The first solid proof of beer production comes from the period of the Sumerians around 4,000 BCE. During an archeological excavation in Mesopotamia, a tablet was discovered that showed villagers drinking a beverage from a bowl with straws.
Archeologists also found an ode to Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing. This poem also contained the oldest known recipe for making beer using barley from bread.
Most people associate Europe and the middle ages with beer production but the truth is Europeans merely redesigned and perfected a millennia-old drink. What started with the Romans bringing new methods to wine production evolved into beer distilling craftsmanship in the middle ages in Germany and across Europe.
The beautiful Emerald Isle, home to The Cannabis Review, is no stranger to alcoholic beverages and some would say we create the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world today. From Guinness to Baileys, and Hennessey to Jameson, the Irish have made an indelible global impact with our brands.
For years we have been hearing about cannabis beverages and for years we have been let down by the end product. Does anyone remember the US company Constellation Brands who invested $5 billion for a 38 percent stake in the Canadian cannabis company Canopy, with plans to introduce a line of infused drinks?
This may all be changing as it now seems as if North America finally has some leading cannabis beverages to talk about. Should European Cannabis entrepreneurs be worried or will European cannabis beverage brands begin to pop up across the continent? With Germany set to legalise adult use, we may see the Bavarian beer barons dip a toe into cannabis beverages.
California is the fastest-growing cannabis beverage market, according to a recent Headset report. The count of beverage product offerings in California has grown quickly, nearly doubling from 2020 to 2021. As of December 2021, there were approximately 530 distinct cannabis beverage offerings. There is no doubt this number will have risen by the end of 2022. Let us take a look at some of the top North American cannabis beverages and ascertain whether we have some real players or just more hype.
CANN - https://www.drinkcann.com
CANN recently sold their 10,000,000 can. CANN was created by Jake Bullock and Luke Anderson in 2018. This drink competes with the hard seltzer market and it has become a firm favourite with consumers across the legal states it is sold in. The brand has already amassed multiple celebrity endorsements. The taste combinations and flavour profiles are interesting, and it remains to be seen whether this is merely a good American product or a global hit.
GOOD FEELS - https://getgoodfeels.com
Another of the U.S brands that are targeting the seltzer market. It was founded by Jason Reposa in 2019. At the time he was struggling with pain management and inflammation. Like most, he didn’t smoke or vape, so he turned to tinctures and edibles. After some mediocre experiences, he finally found something that worked for him and started crafting his own effective products as a hobby for friends and family. Founding Good Feels in August 2020, he got to work on creating a purpose-driven company. “I wanted to build a company that pledges to ‘Do No Harm’,” says Jason. The flavour profiles look very good and the team behind this company is highly accomplished.
KLAUS - https://drinkklaus.com
Arguably one of the most exciting cannabis beverage brands is Klaus. Klaus drinks are ready-to-drink THC-infused cocktails created by famed master mixologist Warren Bobrow. Bobrow is known in alcohol circles as the 'cocktail whisperer' and has a stellar reputation for creating masterful combinations. This is a brand to watch out for.
ALT Liquid Vials https://altlife.com
Now, this one we are very big fans of. Designed as a self-improvement supplement to help you elevate, ALT THC is a highly adaptable, zero-calorie, zero sugar, a flavor-neutral enhancement that can be added to any beverage. ALT comes in two strengths with 5 or 10 milligrams of THC per vial. The speed of ALT’s effects is similar to vaping or smoking flowers, rather than taking an edible. Initial onset time is between 5-15 minutes with effects lasting between 2-3 hours, depending on the individual and dosage
REBEL COAST - https://rebelcoast.com
Founded by Josh Lizotte, Rebel Coast started producing traditional wine in 2012, and then revolutionised the cannabis industry in 2017 with the introduction of a sauvignon blanc cannabis-infused beverage, offering a low-calorie alcohol alternative to a new generation of consumers. Rebel Coast has recently been sporting a brand new look and an expanded line including fruity seltzers and sparkling versions of their popular classic varietals — Sauvage and Pink Passion.
The beverage sector of the cannabis industry is by no means clear-cut. There are still a number of products being tested that have far too much THC than is labeled. This can be a problem with new customers, as medical expert Dr. Peter Grinspoon recently announced.
Dr. Peter Grinspoon is a leading medical voice in the global cannabis industry and he recently commented on a New York Times article on cannabis beverages:
"dangerous...maybe 5 or 10mg of THC but 100? people are going to have negative outcomes if they are given this by a budtender (no one drinks 1/2 a soda). If you are a chronic cannabis user or an experienced medical marijuana patient, this might be an appropriate dose, but not for most people; this is how you scare people off of cannabis -- self-inflicted injury by the cannabis industry... (many people start with like 2-5 mg...)"
If there is one area of the cannabis industry that Europe should dominate globally in time it is cannabis beverages. The level of infrastructure, brand name recognition, and talent in the alcohol/beverage market in Europe exceed almost any other global territory and once the market is crystallised here in Europe you will see an influx of capital and talent into this space and Europe will quickly catch up with the North America brands.
As of the end of January 2022, the cannabis beverage market is only 2% of the Canadian market sales and 1% of the U.S market sales as per Benzinga statistics.
Benzinga Chart based on cannabis beverage market share.
As for little old Ireland and cannabis drinks? Just look at what we did with alcohol. Expect the same with cannabis-infused drinks. Who will be the big global Irish brand? What will that product look and taste like? We look forward to finding out.
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