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Ceria Brewing Expands Range, Goes National With Grainwave NA

April 28, 2020

Like most businesses, Colorado-based cannabis beverage maker Ceria Brewing is facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 crisis. But following a successful rollout last year for its flagship Grainwave Belgian-style White Ale, the company is continuing to expand, both in terms of distribution and new products.

Founder Keith Villa, who created Blue Moon during his long career at MillerCoors before opening Ceria, says the company has so far weathered the storm brought on by Covid-19. Grainwave has garnered steady support from consumers in its home Colorado market, where it’s been on shelves for a little over a year, and saw a modest bump at the onset of the crisis as consumers stocked up on supplies, although Villa notes that cannabis consumers gravitated to higher-potency products as lockdowns took hold.

While the core Grainwave has a relatively modest 5 milligrams of THC a serving, Ceria extended its lineup in January with Indiewave. A West Coast IPA, Indiewave contains 10 milligrams of THC and 10 milligrams of CBD. Villa says the response from IPA fans has been very positive, but adds that it’s too early to tell exactly how it’s faring in the marketplace because “the data we’re seeing is confounded by the Covid-19 situation.”

Meanwhile, Ceria is going national with the launch of a non-infused product called Grainwave NA. “We have a lot of fans who are either truck drivers, military, or first responders—people who get drug tested and are not able to enjoy cannabis, but they loved our non-alcoholic beer,” Villa says. “So we spent 2019 building out our Grainwave cannabis market, but also pivoting and starting to develop the brand architecture and all the packaging for the non-infused market.”

Grainwave NA has immediately garnered attention from major retailers. “Total Wine contacted us and said they wanted to be the first to take us on and to take us national,” Villa notes. The rollout began in January and Grainwave NA is now available in numerous Total Wine locations outside Colorado, with further expansion in the offing. Like Grainwave, Indiewave followed its initial release with a non-infused version in February.

Ceria is also getting closer in its push to expand its infused offerings to California. The brewery’s copacker in California, Growpacker, has faced delays in various approval processes but is now one inspection away from being permitted to begin operations, at which point it will begin infusing Ceria’s brews for the California market.—Danny Sullivan

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