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Province Brands receives grant to develop yeast for cannabis beer


October 29, 2019
By Grow Opportunity staff

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Province Brands is exclusively focused on brewed or fermented beverages. It received a cannabis research licence from Health Canada earlier this month on Oct. 2. (Photo: Province Brands of Canada, Flickr)Province Brands is exclusively focused on brewed or fermented beverages. It received a cannabis research licence from Health Canada earlier this month on Oct. 2. (Photo: Province Brands of Canada, Flickr)

Province Brands of Canada announced Oct. 29 that it will partner with Western University to launch a research project to study and develop innovative yeasts which can be used in crafting beers made from hemp and cannabis.

The $45,000 grant is funded by the Ontario Center of Excellence (OCE) Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Engage program.

“Applying cutting edge bioengineering tools and advancement in agriculture to the rapidly evolving cannabis industry is creating an extremely exciting environment for entrepreneurs and new graduates in many business sectors,” said Lars Rehmann, associate professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Western. “Excellent support for joined projects between universities and highly innovative companies can result in ‘outside-the-box’ solutions to industrial problems, providing a competitive edge to everyone involved.”

Rehmann will oversee the project from Western University, working alongside Erin Johnson, research engineer and adjunct professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

Province Brands is exclusively focused on brewed or fermented beverages. It received a cannabis research licence from Health Canada earlier this month on Oct. 2. The company invested more than $10 million in direct research and development costs and has assembled a team of bioprocess chemists, bioprocess engineers, pharmacologists and cannabinoid researchers to develop premium cannabis beverages crafted in an entirely new brewing tradition.

The first steps in the brewing process, milling and “mashing” (i.e. saccharifying or extracting fermentable sugars from the cannabis plant), requires specialized equipment and technology, which would not be found in existing breweries.

Province Brands said its unique process will avoid many of the problems and pitfalls commonly found in cannabis-infused beverages and helps bring the company closer to its goal of creating a less harmful alternative that can be used in all the same social and leisure settings as alcohol.

“At Province Brands of Canada, we are developing an entirely new brewing tradition,” said Dooma Wendschuh, CEO and Co-Founder of Province Brands of Canada. Not only will this technology help Province Brands and those who choose to brew in our new tradition, but once the patents have been approved, we can share this yeast with the brewing community and well beyond.”

Director of Product Development, Greg Foster inspects the cooked material for consistency of the fibers. (Photo: Province Brands)

Director of Product Development, Greg Foster inspects the cooked material for consistency of the fibers. (Photo: Province Brands)