MJBiz - July 2023 - 42

Manufacturing
Milestones
Building a Better Beverage
Cannabis company strikes balance with brewer
to create a drink with 'beer-like characteristics╩╝
By Omar Sacirbey
W
hen craft brewer Harpoon
Brewery was approached
by cannabis-infused
drink maker Novel Beverage Co.
about collaborating on a THC-infused
product, leaders at the two Bostonbased
businesses knew success didn't
lie in reinventing beer but, rather,
in coming up with something wholly
original.
" We didn't want to have a dealcoholed
beer, " explained Novel
founder and President Matthew Hawes,
who worked in the fl ower-cultivation
and concentrate-manufacturing space
before moving into beverages.
Together, the companies sought " a
beverage that wasn't necessarily beer
but had beer-like characteristics. "
The result was Rec Weed, a brand
that started selling this February in
Massachusetts in 12-ounce cans infused
with 5 milligrams of THC and in Maine
this April with 12-ounce bottles infused
with 10 milligrams of THC.
Trial and Error
The efforts required time and
experimentation. " It took at least a year
to put everything together. But after a
lot of hard work, we came together with
a product, " said Dan Lipke, Harpoon's
head brewer.
Harpoon's earliest efforts to create
the drink that would be infused with
cannabis distillate involved trying to
" emulate some of the fruity, hoppy
notes that you get in an IPA. " But that
required too many ingredients, and
Lipke didn't like the fi nal product.
The solution was to simplify.
" We realized we needed to strip the
42 July 2023 | MJBizMagazine
Dan Lipke is the head brewer at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. Courtesy photo

MJBiz - July 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - July 2023

MJBiz - July 2023 - Cover1
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MJBiz - July 2023 - Cover3
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