July 23, 2018
Ethan L. Johns

As brewpubs pop up on every other corner, beer and its fermentation have become a hot topic over the past few years. Now, with the legalization of marijuana just around the corner in Canada, one company is looking at intoxicating tipples from a new angle.

Providence Brands, a startup based in Toronto, believes it can take the entire cannabis plant—stalks, stems and roots—and turn it into an ice cold brew, no wheat or barley required.

With recreational marijuana relatively new (and still illegal in the vast majority of countries), most infused beverages currently on the market are made by first creating wine or beer the standard way. The alcohol is later removed and replaced with a proportional dose of psychoactive THC.

While Providence Brands’ beer will also be devoid of alcohol, it is unique in the sense that it is not brewed with grain, making it technically gluten-free. Cannabis plants are fermented with hops, water and yeast, before the alcohol is removed. What’s left over is THC—an average of about 6.5 milligrams.

In an interview with the Guardian, CEO Dooma Wendschuh talked about the difficulties of developing the beer (“tasted like rotten broccoli”) and how he envisions the future of drinking.

“If I could create an alternative to alcohol, that’s something that would change the world,” he told the paper. “That’s something I’m very passionate about.”

While Wendschuh was inspired by the cannabis industry in Colorado, it’s unlikely that this product will make its way to the U.S. anytime soon, for obvious reasons. For Canadians, however, the drug will be legal beginning October 17th, and Providence Brands hopes to celebrate with a cold one.