Why Can’t Kansas Drink New Belgium’s Hemp Beer?

New Belgium Brewing created the beer as a way to raise awareness about the environmental, and economic benefits of hemp.

As the New Belgium Brewery releases its Hemperor HPA around the country, Kansas bans it because the state’s booze officials don’t care for hemp as an ingredient in any alcohol.

Their rationale?

The Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control board’s decision to ban the beer is based on its current interpretation of Kansas’s industrial hemp law.

This, however, which makes little sense in view of Kansas’s Department of Agriculture's recent announcement that it intends to oversee the cultivation of hemp in a research program.

It is also worth mentioning that Hemperor HPA does not contain THC or any other psychoactive ingredients.

In that Federal law prohibits brewers from using hemp leaves or flowers, New Belgium creatively circumvented the law by brewing their new beer with shelled hemp seeds. Hemperor HPA is also brewed with Simcoe hops and experimental HBC 522 hops to produce the beer’s signature aroma, according to the company’s website.

"This beer has been over two years in the making, most of the time spent learning and reacting to laws that really suppress this crop's usage," said Ross Koenigs, New Belgium's research and development brewer, per Craft Beer.com. "Flavor-wise, this is the beer we wanted to make, but due to misinformed laws governing the use of industrial hemp, we had to take a creative and long-winding road to get to this point."

As both hemp and hops are part of the cannabaceaeplant family, which includes marijuana, cannabis and/or hemp are attractive ingredients for brewing beer, which is the issue with the feds who categorize marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.

Just last week in San Francisco, the feds ordered the Black Hammer Brewing Company to stop making its famous Toke Back Mountain IPA because it contains hemp-derived cannabidiol, aka CBD.

New Belgium created the beer as a way to raise awareness about the social, environmental, and economic benefits of industrial hemp.

For every Hemperor HPA barrel sold, New Belgium is donating $1 to Hemp 4 Victory, an organization associated with Willie Nelson that is attempting to legalize industrial hemp.

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