Budding beer trend

Dec. 4, 2018
Vincent Ball

Branford’s Bell City Brewing is taking its award-winning craft brewery to new heights with cannabis-based beer.

The company, at 51 Woodyatt Dr., has formed a partnership with Province Brands of Canada, a Canadian company developing the first beers brewed from the cannabis plant.

“We enjoy pushing the boundaries of beer flavours, and we’re doing it again,” Dennis Marijan, co-owner of Bell City Brewing, said Tuesday.

“Partnering with Province Brands on a cannabis beer is truly a new horizon and we’re excited to be working with them.”

Bell City’s Habanero Chill Pepper Lager won a gold medal at the Ontario Brewing Awards, which is judged by a panel of certified beer judges.

Under the partnership announced Tuesday, Bell City will be able to license Province Brands patent-pending technologies to create several product lines of non-alcoholic cannabis-brewed beer and beer infused with cannabis oil. The process, which involves the mashing and fermenting of cannabis instead of barley, will take place in a 123,000-square-foot Province Brands’ facility currently being built in Grimsby, Ont., once the manufacture and sale of the such products are legalized in Canada next year.

Beers brewed from the cannabis plant will intoxicate the consumer using THC and other phytocannabinoids instead of alcohol. Since there is no barley in beers brewed from the cannabis plant, the beer will be gluten-free and low in calories and sugars, says a joint statement from Bell City Brewing and Province Brands.

“Bell City Brewing has always been true to the craft beer culture,” Dooma Wendschuh, CEO and co-founder of Province Brands, said in the statement.

“They’re experimental and aren’t afraid to be different. So, it’s very fitting that we’ll come together to produce some of the world’s first cannabis-powered craft beers.”

The two companies are already working on beer style concepts with their master brewers and the Province Brands technical team.

Bell City is the latest craft brewery to announce a partnership with Province Brands for cannabis-based beers.

Last month, Province Brands announced deals with Brock Street Brewing Co., a craft brewery in Whitby, Ont., and Lost Craft Beers, based in Toronto.

Founded in 2012, Bell City is owned and operated by Marijan and Muthu Sakthivel. The craft brewer opened its doors to tours and retail sales in February 2015 and also features a tap room.

Based in Toronto, Province Brands bills itself as an adult beverage company founded by entrepreneurs with experience in the premium alcohol and legal medical and recreational cannabis industries.

Province Brands said it is working to change the traditional alcohol market by creating a beverage that is intoxicating but alcohol free.