The founder of Blue Moon thinks he’s onto something with non-alcoholic beer. And so, apparently, do investors.
Ceria Brewing Co., the Arvada-based company Keith Villa and his wife Jodi founded in January 2018, reported to the SEC March 5 that it raised another $500,000.
Villa said the company has raised a total of $5.5 million, and that he plans to go after additional funding in a few months.
Villa worked at MillerCoors, which produces Blue Moon, for 32 years. He founded Ceria upon leaving the company, and began selling two types of non-alcoholic beer infused with THC and CBD. There’s Grainwave, a Belgian-style White Ale, and IPA Indiewave.
The infused version of the white ale has THC. The infused version of the IPA has THC and CBD. Ceria partners with Boulder-based Keef Brands and California-based GrowPacker for the infusions.
The infused versions of both drinks are available at various dispensaries in Denver, including The Green Solution, The Colfax Pot Shop and Cannabotica.
Villa, who has a doctorate in brewing science and fermentation biochemistry, said consumers began asking for beer without cannabis last year because they liked the taste but often couldn’t or didn’t want to consume the drink with cannabis. In December, Ceria began selling non-infused versions of its two beverages.
“We see non-alcoholic, non-infused craft beer as a great market,” Villa said. “(It’s a) market not really tapped into. No pun intended.”
The non-infused versions can be found in all Total Wine locations across the country, according to Villa. He said Ceria also signed with another national distributor in early March, but declined to identify the company.
As for the company’s original infused drinks, Ceria is working to get into California and Illinois, where recreational marijuana is legal.
“Right now, the demand is there,” Villa said. “The only issue is we have to build out the supply chain to get the beer to the accounts. … That money, as well as future money, will help us get more volume out to the markets that are requesting it.”