Finnegans Brew Co. CEO Jacquie Berglund found inspiration for her latest brew through a conversation with a friend at manufacturer Cool Clean Technologies.
The two were discussing Cool Clean’s hemp-oil extraction machinery when the idea emerged: Why not craft a beer with hemp oil?
She took the idea back to head brewer Ryan Mihm, and plans for a new beer came into clearer focus.
From there, the “Kicked to the Herb” Pale Ale was born. Mihm says the beer is the first to be brewed with hemp oil in Minnesota. To be sure, there are other breweries in the country that craft hemp oil beer, but Finnegans’ is the first in the state.
Produced with Citra and Chinook hops, the beer features “tropical and piney” flavors. Mihm says using hemp oil instead of hempseed draws out the plant’s aroma.
So far, Finnegans has produced 10 barrels of Kicked to the Herb, which equates to about 16 kegs. The company began crafting the new brew about two weeks ago, Mihm says.
The brewer could produce as many as 1,000 barrels a year if there’s enough interest.
“If people are interested in this beer and want to buy more of it, we’ll make as much as we possibly can,” Mihm says.
The company, which donates all its profits to charities, is partnering with Wisconsin-based hemp NJ Farms to produce the new beer.
Finnegans will officially release Kicked to the Herb to the broader public June 21 at a “Summer Solstice” party.