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Cannabis Beverage Pioneer Ceria Brewing Unveils New Look, Eyes Eastern Expansion

March 22, 2022

Arvada, Colorado’s Ceria Brewing was founded by Blue Moon creator Keith Villa in 2018 and released its first cannabis-infused beers at the end of that year.

Its two products, Grainwave Belgian Style White Ale and Indiewave IPA, became hits in Colorado dispensaries, and dealcoholized non-infused versions became popular as well, with Total Wine & More placing the brand in stores in approximately 20 states across the U.S.Ceria has also expanded the footprint of the original THC-infused versions of Grainwave and Indiewave, launching them in California last September. The brand is now in approximately 60 retail locations in the state, split 50/50 between Northern and Southern California. The pandemic hampered the California launch somewhat, Villa told SNDC, but as conditions improve the company is experimenting with samplings and other limited events to help introduce consumers to the brand.

To that end, Ceria is also getting ready to debut a brand refresh. “It’s a much cleaner, better label in the front,” Villa said. “The logo, the profile of the goddess Ceres, has been updated so she’s a little more modern looking and appealing to millennials and for the demographic of legal drinking age up to about 40. And we’ve redesigned the color schemes. We’re really happy with the new look and the public should start seeing it early this summer in both the infused cannabis side and the general market non-alcoholic side.”

The company also made a major breakthrough when it developed a new patent-pending way of producing its products to 0.0% abv, rather than the <0.5% typical of non-alcoholic products. This is a game-changer, Villa said, because the TTB is now allowing Ceria to label its beers AF for alcohol-free rather than NA. “We’ve found that from the NA side, there are quite a few people who search out AF. On the infused side, there are a few states that won’t allow beverages in that have even a trace of alcohol. But when we say we’re 0.00 with no trace, they change their tune.”

Looking ahead, Villa talked about having learned his lesson in the 90s when Coors over-extended Blue Moon with too many flavors, making him leery of diluting Ceria’s brand with additional releases. Nonetheless, he tentatively noted that he and his brewers are looking at a third release, potentially due out by the end of this year. Similarly, Villa emphasized his focus on Colorado and California, while hinting that he’s also in talks to bring Ceria to “a couple more states out east.”—Danny Sullivan

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