CanaCraft: Brewing a Hemp-Infused Revolution in India’s Beverage Industry
Discover the story behind the inception of CanaCraft, India’s pioneering hemp beer brand. Navigating legal complexities, CanaCraft has embraced sustainability and aims to redefine the Indian beverage landscape. With a focus on quality and innovation, CanaCraft’s aromatic Hemp Lager stands out, captivating beer enthusiasts and gaining traction in Goa’s vibrant market. As the brand plans to scale production and unveil new variants, CanaCraft emerges as a trailblazer in introducing hemp beverages to India.
Can you share the story behind the inception of Canacraft? What inspired you to delve into the world of hemp-infused beer?
The idea of CanaCraft came from Dhaval Panchal, co-founder at CanaCraft, who was already running a brand called The Hemp Factory (India’s First Hemp-infused Cloud Kitchen) in Mumbai. Following the success of The Hemp Factory, we considered expanding into the beverage industry. We met Mehul Patel (Brewer and Co-founder) at the Lil Flea Event and discussed the possibility of developing Hemp-infused beer.
Hemp can still be a controversial topic in some regions. How did you navigate the legalities associated with incorporating hemp into a beverage, especially in India? Were there any specific challenges you faced?
In India, if you ask about the legality of Hemp, plenty of things have been eased up. In November 2021, FSSAI approved hemp seeds as a food product in India, so now people can use hemp seed products in food and beverages. Also, today, hemp leaf medicines have been legally prescribed by doctors in India. People have started using hemp fabrics in clothing, so the social stigma is getting over.
How did the idea of combining ancient brewing traditions with the modern possibilities of hemp come about?
We knew there was a hemp beer already being brewed in Germany, and from that, we thought to make our own formulation of hemp beer. Hemp and hops come into the same plant family known as brother and sister, so we decided to mix them for an aromatic flavour.
Can you share some insights into the unique brewing process used in creating Canacraft, India’s first hemp beer?
It took us some time to develop the perfect recipe for beer using hemp seed products and mixing with malt and hops, but after a successful RND phase, we developed a recipe for making our first Hemp Lager beer.
Sustainability is a key aspect of Canacraft’s vision. Can you elaborate on the eco-friendly practices incorporated into the production of your hemp beer?
CanaCraft’s prime mission is to promote the sustainable plant hemp and its benefits to our customers, one plant that can bring about a change in climate change and from which we have companies producing medications, papers, clothes, food, and now beverages.
In what ways do you see Canacraft contributing to the changing landscape of the Indian beverage industry?
CanaCraft has already brought a revolution in the Indian beverage industry by launching India’s first hemp beer and going a step ahead in crafting a lager beer. We are projecting ourselves as an Indian premium beer brand where innovation meets creativity.
Beyond the novelty of being India’s first hemp beer, how does Canacraft stand out in terms of taste and overall drinking experience compared to traditional beers?
Having the novelty of launching India’s first hemp beer, we didn’t want to compromise on the product quality, so we have used high-quality malts, hops and hemp from the farms of Uttrakhand. Compared to other lager beers, CanaCraft has an aromatic taste, and people call it naturally smooth and refreshing.
Could you provide insight into the initial quantity of batches produced and any intentions to scale up production? Additionally, what has been the feedback from both beer enthusiasts and the wider public since the introduction of Canacraft?
We are currently performing contract manufacturing in Goa and producing 600 cases per month, but after a positive reaction from restaurants and retail segments for our Hemp Beer, we are planning to scale up production to 2000 cases to reach the entire state of Goa. We also intend to grow to other states and export to a few nations next year.
People in Goa are always looking for new beers, but no one expected it to be a hemp beer, and tourists from other countries are enthralled by the idea of introducing hemp beverages to India.
As the founder of Canacraft, what future plans and innovations do you envision for the brand?
CanaCraft has highly creative future product plans, as we are already in the RND phase for our upcoming variant in hemp beverage, and we will soon debut a non-alcoholic hemp beverage.
In the journey of building Canacraft, what have been some of the most rewarding moments and challenges, and how have they shaped the brand’s identity?
As a hemp enthusiast, I feel very proud to have launched India’s first hemp beer, which is now accessible in 150+ retail stores and supermarkets, as well as the top 20 restaurants in Goa, in just one month. People have taken to hemp beer, and we are thrilled to be able to serve them the best premium hemp lager beer.