The sense of calm and relaxation one gets when they crack open a cold beer; the smell hits their nose, and the taste of hops hitting the palate isn’t necessarily the alcohol: Terpenes are what we also have to thank for the way beer can make you feel. Terpenes rule the plant kingdom, as they are the compounds within the essential oils of plants that give them their aroma, taste, and therapeutic effects when ingested.
The Rise of Terpene-Infused Beverages
We have the cannabis and hemp industries to thank for the rise in the popularity of terpenes. Most cannabis consumers and connoisseurs alike will tell you that it’s not just the THC or CBD that gives cannabis its effect, but also the terpenes. Terpenes also exist in hops, giving beer the delicious and refreshing taste enjoyed by so many worldwide.
With over 20,000 known and more to be discovered within plant science, terpenes are increasingly being added to various products outside the cannabis industry, including beauty and personal care products, foods, and beverages, with terpene-infused beer taking the lead.
Here are four exciting trends in terpene-infused beverages that we think are pretty innovative and that brewers of beer should take note of:
Nodding to OG Kush
OG Kush has been a mainstay within cannabis since the mid-1990s, and has proven to be a go-to strain for easing stress, often touted as the perfect strain for relaxation at the end of a hard day.
Its terpene profile of caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, pinene, and humulene work together through the miraculous Entourage Effect to bring about a sense of calm and chill while passing notes of fuel, skunk, and spice on the palate.
Sweetwater Brewery recently partnered up with Cypress Hill to create Insane OG. This Mexican-inspired lager also carries hints of these terpenes that pay homage to the popular cannabis strain.
Limonene for Energy
Citrus fruits and their essential oils have always been hailed for their energizing properties, which is why limonene is a popular terpene to add to beer and other beverages, adding zesty overtones to the nose and taste buds.
Durban Poison is a very well-revered cannabis strain for its lemony scent and uplifting effects, which is why limonene is one of the dominant terpenes in Templin Family Durban Space Terpene beer. This hoppy beer has subtle citrus, floral, and cannabis notes, with one reviewer likening it to smoking cannabis from an apple bong.
Myrcene for Chill
Cannabis users turn to Indica strains for an “in da couch” effect, meaning they’re great for relaxation. Myrcene is the most dominant terpene found in cannabis and often found within Indica strains, leading beverage companies to embrace this calming terpene for their brew.
Hemp Brands of New Zealand has taken this terpene to its maximum effect through their gin-based products, focusing solely on myrcene for its relaxing properties.
Terpene Blends for Maximum Effect
Terpenes are effective on their own, but through The Entourage Effect, they become more effective when working in harmony with other terpenes, which is why terpene blends in beer are on the rise.
Clown Shoes has released Rainbows are Real, an IPA that features linalool (also found in lavender) and beta-pinene. The former is great for relaxation, while the latter boasts pain-relieving properties. This mix of terps gives the beer a floral and piney taste on the palate.
Lagunitas HiFi Hops has released a series of non-alcoholic IPAs based on various terpene blends, with their product offerings being Unplugged, Tuner, and Reverb.
Terpology® by True Terpenes was created by Dr. Ethan Russo, with the company creating various terpene blend products that hold particular therapeutic effects such as rest, recovery, and creative. Infusing these blends into beer provides a science-backed indicator of the terpenes' effects within the beer.
Taste the Terps with True Terpenes
Terpene-infused beer is becoming a fast favorite of cannabis connoisseurs and non-consumers alike, as these brews take the terpenes that are already in the hops and beer further.
With tasty brews like OG Kush, ales containing limonene and myrcene, and various terpene blends, adding terpenes to beer helps achieve a perfect balance between taste and effect.
Browse True Terpenes Terpology®, as well as other terpenes by taste and aroma to find your perfect terpenes to add to beer.