A beloved craft-brewer owned by Heineken is brewing marijuana beer -- but there's a catch

These days, you can find marijuana infused in everything from barbecue sauce to bath bombs. It was only a matter of time before the plant found its way into America’s favourite beverage: beer.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, a California brewer that was bought by Heineken earlier this year, has released an IPA infused with marijuana. It’s called Supercritical, and it’s available for a limited release in California.

But there’s a catch — the beer won’t actually get you high. It doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed.

An untrained nose might think all marijuana smells the same. But marijuana varieties, like beer, have a variety of fragrances that come from plant compounds called terpenes. Found in the sticky resin glands that hang on the bud, terpenes give marijuana its flavours and aromas.

Lagunitas takes terpenes from an oil extract and brews the mixture with hops from the Yakima Valley. The end result is a “smooth, sophisticated, and well-balanced IPA,” according to one reviewer

Lagunitas isn’t the first brewer to mix alcohol and marijuana. In 2017, Colorado-based Dude’s Brewer earned federal approval to bottle and sell “General Washington’s Secret Stash” — a line of weed-laced beers. Like Supercritical, the brews do not contain THC or get people stoned.

Supercritical is available in select California bars. You can find a complete list of retailers here.

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