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Pennsylvania Brewery Debuts IPA Infused with Cannabis Terpenes

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Cannabis terpene-infused beer is coming to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and it’s all thanks to the brew master’s love for his kitty and the Grateful Dead. On July 4th, Bethlehem Brew Works debuted a beer called “Cat Nip Kitty”, which will be one of the first of its kind in the state. 

“After years of following the Grateful Dead around in my early days, I was exposed to many strange aromas that became familiar once again, this was really fun to work on! The amount of terpenes is very small, they are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way, but make a huge impact on flavor and aroma,” Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works brew master Christopher Bowen told The Morning Call.

At 7.3% ABV, one or two glasses of this beer will go a long way as well. Bowen says the beer is inspired by his cat. The beer is a New England-style IPA, brewed with pilsner and pale malts, oats, milk, sugar and vanilla. 

To round off the tasty concoction, Bowen says he tops the brew off with trace amounts of terpenes found in the strains Sour Diesel and Fruity Pebbles.  Since the beer contains only trace amounts of terpenes, and no THC or CBD, the beer is completely legal. Terpenes are part of what gives cannabis strains their unique flavor and aroma, and are secreted in the sticky resin glands of cannabis flowers.

Bowen says, “Certain types of terpenes actually bond to cannabinoid receptors, enhancing the effects of the other compounds that are active in cannabis, including CBD and THC. Yes, terpenes are known for enhancing the effects of both CBD and THC, as well as enhancing the medical benefits related to both,” Bowen said.

Some people seem to think that terpenes are exclusive to the cannabis plant, but that’s primarily because there has been a recent rise in the popularity of talking about cannabis terpenes and all of the interesting advances in the legal cannabis industry. The truth is that terpenes exist in a wide variety of plants, and even some insects.  Many plants produce terpenes as a way of protecting themselves from herbivores. The term ‘terpene’ was coined in 1866 by the German chemist August Kekulé. 

Bowen’s fruity kitty brew is one of a number of its kind to pop up in the last few years. A winery in California sold alcohol-free wine infused with cannabis, for instance. As we continue to peel back the deeply entrenched layers of cannabis prohibition, we will only be seeing more consumables like these.

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