ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dialogue Brewing has collaborated with Albuquerque-based budboard to create a special India Pale Ale to commemorate 4/20.
BC Kush IPA is being released today on the cannabis holiday that falls on April 20. But, there is more to BC Kush than recognizing 4/20 day.
Dialogue’s head brewer Ian Graham made a fresh batch of of the brewery’s flagship beer, Belgian Citrus IPA that is also known as BC IPA. He is infusing a cask of the IPA with terpenes obtained from budboard, a local company that tracks the chemical profiles of cannabis.
“A terpene is simply the name of the class of chemical, essentially they’re a part of the the essential oil in plants that are largely aromatic and in the case of cannabis typically have effects like help with a headache or make you more alert and what-not,” said Joshua Mallett, chief executive officer of budboard.
The company uses data it obtains to recreate the flavorings of cannabis that match up well to hops, according to Antonio Gandara-Martinez, president and chief marketing officer of budboard.
“We took a chemical analysis of the hops that (Dialogue) were using and added in elements, chemical profiles of cannabis, since they’re close cousins and we use that to add just the right amount of natural flavorings,” Gandara-Martinez said. “Hops and cannabis are closely related and they share a lot of similarities in what makes up the flavor of hops and what makes up the flavor of cannabis. It’s actually pretty similar. They have terpenes in common.”
BC Kush got its name from its bouquet.
“Since we know so much about cannabis through our work we thought it was only natural to experiment with beer and add this in to see if we could get that nice kushy flavor in an IPA and we think it came out pretty well,” Gandara-Martinez said. “The additive that we put in there’s going to be a much greater piney, almost lavender smell. In cannabis that smell is just called kush.”
The BC IPA that is being used already stands out from the rest. The IPA was the runner up in the 2016 National IPA Challenge specialty category, according Dialogue’s head brewer Ian Graham.
“It’s a lot different than a lot of Albuquerque’s other IPA offerings mainly because of the Belgian yeast we use and part of the bitterness of the beer actually derives from fruit pits,” Graham said. “So we take whole fruit lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits and normally when you’re adding them to a beer, you take out the pits because they can add a bitterness to it but for this one we leave it in. You get these whole fruit flavors along with the CTZ hops so it’s got a nice balance of Belgian phenolics so you’ll get cloves a little hint of banana and spice, very little on the banana. You’ll get some other stone fruit flavors and then you’ll have from the hops a nice pine, earthiness to it to follow it up.”
BC Kush might have the flavor and aroma characteristics of cannabis but the plant was not used to make or infuse the beer.
“For a point of clarification, none of the terpenes came from marijuana,” Graham said. “They exist in all sorts of things like lemons and fruits and hops so none of the stuff we are putting in the beer has anything directly coming from cannabis.”
BC Kush is smooth and drinkable and is an IPA that non-IPA drinkers will enjoy, according to Mallett.
“It’s definitely high on the pine, a little bit of the grapefruit, a lot of dank on the nose, you know something you would get from the sister crop, it’s not something straight up like hemp,” Graham said. “It’s far more subtle and more on the side of tropicalness. We’re excited.”