Woman Crush Wednesday: Catherine Villa
Championing a beer brand is a challenge, but a non-alcoholic one? Gasp! Or better yet, a cannabis-infused one? Jinkies!
She isn’t here for your grandpa’s beers; she is here to help you change your concept of what beer can be. Catherine Villa, ambassador, marketer, and event adventurer extraordinaire, has discovered that beer doesn’t need to have alcohol in it to be enjoyable and is on a mission to share that with the world. As it turns out, beer can’t can’t have alcohol if it is going to have cannabis due to legal requirements!
Ceria Brewing started off essentially as a retirement project for Keith Villa (yes, Blue Moon’s Keith Villa) to incorporate cannabis into beer. People enjoyed the flavor so much; why not do a non-alcoholic version as well? Catherine is out at liquor stores, fests, and other events to educate people about this new world of non-alcoholic beer that tastes like beer.
However, the beer world is not always accepting of changes. Consider the derision that still follows the hazy IPA even though it has been an acknowledged and formally judged style for some years now. The non-alcoholic movement, with the lighter body and a focus on true-to-style brewing without the booze, could almost be considered the antithesis to the hazy IPAs high ABV tropical hop smoothies. It isn’t easy to be the one at tastings and handling the critiques, but more and more converts every day because people like her continue to work as advocates.
She also gets the extra experience of educating everyone from dispensaries to budtenders of how a cannabis-infused beer is different from its alcoholic brethren. The assumption of beer is that it is alcoholic, but cannabis-infused beer focuses on giving a similar feeling but without the alcohol. Changing the perception of what beer can be is a tall order, but she handles it well. The hop didn’t fall far from the pint with Catherine, so if you have an opportunity to see her at an event, try what she’s got because you won’t be disappointed by the experience.