The global cannabis beverage industry is expected to reach a value of $27.82 billion by 2032, and many alcohol companies are trying to take advantage of this surge in popularity.
From the makers of Sam Adams beer and Twisted Tea, TeaPot is Boston Beer’s first cannabis-infused beverage. Paul Weaver, Head of Cannabis at Boston Beer, says the aim of TeaPot is to make it the most inviting, friendly and disarming cannabis brand in the industry.
Cannabis-Infused Iced Teas
“For the new cannabis user, the entire experience from shopping to consumption can be intimidating,” Weaver notes. “Tea is a great analogy. There’re teas for the day time and teas for the nighttime, just like strains of pot. Once we landed on the name TeaPot, we knew we had something special. (Plus, we’re the brewers of Twisted Tea — we know how to make a crushable beverage).”
TeaPot is currently only available in Canada. Specifically in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, according to Weaver.
The Making of TeaPot
For TeaPot, Boston Beer is outsourcing their marijuana from Entourage Health Corporation. Once they receive the cannabis extract, Weaver says it is then made into an emulsion to ensure that the cannabis will be distributed evenly throughout the liquid. The cannabis emulsion is then infused into the beverage, mixed and packaged into a can.
“Each batch goes through a quality control process to ensure consumers are receiving a high quality and consistent product every time. The beverage is tested using a validated method to ensure the cannabis amount stated on the label is what is in the can. We also taste every batch to ensure consumers receive a great tasting experience,” Weaver explains.
Because the legal cannabis industry is highly regulated, Boston Beer had to acquire special licenses to ensure they were operating legally. From the blending of the beverages to the distribution to a legal dispensary, Weaver says almost every part of the process requires a license.
Marrying Cannabis and Beverages
Weaver brings plenty of experience and expertise to the table that helps make TeaPot a success. In 2011, he joined Molson Coors at their brewery in Toronto, helping to create and launch new beers in Canada. By 2017, it was becoming clear that Canada was on the precipice of legalizing cannabis at the federal level, so Weaver became a medical patient and a passionate advocate for the plant.
“I joined Canopy Growth Corporation that year to lead their product innovation department. As the Director of Innovation at Canopy, I experienced a crash course on the entirety of product design in cannabis and caught the bug,” says Weaver. “In 2021, I met Jim Koch, Robert Vail and Dave Burwick from Boston Beer Company who shared my passion for both cannabis and beer and the rest is history.”
Now, Weaver marries his two industry passions in one: from beer to weed and now somewhere in the middle.
Even though the cannabis beverage space is massive and growing at a rapid pace, there are plenty of challenges that come with creating this product. For Weaver, the biggest challenge is taste.
“Most cannabis beverages, frankly, taste like cannabis. TeaPot’s best feature is that it doesn’t taste or smell like cannabis — it’s just a great tasting iced tea. Once you’ve made a great drink, then it’s an uphill battle of regulated production, provincial cannabis process and finally safe distribution,” Weaver explains.
TeaPot is currently available in three flavors including Lemon Black Tea, Mango Green Tea and Blueberry Chamomile. They each are infused with 5mg of THC and sold in 355-ml cans.