Natural Pairings: These Beers Taste And Smell Like Marijuana

If you've ever encountered fresh hops, you might've observed that they smell oddly familiar. Skunky. Bizarrely, in fact, like cannabis.

The common flavour profiles of hops and marijuana form the basis for Smells Like Freedom, the inaugural collaboration between DC Brau and Oskar Blues. The brewers created the 7 percent IPA as "a nod to D.C.'s Initiative 71, the marijuana-legalization measure that took effect in early 2015.

According to DC Brau CEO Brandon Skall, "The idea was to make a beer that, obviously, does not have cannabis in it but sort of could emulate that flavor or aroma profile as closely as possible, being that hops themselves are so closely related to cannabis."

The resiny, piney, ultra-hoppy Smells Like Freedom, "with aromas of cannabis, tangerine and sugar-coated ruby red grapefruit" had an extremely limited run after it was released last year. Sadly it's probably gone forever - unless it's brought back by popular demand.

Happily, Oskar Blues has kept running with the idea, creating the Pinner IPA that one Redditor described as "the best session IPA I've ever tried."

And fortunately it's not the only weed-like beer with which to wet your whistle. You can also check out these summer brews we profiled last month.

Banner Image: Oskar Blues Pinner IPA (Peter Anderson / Flickr)


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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