A mainstreaming moment for the cannabis industry: Launching CERIA™ Brewing Company’s first THC-infused beer

Having worked in the beer industry for much of my career, and now in the cannabis business, I find it deeply satisfying to see the two lifestyle industries come together. With the launch of renowned brewmaster Keith Villa’s CERIA™ Brewing Company, Keith is realizing his vision to utilize beer – the world’s most socially acceptable and democratic beverage – to move beyond the stigma of cannabis and unlock its magic for the mainstream.

Keith is a great example of the growing trend of seasoned leaders lured away from their jobs in consumer-packaged goods by the extraordinary promise of the cannabis industry. It’s similar to the Silicon Valley a decade or so ago, when leaders from P&G, Clorox and others transitioned to roles in technology companies, helping them to understand that everyday people don’t speak engineering.

Today, it is crucial to realize that the counter-culture roots of marijuana can be a potential roadblock to consumers who might otherwise be interested in learning more about, and even participating in, the exciting new world of cannabis. While staying relevant to your installed base is important, it can’t be at the expense of growing your audience. This shift in understanding, and focus, is critical for the industry to truly grow up and fulfill its promise. Today, more than ever, cannabis brands must be focused on meeting the needs of their potential consumers to drive sustainable growth.

My agency started working with Keith when he was the mastermind behind the beloved and ever-popular Blue Moon. When he retired from one of the big breweries in late 2017 and started CERIA™ with his wife Jodi, we were thrilled to be tapped to develop the brand strategy and identity for CERIA, Inc. As part of our work together, we helped develop the entire brand system, including strategy, identity, packaging, website and product naming for CERIA Brewing, their cannabis beer portfolio.

Trinity Brand Group Works with CERIA™ to Launch THC-Infused Cannabis Beer

Trinity Brand Group Works with CERIA™ to Launch THC-Infused Cannabis Beer

Trinity Brand Group Works with Renowned Brewmaster, Keith Villa, to Launch Highly Anticipated THC-Infused Cannabis Beer

Firm creates brand identity system, packaging, website and product naming to help achieve CERIA™ Brewing Company’s mission to mainstream cannabis

November 12, Berkeley, CA –Trinity Brand Group (“Trinity”) paired its long history of building iconic beer and adult lifestyle brands with its expertise in the cannabis industry to help launch the country’s newest THC-infused de-alcoholized beer from CERIA™ Brewing Company (“CERIA” rhymes with “area”). Trinity helped CERIA develop its entire brand system, including strategy, identity, packaging, website and product naming. CERIA will launch its first brew, Grainwave™ Belgian-style White Ale, across Colorado’s broad network of dispensaries beginning in December 2018, with plans to introduce an American Lager and IPA in the first quarter of 2019.

Trinity developed a brand strategy for CERIA utilizing the familiar and popular associations of beer to create a brand proposition that would be accessible and relatable for all adult consumers. The brand’s identity and look and feel intentionally cue a clear analogy to beer to make it easy for consumers to understand and integrate the products into mainstream usage occasions.

The presence of beer-like packaging also stands out in the crowded dispensary environment, making it an easy choice for consumers potentially overwhelmed by cannabis product choice. Trinity’s packaging design system focuses strongly on shop-ability, ensuring that the three beer styles and THC levels are easily distinguishable from one another and legible from behind the dispensary counter and cooler. Packaging will adhere to all Colorado regulations including product tracking data and a THC warning and will initially be sold in single bottles. The system also includes a four-pack to encourage sociability.

Keith Villa, Co-Founder and Brewmaster, and Chief Marketing Officer, Doug Christoph, tapped Trinity earlier this year to help develop the identity for CERIA Inc., which is the parent company for CERIA Brewing Co., its cannabis-beer portfolio. Trinity worked with Villa and Christoph on both branding efforts.

“Our relationship with Trinity has been pivotal in getting our brand built the right way,” said Villa.  “I’ve known Trinity for years as an outstanding strategic and creative partner. With CERIA, they’ve helped us create a brand identity and design system that already feels iconic, and that we expect adult consumers are going to love.”

The new branding will extend to all brand touchpoints, including the CERIA Brewing Company website, ceriabrewing.com, which launched Nov. 12, 2018.

“CERIA Brewing Company is launching at a pivotal moment in the cannabis conversation as consumers are looking for opportunities to experiment with and enjoy new products in legalized environments,” said Matthew Youngblood, Principal and Co-Founder of Trinity Brand Group. “Our partnership with the team at CERIA has been a one-of-a-kind experience. By bringing together our brand strategy and design expertise in cannabis, beer and consumer packaged goods, we’ve been able to build a brand strategically from the ground up. We can’t wait to see what consumers and dispensaries have to say.”


About Trinity Brand Group 

Trinity Brand Group is an award-winning brand strategy and design firm with locations in Berkeley, Chicago and Ireland. Trinity clients span a variety of industries including cannabis, packaged foods, non-alcoholic and adult beverages, lifestyle and better-for-you brands, technology and financial services. The firm helps organizations realize their full potential by applying rigor and creativity across a full spectrum of services including brand and creative strategy, identity and package design, and digital communications for new and established brands. To learn more, go to Trinity Brand Group.

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