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Quick Guide to Pairing Beer and Weed

April 7, 2020

It’s National Beer Day, and since we are all stuck at home, there’s no better time to do a little experimenting with beer and weed pairings. But first, why do we celebrate this holiday? On April 7, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act (aka The Beer Permit Act) went into effect. Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, this act legalized the sale of beer in the United States after 13 years of prohibition. So now we celebrate by raising a pint…and smoking a joint.

The primary terpenes in hops—myrcene, humulene, beta-pinene—give beer its signature smell. But beers are as diverse in their scent profiles as your favorite cannabis strains so we asked our culinary cannabis scientists to create this handy reference guide and provide their tips for pairing. Keep in mind there are no concrete rules when pairing beer with weed. Everyone’s taste buds are different. What may work for some, may not work for others. 

Beer Type Flavor Profile Complimentary Flavors Complimentary Terpenes Recommended Strain 
Pilsner Floral aromas, Crisp, Light Citrus, Lemon, Pepper Myrcene, Caryophyllene Lemon Sour Diesel
Hefeweizen Light, Citrus, Orange Orange, Tangerine Limonene Whitezilla
IPA Citrus, Hoppy Rosemary, Earthy, Piney Pinene Budzilla
Double IPA Citrus, Hoppy, Floral, Pine, Bitter Cheese, Skunk, Earthy, Grapefruit Caryophyllene, Pinene, Limonene Budzilla
Porter Roasted Malt, Chocolate, Burnt Sugar, Heavy mouthfeel Sweet, Chocolate, Floral Linalool Lemon Sour Diesel
  • Beer Type
  • IPA
  • Flavor Characteristics
  • Citrus, Hoppy
  • Complimentary Flavors
  • Rosemary, Earthy, Piney
  • Complimentary Terpenes
  • Pinene
  • Recommended Strain
  • Budzilla
  • Beer Type
  • Double IPA/Pliny the Elder
  • Flavor Characteristics
  • Grapefruit, Hoppy, Floral, Pine, Bitter
  • Complimentary Flavors
  • Cheese, Skunk, Earthy, Grapefruit
  • Complimentary Terpenes
  • Caryophyllene, Pinene, Limonene
  • Recommended Strain
  • Budzilla
  • Beer Type
  • Hefeweizen
  • Flavor Characteristics
  • Light, Citrus, Orange
  • Complimentary Flavors
  • Orange, Tangerine
  • Complimentary Terpenes
  • Limonene
  • Recommended Strain
  • Whitezilla
  • Beer Type
  • Porter/Stout
  • Flavor Characteristics
  • Roasted Malt, Chocolate, Burnt Sugar, Heavy Mouthfeel
  • Complimentary Flavors
  • Sweet, Chocolate, Floral
  • Complimentary Terpenes
  • Linalool
  • Recommended Strain
  • Lemon Sour Diesel
  • Beer Type
  • Pilsner (Type of pale lager)
  • Flavor Characteristics
  • Floral, Crisp, Light
  • Complimentary Flavors
  • Citrus, Lemon, Pepper
  • Complimentary Terpenes
  • Myrcene
  • Recommended Strain
  • Lemon Sour Diesel

Beer and Weed Pairing Tips

  1. Look into dominant terpenes for the strains you intend to smoke. High levels of caryophyllene provide spice on the nose and taste. Limonene provides citrus and lemon. Myrcene offers an earthy aroma. Linalool is floral.
  2. Use your senses. Smell and taste. Does the herb smell fruity, citrusy, piney, spicy? What does the beer smell and taste like? Think of the terpenes as you would when cooking with spices in your kitchen. This is where you can really experiment. Get creative. Flavor pairing should be fun.
  3. Refer to the name of the cannabis strain to help if you don’t have access to terpene results. i.e. anything with orange or lemon in the name more than likely have those aromas and/or taste attributes.
  4. If you’re sipping on something heavy (a high ABV like Imperial Stout), and your goal is to stay alert, stick with a Sativa or strains lower in THC to balance things out.
  5. Sour beers pair well with pretty much everything. Their crisp and acidic palate promotes salivation, a nice buffer to the dry “cotton” mouth you can get when smoking.
  6. Start slow when you smoke and drink as crossfading can turn into spinning surroundings quickly!
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