In February, we reported that Kearny Mesa-based Helm’s Brewing had been sold to a private investment group out of Las Vegas, Nevada, looking to expand the business. It has since been learned that out-of-state interest is transitioning Helm’s into part of a larger operation producing a line cannabis-infused “beer” called Two Roots Brewing. The main source of this information had originally been employees at the Helm’s Ocean Beach tasting room, which remains in operation despite the fact the Kearny Mesa Road brewery has been closed to the public for roughly a year. Their accounts were substantiated by a June press release from representatives of Two Roots’ parent company, Cannabiniers.
Billed as a food-service, technology, and brand-management company, Cannabiniers boasts flower-based extraction technology that will allow it to expand an existing beverage line to include THC- and CBD-infused beer via Two Roots, as well as similarly laced cold-brewed iced coffees and teas under the Just Society brand. Both are scheduled to hit shelves this month.
“The popularity of craft beer and coffee has grown across all demographics [and] tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world—second only to water,” says Cannabiniers president Timothy Walters. “We’re excited by the potential for Two Roots Brewing to be the first to market, offering products infused with THC and CBD, with the ultimate goal of normalizing the consumption of cannabis-infused products, especially given the recent announcements of potential development from the former Blue Moon founders, [as well as] Constellation Brands investment in Canopy Growth.”
Walters is referring to retired Molson Coors employee and Blue Moon creator Keith Villa’s Ceria Beverages project, which will also bring cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beers to market, and Constellation Brands’ purchase of a 10% stake in Canadaian marijuana interest, Canopy Growth Corporation. Additionally, Molson Coors has been in talks with multiple Canada-based marijuana companies about a similar line of beverages, and Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewing is set to debut two IPA-like cannabis-infused products to California dispensaries at the end of July.
Two Roots purports to be the first US company to utilize European “de-alcoholizing” equipment on traditionally-brewed beer, with THC and CBD later infused in such a way that consuming these beverages will bring on an altered state mimicking the effects of inebriation brought about by alcohol consumption. Walters says that effect comes on within 5-to-10 minutes and dissipates in less than two hours. Two Roots’ four initial styles consist of a lager, stout, “New West” IPA, and wheat beer. A beer that tastes like cannabis will debut in the near future. All will be packaged in 10.5-ounce cans with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $5 each. Among the dozen or so states Two Roots plans to launch its product in after California, are Colorado, Illinois, New York and Washington.