After loading up my satchel with all of the Truss Beverages from Cosmic Charlies on Toronto’s Queen Street West, I was excited to taste the differences between lines and record their results as to how I was feeling. Cannabis beverages are an incredible category, in my humble opinion, and there’s no better time than the summertime to drink them. It’s gotten so I can barely pass Cosmic Charlies without popping in for at least one 5mg can. So, with that in mind and a taste on my lips for pleasure, I got Melanie Smith, the Innovation Lead at Truss, on the phone to walk me through what I was drinking. Needless to say, it was lots of fun.
DRINK ONE: Little Victory Celtzers
The DETAILS: Available in a mixer 4-pack in Ontario, and as singles in other regions, this is a low-dose cannabis-infused twist on a classic summer seltzer with zero grams of sugar and zero calories.
The FLAVOURS: Lime and Raspberryn The TASTE: Fresh and light with no cannabis flavours on the tongue, the drink is imminently sippable like a sparkling fruit juice that isn’t overpowering and tastes good.
The EXPERIENCE: The 4-pack is perfect to bring to an outdoor event in place of a 6-pack of beer. Since they are low-dosed and tasty (and of course don’t need to be smoked) it’s a great option for those entirely new to cannabis to experience the new world of legal weed. (Something like over 65% of the people who try a cannabis beverage try them again.)
Mel SAYS: “A lot of people have never had the chance to experience cannabis drinks and we think the Little Victory Celtzer—with no sugar or calories—is a great opportunity for consumers of legal-age.”
DRINK TWO: XMG and XMG ALT
The DETAILS: A more potent beverage with 10mg of THC, XMG is for more experienced consumers. Plus its new line extension, XMG ALT, contains zero calories and zero grams of sugar!
The FLAVOURS: XMG: Lemon Iced Tea and Blue Raspberry, XMG ALT: Grape and Black Cherry, and XMG Sodas: Cola, Cream Soda, Root Beer, Orange Soda
The TASTE: Big and bold, the XMG line feels substantial, if the flavour is somehow also enhanced by the knowledge that it contains 10mg of THC. It has punch, and the Iced Tea in particular—a category underrepresented in the legal drink space—is imminently crushable and fun and delicious.
The EXPERIENCE: An excellent product, I saw the Baz Luhrmann film Elvis after drinking my can of Iced Tea and only wished we were evolved enough to have Cineplex sell these drinks in addition to their offerings of wine and beer.
Mel SAYS: “I personally love the XMG Lemon Iced Tea and often recommend it as a great option to pair with food.”
DRINK THREE: Bedfellows Liquid Arts
The DETAILS: The Bedfellows line includes Indie Pals and Haus Mates, and most recently Doppelrädder and Sour Razpaartner, which is impossible to spell but easy to drink! Each beverage has different amounts of THC and CBD and is crafted by a brewmaster. It’s also worth mentioning that cannabis drinks have a quicker onset time than edibles. n The FLAVOURS: Mirroring the craft beer categories at your local alcohol shop, Bedfellows has a cannabis answer to raddlers, IPAs and pilsners, with plans to launch a (non-alcoholic) pale ale in the future. If you have a favourite category of beer, you can match it with a Bedfellows drink.
The TASTE: Bedfellows Sour Razpaartner, a non-alcoholic cannabis craft beer, has something of a raspberry juice meets sour beer vibe. It’s punchy and flavour-forward, as good sour beers are, and feels robust: this is a new product category and exciting. Any fans of craft beer could be encouraged to taste their way through this line.
The EXPERIENCE: The amount of choice in the Bedfellows line gives consumers a fun way to experience this new category. There’s pretty much something for everybody (and growing), and it’s a moderate to pretty strong cannabis alternative to brews. It would be fun to get a bunch of beverages and buddies altogether to host a tasting (even at a non-alc brewery!).n Mel SAYS: “As beverage experts dedicated to making delicious and innovative cannabis beverages, craft cannabis beverages is the category for Truss to own - we did it with Mollo [Truss’ other non-alc beer-inspired brand], and now we’re owning it with Bedfellows. We know Canadians love beer and with the CIB category rapidly expanding, there is a ton of growth potential for craft cannabis beverages specifically.”