Province Brands of Canada, developers of beers brewed from the cannabis plant—have announced an agreement allowing Lake of the Woods Brewing Company to use its technologies to craft cannabis beer under the Lake of the Woods label.
“As Ontario’s northern-most brewer, we trace our craft beer heritage back more than 120 years with a commitment to quality, natural ingredients and blazing new trails,” said Taras Manzie, president and CEO of Lake of the Woods. “Our new relationship with Province Brands of Canada positions Lake of the Woods once again to bring quality, natural ingredients and innovation to our treasured clients as the next phase of cannabis legalization in Canada approaches.”
Recreational cannabis use became legal in Canada in October 2018 for dried and fresh cannabis, oil, plants and seeds. It is expected that the Canadian government will legalize drinks, food, and other edibles containing cannabis by October of this year.
The announced agreement allows Lake of the Woods to license Province Brands of Canada’s patent-pending technology to mash and ferment cannabis–instead of more traditional barley–and brew beers in Province Brand’s 123,000-square-foot facility in Grimsby, Ontario (currently under construction). This process will start once the manufacture and sale of such products are legalized in Canada.
Under the agreement, Lake of the Woods and Province Brands will collaborate to launch non-alcoholic beer brewed from cannabis, which will intoxicate using marijuana instead of alcohol. The beer will be available wherever cannabis can be legally sold in Canada under the Cannabis Act, once such sales are legal.
Over the past two and a half years, Province Brands of Canada has developed a patent-pending process for brewing a premium beer from the cannabis plant. The first steps in the brewing process, milling and “mashing” (i.e. saccharifying or extracting fermentable sugars from the cannabis plant), requires specialized equipment and technology, which would not be found in a more traditional brewery.
Lake of the Woods will work closely with Province Brands’ master brewer Rob Kevwitch to develop non-alcoholic cannabis-brewed craft beers. Because the beer is brewed from cannabis, rather than barley, it will be naturally gluten-free and low in calories and sugar. The beers brewed will be consistent with Lake of the Woods traditions, which focuses on commitment to quality, natural ingredients, and customer satisfaction.
“I love it when a plan comes together,” said Dooma Wendschuh, CEO and co-founder of Province Brands. “When we started this company in 2016 people thought we were crazy. They would tell us cannabis beverages would never become legal in Canada. Here we are on the eve of legalization of cannabis beverages and we’re light years ahead of the competition. We’ve perfected our process, moved into an incredible facility, and assembled a true ‘A-Team’ of the best and brightest researchers and brewers in the industry. It’s because of these almost three years of hard work that we’ve been able to earn the trust of a major player like Lake of the Woods. We’re incredibly grateful for their interest and thrilled to be beginning this adventure with them.”
This is the ninth such licensing agreement recently announced by Province Brands of Canada.