed bottle, I’m unsure as to what to expect. Will it taste like a hippy’s campervan, and smell like back-stage at a Snoop Dogg concert? Well, the initial hit of High Flyer is delightfully tropical. There is no overwhelming taste of sativa, the cannabis extract that the beer is brewed with… just a crisp and delicious flavour that lingers pleasantly in your taste buds. I can already tell I won’t be having just one of these.
You won’t experience any of the effects of cannabis by drinking this, as it doesn’t contain any THC – the compound that is associated with the highs of marijuana. But you will discover a fresh, equatorial-flavoured full session-strength IPA. And you could even feel the health benefits of CBD. I’m reaching for another one.