Cannabrew is one of the first products in the UK to infuse CBD – a cannabis derivative – and beer, and the feedback, says its creator, has been very positive.
Elliot Horner, 21, decided to experiment with adding CBD (Cannabidiol) to the beer brewing process after using the oil as a pain relief following rugby matches.
After several months of work he found a way of infusing the beer in a way that complements both ingredients, and has produced a 4.5% Sesh IPA, and a 4.5% Pilsner, with 10mg of CBD in each 330ml can.
He has now launched a new website and delivery service for Cannabrew, and has also made inroads with national suppliers to restaurants, shops and pubs across the country.
Elliot had previously set up Horner Bros Brewery with his brother Lewis, and the pair produced several popular beers before deciding to pursue different things.
Elliot said he first became interested in the beer world when he got a job at The Borough in Lancaster – owned by his parents Martin and Hannah Horner – when he left school, and enjoyed learning about the different beers the pub supplied.
He went on to train at Brew Lab as a Brewmaster, subsequently setting up Horner Bros and producing craft beer such as the Lazy Sunday IPA and Lune Valley Lager.
“I was keen to set up on my own,” said Elliot.
“I play for Fylde and Lancashire RUFC and I was taking CBD oil to help with aches and pains after rugby.
“I took it as a tincture under my tongue.
“I originally got it online via Amazon, and it was the inner brewer wanting to mix things together, and it just came to me to try doing it.”
“It’s a bit like hops and cannabis have made a reunion!” he said.
Hops – which help to give flavour and aroma to beer – are closely related to the cannabis plant, and some beers can smell remarkably similar to the plant.
There is evidence that cannabis has been used for its medicinal properties since the Stone Age, but it is only until relatively recently that scientists have been able to understand how it interacts with our brains and bodies.
While cannabis is classed as an illegal drug, cannabidiol (CBD), which is non-psychoactive, is classed as a food supplement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK.
Studies have found that CBD possesses therapeutic properties that can balance the body and potentially assist in the treatment of an array of symptoms and conditions.
Some of these include arthritis, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer.Read More
“Different people will be affected differently,” Elliot said.
“We would recommend 30mg per day.
“That’s what people tend to get an effect from.
“Some people have been really surprised by it.
“I had an elderly lady message me to say her ankles have been feeling great since she had it, after years of pain.
“People have been saying how they’ve been sleeping well.
“The way I describe it is like when you’re driving through the Lake District on a sunny day, listening to your favourite music, that kind of feeling.”
Elliot created several test batches and then set up Cannabrew from The Borough in Dalton Square, where the business is based, and partnered with a large brewing plant in Birkenhead, where the beer is created.
“The kit is huge,” he said.
“I go regularly to make the beer with one of their brewers.
“We have quite a long dry hopping phase, to get that smell of fresh fruit, and then do the CBD infusion, and then there’s a maturation phase, and it is canned on site.
“The first batch was brewed at the end of August last year.
“Since then we’ve had lots of uptake in trade, lots of bars in Lancaster, off licenses, shops, and I now have the beer in most cities in the north.
“I’ve been going out delivering door to door in the north Lancashire and south Cumbria area, and it’s been going into venues from fine dining restaurants to live music places.
“We launched the website at the start of last week.
“We can also deliver to the rest of the UK using a courier service.
“Last week was the best week so far and we sold 50 cases.”
Elliot admits that he “wasn’t very academic and struggled a bit” at school, resulting in him attending QES in Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Sedbergh School due to his love of rugby, and then Myerscough College where he did a sports course.
This hasn’t held him back though.
“We’ve secured a deal with a national wholesaler for draught beer, so we can deliver to pubs and restaurants,” he said.
“Just before lockdown I went down to an orchard in Hereford to refine a cider recipe – which will be a mixed fruit cider called Cloud Cider and that will be available.”
Elliot said Cannabrew also reflects his approach to the environment.
Through its partnership with One Tree Planted, for every sale of a case of Cannabrew, one tree will be planted in the Amazon Rainforest.
All of the used grain and hops goes to a farm in Aldcliffe, in Lancaster, for animal feed, and the beer is vegan friendly.
Elliot worked with Lancaster designer Robin Zahler on the brand and can design, and is currently offering a promotion for 15 per cent off any sized order using the code LoveLocalLancs.