As VP of sales for Pacific Stone, Ted Whitney oversees a lot of cannabis, most of which is grown in the brand’s 1.1 million square foot greenhouse in Carpinteria. But before he entered the weed business, Whitney studied molecular biology at the University of Colorado, worked briefly in wholesale wine, and then spent 15 years building up the craft beer industry.
He finds a lot of parallels between beer and cannabis, from farming protocols to the dank terpene flavors of both to the passion shown by aficionados of either, who crave their favorite strains of hops or herb. No wonder he’s a bit of an expert when it comes to pairing bud with beer, and he offers a few of his suggestions for popular Pacific Stone strains below.
Fruit Bubblegum Pre-Roll x Island Brewing Beach Day Session IPA: “The crisp hop profile and light, clean body of this lovely session IPA pairs brilliantly with this lemony, uplifting fruit bubblegum. The effect is just right, too. I get a very relaxing and head-clearing high from this beautiful cannabis strain, and the lower ABV and crisp finish of this session IPA is just what I need to relax while still being ready to get stuff done for the rest of the day!”
Wedding Cake x Figueroa Mountain Lagerville Super Collab: “When it’s time to unwind, I love the spicy camphor and sweet smoke kick off this supremely relaxing experience. The rich flavor of that cannabis is a perfect complement to this Fig Mountain collab, a beer they brewed together with Enegren and Urban Roots. The dark roasted malt and exceptionally smooth finish plays with Wedding Cake’s rich smoke as I feel all the tension melt out of my body. This pairing with some great jazz in a dimly lit room is a perfect end to any day.” He also likes Wedding Cake with Belgian Wit beers such as Allagash White or Avery’s White Rascal. “The citrus and spice notes in the beer along with the rich, creamy body will be perfect between hits of one of our favorite flowers.”
Blue Dream x Orval Belgian Pale Ale: This strain is one of Pacific Stone’s originals, a cross of DJ Short’s Blueberry and OG Kush. “Its big, fruity nose and powerful effect would pair well with another original, Orval. This Belgian Pale Ale offers earth and fruit on the nose and a funky pallet. It’s an original coming from a Belgian Monastery, and when you get two uncompromised versions of anything great, you’re going to have a great time.”
Gelato 41 x Russian River Blind Pig: For this strain with hints of lavender, pine, and earth, Whitney goes “old-school” IPA in the form of hard-to-find Russian River’s Blind Pig or Fort Point’s Animal. “The bold, citrusy hops are going to complement the earthy, piney smoke, and the potent punch of either beer is going to really enhance the head-fixing high this strain offers.”