Our latest Double IPA is a collaboration between us and Green Machine, the UK’s first CBD Dispensary, based in London.
For years our founder and Managing Director Tom Hutchings has been looking at ways to introduce ideas that help push the boundaries of the craft beer experience. This drive has seen him look outside of the industry, drawing inspiration from differing perspectives, processes and products and how these influences might help to create something unique that feels like an extension of the beer world.
Having used CBD products for a while, Tom has spent a good amount of time looking at ways to introduce this unique ingredient into beer with integrity and quality. Although CBD beer isn’t a new thing, the products that we tried before haven’t necessarily blown us away.
In a moment of serendipity, Tom met Paul Moore (CEO and Director of Green Machine) while he was visiting their Greenwich shop and Paul just happened to be covering a shift that day. After chatting about CBD and Green Machine for a while Tom naturally mentioned that he was looking to use CBD in a beer and that he was able to do so on a large scale at Brew By Numbers.
Developing the beer:
With that connection made we have spent many months experimenting with CBD additions in trial pale ales, looking to harness its potency in some of our juiciest beers. In July we dosed batches of our IPA, Double IPA and Triple IPA with a brand new type of high-potency CBD to see which style it best presented itself in, finally resting on the DIPA. We felt that the beer’s hop-forward nature along with a lower perceivable sweetness helped to accentuate the flavour of the CBD without interfering with that beautiful hop profile.
The following week we tested a recipe in our taproom on Enid Street for revellers on the Beer Mile. The feedback was great, helping us adapt a batch to showcase at the London Craft Beer Festival in August. Having trialled a few different recipes our final experiment followed in early September at our Riverside Beer Festival. Alongside some of the best breweries and beers in the world we trialled the most expressive and potent CBD Double IPA yet and were blown away by the results. Juicy, herbal and heady – the beer was easily our best CBD beer yet and in our opinion one of the most original and enjoyable beers at the festival.
For our first commercial release we decided on 20mg of high-potency Liposomal CBD (a brand new type of CBD) powder per can. Working with Green Machine we felt that this dose would give the beer just the right amount of CBD flavour alongside Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops. Both hops unveil waves of juicy stone fruit but also a little dankness from the Mosaic and pine/black tea flavours from the Idaho 7 – the ideal notes to pair with the herbal flavour of the CBD.
So, who are Green Machine?:
CEO and Director Paul Moore:
"Green Machine CBD operates the UK's largest network of CBD dispensaries and was founded on the belief that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and have the right to access high-quality cannabis products. We do this by giving customers access to the highest-grade cannabis derived products the UK and EU has to offer.”
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural chemical compound found in hemp, one of two primary species in the Cannabis Sativa plant (the other being marijuana). Estimates believe the roots of the plant were used medicinally and ritualistically from around 750 BC, most commonly in Central Asia. In recent years CBD has become increasingly popular in the health and well-being market. Today it can be found in creams, drops, oils, medicines and food and drink products around the world, predominantly used to promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
Interestingly for this collaboration, both cannabis and hops are also members of the cannabaceae family of plants, making them perfect partners (in our mind!) for a full-on hop-forward pale ale. Working with Green Machine we decided on high-potency Liposomal CBD powder for the brew, with this being the first time that this technique has been used to make a beer.
Okay, and what is Liposomal CBD?
Liposomal cannabidiol is CBD that has been placed in liposomes before it is packaged, increasing the CBD’s bioavailability (the amount of CBD absorbed into the bloodstream that the body can ‘use’). Once inside of the liposomes the CBD is held intact during both the metabolic and digestive processes, allowing a higher percentage of the CBD to be absorbed. Because non-liposomal CBD isn’t soluble in water, it is essential that we used Liposomal CBD in the beer.
We think the final beer has all the juicy flavour you would expect in a modern DIPA AND the ability to transport you to your ultimate place of zen. It is delicious and we really hope you enjoy it as much as we do!