Friday, November 2, 2018

Cannabis crops up in craft brews

Matt Dixon of Do214 and Tommy Miller of Noble Rey
hard at work during brew day for Certified Dank (Dallas Brew Scene).

In the continuing quest for fresh and novel flavor ideas, the cannabis plant has emerged as a source of inspiration, with brewers exploring the use of hemp and other offshoots in the creation of new beers. It's a category that is trending, and it's growing in popularity.

Shop local shelves and you'll find two hemp beers for sale produced by out-of-state brewers. TheHemperor is a product of Colorado's New Belgium Brewing Co., while Hemp Gose comes from Goodwood Brewing Co. of Kentucky. Both are made with hemp hearts, which is what's left of the hemp seed after it's shelled. Unlike hemp leaves and flowers, which are prohibited, hemp hearts are legal and may be used as an ingredient in beer. Hemp hearts do not contain the psychoactive components, cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

As for what's in the works locally, the entertainment website, Do214, and Noble Rey Brewing Co. of Dallas have come together to collaborate on Certified Dank, a hemp beer debuting during NTX Beer Week. Also brewed with hemp hearts, Certified Dank follows the footsteps of New Belgium's beer, which paved the way for these types of products

"Luckily, New Belgium released The Hemperor and did the hard work for us to be able to use hemp hearts," says Tommy Miller, head brewer at Noble Rey. "Now, you can use hemp hearts in beer without special licensing in all states besides Kansas."

Some might hear "hemp" and assume its dank and herbal elements influenced Certified Dank's name, but hemp hearts provide different flavor qualities compared to other aspects of the plant brewers aren't able to use.

"The hemp hearts add nutty and bready flavors to beer," explains Miller. "Unfortunately, we cannot use hemp terpenes, the key flavor attributes of the hemp plant that deliver citrus, pine and dank flavors. We also cannot use hemp flowers, which would give the beer a really dank nose and flavor. Instead, we will be utilizing hops such as Simcoe, Comet and El Dorado to give the beer its dankness."

In addition to hops and hemp, Certified Dank features four types of grain - oat, white wheat, pilsner and carapils malt. The mix of ingredients results in a finished beer Miller describes as big-bodied with a burst of dank hop aromas and tropical fruit flavors.

"Certified Dank will be hazy with a load of dry-hopping, and strong with an ABV of 8.4%," says Miller. "Some people are calling this type of beer a 'West Coast Hazy IPA,' but it's what I like to call a 'New Dankland IPA.' Either way, it's going to be a fun beer to drink!"

NTX Beer Week launch parties for Certified Dank will occur at The Common Table - Uptown on Tuesday, November 6, and at Noble Rey's taproom on Friday, November 9.

Originally published as part of a special section on NTX Beer Week in the November 1, 2018 edition of the Dallas Observer. An online copy of the complete newspaper is available by clicking here.

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