Celebrate this year's St. Paddy's with some beer and bud pairings. Just like wine and food pairings, the delicate nuances of flavours and terpenes in cannabis and beer can be accentuated and enhanced when paired appropriately. Finding out what strains go with the right brew can be tricky and overwhelming when presented with the vast variety of offerings. In this article we go over how to pair weed and beer plus some excellent examples that we’ve tried, tested and love!
Cannabis flowers naturally feature a complex spectrum of aromatic terpenes that mirror many of the flavours in beer. Terpenes can have an impact on beer, too: they’re present in hops! Terpenes are compounds which are secreted in the trichomes of cannabis flowers in the same way as THC and CBD. They are responsible for producing the deep, pleasing aromas and tastes and are the basis for pairing weed and beer.
We did a ton of research and carefully selected beers matching them with some cannabis strains grown in Canada and offered on OCS.ca. After doing some intense testing we picked out our faves! Here are our top 5 beer and cannabis pairings!
1. Lagunitas and Purple Sun God
Lagunitas India Pale Ale (IPA) has an interesting variety of citrus flavors that you would expect from a well rounded IPA. Featuring notes of grapefruit, orange, and other fruity elements that balance out the strong scent of hops. This IPA is fragrant with floral, and citrus-like, piney/resiny aromas and flavors making it the perfect pairing with Purple Sun God. This medium THC potency strain has a terpene profile composed mainly of caryophyllene (scents of peppery spice, wood) and alpha-pinene (scents of pine, rosemary). The ideal combination of flavours for a crisp spring night!
2. Woodhouse Lager and Shishkaberry
This award-winning amber lager pours clear amber, with a generous, lacy head. Complex on the nose, with aromas of stone fruits and grassy hoppy aftertaste. Flavours include ripe fruit, cereal grains and some earthy hops which mingles swimmingly with this Indica Dominant hybrid from Namaste. The aromas of Shishkaberry feature fruit, berry and pine from its terpene mix which includes limonene, beta-caryophyllene and myrcene. The fruity flavour of the buds brings out the crisp hoppy notes of the lager which tingles your palette for a tart exhale and makes for a beautiful combo . Perfect for a muggy summer's Friday night after a long week of hard work.
3. Ace Hill Radler and Afgan Kush
A refreshing mix of the classic pilsner organic citrus juice and low alcohol creates a perfectly light brew that anyone can enjoy. With nuanced hints of malt, orange, lemon and a dash of peach and apricots that eradicates your cottonmouth instantly. Afgan Kush offers aromas and flavours of white musk (myrcene), sandalwood and red peppercorns (caryophyllene), and wild mountain strawberries (linalool). These distinct flavours mesh so seamlessly with the softly carbonated radler and teases your taste buds. This pairing will leave you wanting more with it’s zesty citrus flavours and a vibrant and refreshing finish. I wouldn’t want anything else fishing at the cottage on a hot summer's day.
4. Fenelon Falls Red Ale and White Rhino
Fenelon Falls Red Ale has a deep burgundy in color and is refreshingly smooth and not too heavy like most red ales. The sweet caramel flavour of the ale accentuates the complex terpene profile of the popular strain. Giving off scents of blueberries and mangos (myrcene), green grapes (pinene), and Thai basil (caryophyllene).The hints of citrus with caramel vibes meshes incredibly well with the fruity aromas of White Rhino. This wonderful pairing is enjoyed best after a nice hearty meal on a crisp chilly night.
5. Mill Street Cobblestone Stout and Cold Creek Kush
Tired of drinking Guinness every year just because it's the most popular irish stout? Here’s an excellent alternative. Some say it’s just as good, others say it’s better, we think it's the perfect pairing for some Cold Creek Kush. With intense notes of ground coffee, chocolate, and caramel this stout leaves little to be desired. The warm flavours of the stout compliment the piney scents of Cold Creek Kush. When paired this combo makes you feel like you're camping in a forest ready for some adventure. The sweet flavours of the cobblestone stout bring down the strongly herbal and earthy flavors of the Kush and leaves your senses with a sour pine aftertaste! Not only is the stout organic but it is also nitrogenated for extra creaminess. Definitely a pairing to be relished and savoured.
Remember that taste is very subjective so what some may like, you might hate. The only way to find out what combo you'll love is to try them out! I suggest doing a tasting with some friends so that you can try out small samples of pairings and have tons to choose from. You can compare your findings and find out what your taste buds crave! IF you find any killer combos be sure to leave us a comment so we can try them out too!
Please consume Alcohol and Cannabis responsibly. When testing out pairings it’s important to exercise caution and always follow the laws in your location.