February 21, 2022

5 Parallels Between Craft Beer and Craft Cannabis

The Craft Brewing Boom Offers Fascinating Clues Into Where the Craft Cannabis Industry Is Headed

Americans have a big thirst for variety. And cannabis doesn’t disappoint, with so many strains to sample and so many places to find it these days.

Few modern industries compare with what we’ve seen in legal cannabis. Despite federal prohibition, the rise of legalization has had an earth-shaking impact—adding an estimated $92 billion to America’s economy in 2021 alone. 

What’s one of the last industries to make a similar seismic splash in terms of rapid growth and profit? The craft brewing boom. 

In fact, beer and cannabis have a lot in common. Here are five intriguing parallels between craft beer and craft cannabis, from the plant kingdom to the local community.

1) Sensory Appreciation: So Many Smells and Flavors

Though fans of cannabis will likely think of that plant first and foremost when the word terpenes is mentioned, these naturally occurring compounds can actually be found in practically all plant life. 

That includes hops, which are part of the Humulus genus of the plant family Cannabaceae (sounds familiar, eh?) and a central ingredient to beer brewing. Under the same plant family umbrella is the genus Cannabis and the species we all know and love, Cannabis Sativa L. (which also includes low-THC hemp). 

Hundreds of different terpenes are responsible for the nuances of aroma and flavor that define each cannabis strain, and that goes for the many varieties of hops too. 

One terpene found regularly in both cannabis and hops is ​​beta-pinene, which delivers notes of spice and wood, but there are numerous other examples as well—and you can learn more about the tasty terpene profiles of Veritas strains in our strain library

2) Bespoke Vs. Mass-Produced 

Another thing that craft beer and cannabis share in common as industries is the value they place on what it means to “craft.” 

That distinction has become controversial in the beer world. In the early days of the craft beer boom, breweries were small and feisty, working with small vats and keeping things largely local. But things have changed due to acquisitions and mergers that gobbled up many small-scale operators. 

Nonetheless, as outfits like NorCal’s Russian River Brewing have proven, doing one thing better than anyone else—in their case, the annual release of their super-limited Pliny the Younger IPA—can be a recipe for success too. 

At Veritas, we keep our production runs small by choice. With more than 90 strains in our library, it’s important to us to give our customers unique tastes and something fresh to try, every time they visit their favorite dispensary (here’s our latest drop).

3) The Little Things Matter Most 

The packaging for most craft beer brands does an excellent job of letting you know just what to expect if you crack a can or bottle open. Be it a super-citrusy profile in an IPA or something strong and sour, beer fans today are not only looking for something special when it comes to what sets a pint apart, but also to know the source of these other ingredients: Were the strawberries organic? Was the yeast naturally occurring? 

Such interest readily translates to the craft cannabis market as well. And that’s a big reason why at Veritas we’re transparent about how we cultivate our cannabis from the get-go. 

We keep a close eye on everything our plants need to thrive. We carefully tend each and every plant throughout the growing process. Doing everything by hand, from watering to the final trimming, means that our strict quality standards are always met. 

4) Don’t Shy Away from Science

One of the lasting impacts of the craft beer craze was that it familiarized the beer-buying public with previously foreign concepts like “dry hopping” and “cicerones.”

Given that the cannabis world also likes to nerd out on everything from extraction methods to all-natural rolling papers, the craft brewing industry’s success shows how offering helpful cannabis resources and information is smart business.

But education about the cannabis plant goes way beyond business—after decades of prohibitionist propaganda, it’s past time for people to have a better understanding of how cannabinoids work in the body and the plant’s many potential benefits. And we’re here for it.

5) Celebrating Our Awesome Community

At a quick glance, it seems like the folks in the craft brewing world are no strangers to a good time. That’s not to say they don’t work hard—quite the opposite!—but as a result of their efforts, they know it can be just as important to celebrate the fruits of your labor as it is to take on a job in the first place. 

Just ask Dale Katechis, who joined the Veritas leadership team in 2021 after a long and successful run with Oskar Blues (maker of the eponymous Dale’s Pale Ale). 
Be it sponsoring Denver artists, partnering with nearby nonprofits on projects benefiting the community, or working with area creatives to design merch and packaging, we love to collaborate. After all, supporting one another is how we grow together.

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