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How Did I Get Here?

01.14.2021 | CERIA Brewing

How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here?

by Keith Villa

Some people say, “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Well, if that were the case, I guess I’ve never worked. My passion for creating new beers that millions of people enjoy, and travelling worldwide to expand these beers’ distribution, is what I love.

But how did it all begin for a Hispanic kid who grew up in North Denver in the 1960’s and 70’s? From Altar Boy to Microbiologist. From earning a Ph.D. to Brewmaster?

Two of the things that shaped my life happened in high school. First, I met my future wife, Jodi. Second, I decided I wanted to become a pediatrician. While the prior began as simple as a first date, the latter required that I get some education. After high school, I attended University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder where I was a pre-med student majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. I was set to follow that with a medical degree, but the sound of the beer world was calling me.

I responded to an advertisement for a research position at Coors Brewing Company and, having already published scientific articles and worked at CU’s Molecular Biology Laboratory, I got the job at Coors! This was in 1986, and I was 24 years old.

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About one year after working at Coors, Jodi and I moved to Brussels, Belgium where I spent another four years researching and working on my Ph.D. in Science with a Brewing Specialization at the University of Brussels, CERIA campus (bonus points if you already knew where our name originated!). In addition to earning a Ph.D., I gained a huge appreciation for Belgian beers, including the history of Belgian beers, how to pair beers with food and the many ways the Belgians brew their unique beers. It was then that I returned to the states and, in 1995, created Blue Moon Brewing Company, an operating unit of Coors Brewing Company.

This was the time the craft beer industry was just emerging, and Blue Moon was one of the first of what would become a huge market segment. So many times people tell me that they remember where they were when they drank their first Blue Moon beer with an orange garnish (I started the orange slice garnish in 1997!) When I retired from MillerCoors in 2017, Blue Moon was (and still is) the largest craft beer brand in the world.

This was the time the craft beer industry was just emerging, and Blue Moon was one of the first of what would become a huge market segment.

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So, how did I get here? How did I get to the point where Jodi and I started CERIA Brewing Company, a brewing company that makes non-alcoholic beer, both infused with cannabis and non-infused? It was the perfect storm of the highest degree of education, decades of experience, and the pure love of everything related to the craft beer industry.

CERIA Brewing Expands Non-Alcoholic Beer Distribution through Amazon

12.21.2020 | CERIA Brewing

CERIA Brewing Expands Non-Alcoholic Beer Distribution through Amazon

CERIA BREWING COMPANY EXPANDS NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER DISTRIBUTION THROUGH AMAZON AND WEGMANS IN TIME FOR JANUARY

Responding to Consumers’ Requests for Expanded Availability, the Colorado-based NA Beer Company Becomes a True National Brand

ARVADA, Colorado (Dec. 18, 2020)

CERIA Brewing Company, makers of the nonalcoholic (NA) craft beer developed in 2020 by Blue Moon creator and former brewmaster Keith Villa, Ph.D., today announced that its Grainwave and Indiewave NA beers is now available online through Amazon, and in-store at Wegmans locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

This expansion, combined with the beers’ existing availability at select Total Wine & More retail locations, and through 26 independent distributors, transforms the company started in the Villa’s pilot brewery near Denver, into a true national brand.

Online Convenience

CERIA’s craft NA beers are available on Amazon.com nationwide in states where shipment of NA beer is allowed. Customers can place online orders for CERIA’s popular Grainwave NA Belgian-style White Ale and Indiewave NA West Coast IPA. These beers will be available in 12- and 24-pack cases, as well as mixed cases of half Grainwave and half Indiewave; pricing will be comparable to other NA beers on the site. Shipping is free for all Amazon customers, Prime and non-Prime members alike. (https://tinyurl.com/ceriabrewing)

“In this digital age, we look forward to offering the convenience of being just a click away for hundreds of thousands of NA beer drinkers,” said Dr. Villa. “We think Amazon will help us dramatically increase trial. This will lead to increased consumption and awareness, which, in turn, will benefit both our online and in-store sales tremendously.” CERIA Joins with Amazon and Wegmans 2

In-store Availability in the

East Wegmans Food Markets offer CERIA’s Grainwave and Indiewave in over 80 stores located in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states through pick-up in-store or curbside, or home delivery. Pricing will be comparable to other NA beers offered by the chain.

“Wegmans has demonstrated exceptional levels of charitable donations focused on programs promoting healthy eating and activity, which matches perfectly with CERIA’s own corporate mission. We are honored to have been selected as one of its partners in the beverage category,” says Dr. Villa.

The expanded distribution of the brand is timed to take advantage of January, a month when many U.S. consumers resolve to go dry to improve their physical fitness and health – especially relevant this season considering the current Covid-19 health crisis.

In 2020, CERIA Brewing Company introduced Grainwave NA, a refreshing, mediumbodied Belgian-Style White Ale, containing only 77 calories, which is brewed with blood orange peel and coriander. It is then dealcoholized to 0.00% alcohol by volume (ABV), which eliminates the alcohol.

CERIA Indiewave NA, at just 99 calories, is a flavorful West Coast IPA that perfectly balances Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrusy character, then is dealcoholized also to 0.00% ABV.

Both are about half the calories of comparable alcoholic brews. CERIA Brewing’s Grainwave NA Belgian-style White Ale (left) and Indiewave NA West Coast IPA will help American consumers go dry this January thanks to new availability through Amazon and Wegmans. (na.ceriabrewing.com) CERIA Joins with Amazon and Wegmans 3

Better For You

Non-Alcoholic (NA) craft beer is experiencing growth in the U.S. as beer drinkers realize it offers the great taste of beer without any downside. “It’s definitely having a moment during a time when health and wellness are on everyone’s mind,” Dr. Villa says.

The health and wellness trend is driving the 13% annual growth rate of the current $728 million U.S. NA beer market, according to Intercontinental Beverage Capital research.

Globally, the non-alcoholic beer market, currently at $17 billion, is projected to reach a market value of $25 billion by the end of 2024, according to Global Market Insights/Statista.

“Interest in better health and wellness, active lifestyles, and a reduction in alcohol consumption – the so-called ‘sober curious’ movement – is fueling this trend.

What’s more, an NA beer helps people of all ages stay in control,” says Dr. Villa. Another benefit to NA beer: it’s plant based for good health and wellness – the bioactive ingredients in hops and grains provide important minerals and polyphenolic compounds. Dr. Villa considers NA craft beer ideal for after exercise rehydration and recovery due to its natural carbs, sodium, and fluid makeup.
About CERIA Brewing Co.

CERIA, Inc., a C corporation, dba CERIA Brewing Company, is headquartered in Arvada, Colorado.

The company was co-founded in January 2018 by Keith Villa, Ph.D., creator and former brewmaster of Blue Moon Brewery, and his wife Jodi Villa, CEO. In late 2019 the company won the prestigious “Startup of the Year” Award presented by Food Dive, a leading industry news publisher.

For more information: NA.Ceriabrewing.com, @ceriabrewing #ceriabrewing, hello@CERIABrewing.com. CERIA Brewing Company, P.O. Box 746560, Arvada, CO 80006 See the brand on Amazon.com here: https://tinyurl.com/ceriabrewing

Media Contact:

Jeff Blumenfeld
CERIA Brewing Co.
Arvada, Colorado
203 326 1200 c,
jeff.blumenfeld@ceriabrewing.com

Non-Alcoholic Beer is the Anytime, Anywhere Beverage

10.28.2020 | CERIA Brewing

Non-Alcoholic Beer is the Anytime, Anywhere Beverage

NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER IS THE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE BEVERAGE 

CERIA Brewing’s Grainwave and Indiewave  

ARVADA, Colorado (Aug. 20, 2020) – Non-Alcoholic (NA) craft beer is experiencing growth in the U.S. as beer drinkers realize it offers the great taste of beer without any downside.   You could say it’s definitely having a moment during a time when health and wellness are on everyone’s mind.   There are no restrictions where and when it can be consumed.  It’s the anytime, anywhere beverage – on the golf course, tennis court, while biking, hiking, fishing or most any other “ing” activity.  
NA beer is the fastest growing segment of the global beer market, expanding at an annual rate of 13% worldwide. Growth in the U.S. is even higher, according to Global Market Insights/Statista.  

Says Keith Villa, Ph.D., the legendary brewmaster who created Blue Moon and is now co-founder of the non-alcoholic Colorado craft brewery CERIA Brewing Company, “Interest in better health and wellness, active lifestyles, and a reduction in alcohol consumption – the so-called “sober curious” movement – is fueling this trend.   “While older Americans are motivated to be healthy to avoid illness, younger adults adopt healthy lifestyles and are reducing their alcohol consumption because they want to look and feel better.”  

Villa adds, “Beer has always had an essential role in our culture at the center of celebrations, connections and even relaxation. An NA beer helps people of all ages stay in control. Our beers are just like any other great tasting craft beers, except that they have no alcohol.  They allow people to fit into occasions where alcohol is served, but where they choose to abstain.”  

Another benefit to NA beer is that it’s plant based for good health and wellness – the bioactive ingredients in hops and grains provide important minerals and phenolic compounds. 

Villa considers NA craft beer ideal for after exercise rehydration and recovery due to its natural carbs, sodium, and fluid makeup.   “It’s a win-win brew that helps adults get more out of life.” 

 

In 2020, Villa’s CERIA Brewing Company created Grainwave NA, a refreshing, medium-bodied Belgian-Style White Ale brewed with blood orange peel and coriander, that is then dealcoholized. It contains 77 calories. 

Indiewave NA is a flavorful West Coast IPA, also alcohol free, that perfectly balances Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrusy character, then is dealcoholized. Indiewave comes in at just 99 calories.  

Both are about half the calories of comparable alcoholic brews. 

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About CERIA Brewing Co. CERIA, Inc., a Delaware C corporation, dba CERIA Brewing Company, is headquartered in Arvada, Colorado. The company was co-founded in January 2018 by Keith Villa, Ph.D., former brewmaster of Blue Moon craft beer, and his wife and CEO Jodi Villa. In late 2019 the company won the prestigious Food Dive “Startup of the Year” Award presented by Food Dive, a leading industry news publisher. 

For more information: NA.Ceriabrewing.com, @ceriabrewing #ceriabrewing  

Media Contact: CERIA Brewing Co. Jeff Blumenfeld 
CERIA Brewing Co.  
Arvada, Colorado  
203 326 1200 c, jeff.blumenfeld@ceriabrewing.com

na.CERIABrewing.com 

CERIA Brewing Announces First Distributor Partnerships for its NA Craft Beers

07.01.2020 | CERIA Brewing

CERIA Brewing Announces First Distributor Partnerships for its NA Craft Beers

CERIA BREWING ANNOUNCES FIRST DISTRIBUTOR PARTNERSHIPS FOR ITS GRAINWAVE AND INDIEWAVE NA CRAFT BEERS  


The Colorado Brand’s First Expansion into Groceries, Liquor Stores, and On-Premise 

ARVADA, Colo. (June 1, 2020) – CERIA Brewing Co., the Denver-area brewing company founded by the creator of Blue Moon beer, Keith Villa, Ph. D., and his wife Jodi Villa, today announced selection of its first group of distributors for CERIA’s line of non-alcohol (NA) craft beers.  
In early 2020, the company launched its two NA styles, Grainwave Belgian White Ale and Indiewave IPA, at over 200 Total Wine & More retail locations in 24 states. Now the brand is expanding to groceries, liquor retailers and on-premise restaurants and bars through its new distributor partnerships with: Burke Distributing Company, (Boston area); Atlas Distributing, Inc. (central and western Massachusetts); Commercial Distributing Company, Inc. (Massachusetts); LT Verrastro, Inc. (Pennsylvania); Frank Beverage Group (including Beer Capitol Distributing, LLC - Milwaukee, Frank Beer Distributors, Inc. - Madison, and La Crosse Beverage, LLC – La Crosse, Wisc.); Banko Beverage Co. (Lehigh and Northampton, Pa.); Wilson-McGinley, Inc. (Pittsburgh area), and Muller, Inc. (Philadelphia).  

“These are our first distributor relationships for our NA craft beers and, as such, represent a substantial step forward for CERIA Brewing,” says Dr. Villa. “The time is right to deliver great-tasting, non-alcohol products in a variety of new channels.”   

Adds Bill Burke, President of Burke Distributing, “Keith Villa is a legendary figure in the international world of brewing. We knew once he focused on the NA category, our market would respond well to a premium quality craft brew that could be enjoyed all day long, any time, any place including working lunches, out on the golf course, after exercise, or in the evening at dinner. As an NA, it offers a great choice for those restricting their consumption of alcohol but love the great taste of beer. 

“CERIA products will allow us to sell into an independent market a product that retains flavors like the hops and malts found in a standard beer,” Burke said. Commercial Distributing President Mark Placek says, “Every day, retailers have more consumers looking for ‘better for you’ and ‘alcohol-free’ beverages to fit their lifestyle. Many of these consumers would still like to enjoy a craft beer, but don’t because of the alcohol or calorie count.  
“CERIA offers these retailers and ultimately the consumer a quality craft beer without the guilt or alcohol. Commercial Distributing currently does not have a product like this in our portfolio – CERIA checks all the boxes,” according to Placek.  

Jon Salois, VP of Sales for Atlas Distributing comments, “We are excited to partner with CERIA Brewing to launch the brewery’s great-tasting non-alcoholic craft beers in central Massachusetts.”  Adds John McGinley, President of Wilson/McGinley, “We are thrilled to partner with CERIA Brewing Company and excited to expand our portfolio to include their unique product offerings in the ‘better for you space.’ 

“The NA beer category is on fire and CERIA’s new NA will play a major role in the category’s success.” 

According to Greg Miller, VP Business Development for CERIA Brewing Co., “The non-alcohol beer category increased 44.4% in sales through May 9 according to Nielsen reporting, which was one of its strongest weeks of the year. And if you look back just two years ago, NA beer represented about 0.5% of the total beer business and is projected to be 1-1.5% by 2025. We look forward to becoming the leader in this strong performing category that has a very bright future ahead of it.” Grainwave and Indiewave will be supported by POS displays, in-store sampling, a strong digital media and social media presence, and its dedicated website: www.na.ceriabrewing.com. 

CERIA Announces First Distributor Partnerships Grainwave NA Belgian-Style White Ale is a refreshing, medium-bodied Belgian-Style White Ale brewed with blood orange peel and coriander, with less than 0.5% ABV, and contains only 77 calories. Indiewave NA West Coast IPA is a flavorful IPA that perfectly balances Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrusy character, and contains less than 0.5% ABV and 99 calories.  

 

For more information: NA.Ceriabrewing.com, @ceriabrewing #ceriabrewing  


Media Contact: CERIA Brewing Co. Jeff Blumenfeld 
CERIA Brewing Co.  
Arvada, Colorado  
203 326 1200 c, jeff.blumenfeld@ceriabrewing.com

na.CERIABrewing.com 

CERIA Brewing Announces First NA Distributor Partnerships

06.08.2020 | Brewbound

CERIA Brewing Announces First NA Distributor Partnerships

Ceria Brewing Co. recently partnered with Total Wine

01.22.2020 | The Denver Post

Ceria Brewing Co. recently partnered with Total Wine

CERIA Brewing to Launch Cannabis-Free, Non-Alcoholic Beer

01.17.2020 | Brewbound

CERIA Brewing to Launch Cannabis-Free, Non-Alcoholic Beer

CERIA Brewing to Launch Cannabis-Free, Non-Alcoholic Beer Nationwide with Total Wine & More

01.17.2020 | Brewbound

CERIA Brewing to Launch Cannabis-Free, Non-Alcoholic Beer Nationwide with Total Wine & More

CERIA Brewing Wins Startup of the Year

12.12.2019 | CERIA Brewing

CERIA Brewing Wins Startup of the Year

CERIA BREWING WINS “STARTUP OF THE YEAR” FROM FOOD DIVE

Joins Other Honorees Including Chobani, Coca-Cola, and Beyond Meat

ARVADA, Colorado (Dec. 12, 2019) – CERIA Brewing has been named “Startup of the Year” by Food Dive, a leading industry news publisher. In December 2018, the beer brand was the first in Colorado to offer a 5 mg. THC-infused craft beer called Grainwave, a Belgian-Style White Ale. Indiewave, an IPA beer with 10 mg. of THC and 10 mg. of CBD, was introduced last month.

 

"The people and organizations that win the Dive Awards are trailblazers and leaders in their markets," said Davide Savenije, editor-in-chief of Food Dive's publisher Industry Dive. "Their achievements in 2019 are shaping the future of where the latest strategies and trends are going."

CERIA joins other 2019 Food Dive honorees: Company of the Year Chobani; Executive of the Year James Quincey of Coca-Cola; and Disruptor of the Year Beyond Meat.

After launching last year, the fast-growing company has unveiled a lucrative THC-infused craft beer, expanded distribution and debuted a trendy non-infused nonalcoholic Belgian-Style White Ale (shown above).

CERIA is currently planning to expand from Colorado to California in January 2020 with its infused Grainwave and Indiewave craft beers. Also in January it will introduce a non-alcoholic/non-infused version of the two brands nationwide.

CERIA brewmaster and co-founder Keith Villa, Ph.D., tells Food Dive, "We’re very excited and honored to be named Startup of the Year and to be in the company of other great individuals and companies. From the start, we've seen a lot of great growth for our brand. The main reason for launching CERIA was to bring cannabis to consumers in a socially acceptable format."

Villa continues, "We've offered consumers something that is very historic in nature because at no point in time has cannabis been legal in a drinkable form like a beer and tasted this good. We feel we're way ahead of everybody, and we're setting a high bar for other companies to follow."

The 2019 Dive Awards recognize the industry’s top disruptors and innovators. These executives, companies, trends and breakthroughs are transforming the industry. Winners were chosen by the editors of Food Dive based on thorough and independent research, reporting, and analysis.

Read the Food Dive story here: https://www.fooddive.com/news/startup-ceria-brewing-dive-awards/565389/

 

About CERIA Brewing Co. CERIA, Inc., a Delaware C corporation, dba CERIA Brewing Company, is headquartered in Arvada, Colorado. The company was co-founded in January 2018 by Keith Villa, Ph.D., former brewmaster of Blue Moon craft beer, and his wife and CEO Jodi Villa. The company made Colorado history with the launch of CERIA Grainwave Belgian -Style White Ale, the first THC-infused beer in the state. It then created an IPA-style THC- and CBD-infused craft beer called Indiewave, and in January 2020, will launch a non-alcoholic non-infused version of both styles nationwide. In late 2019 the company won the prestigious Food Dive “Startup of the Year” Award presented by Food Dive, a leading industry news publisher. For more information: Ceriabrewing.com, @ceriabrewing #ceriabrewing

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Media contact:
Jeff Blumenfeld
CERIA Brewing Co.
Arvada, Colorado
203 326 1200 c, jeff.blumenfeld@ceriabrewing.com

12-12-19

Startup of the Year: Ceria Brewing Co.

12.09.2019 | Food Dive

Startup of the Year: Ceria Brewing Co.

Cannabis firms are hopping on the non-alcoholic beer wagon

10.23.2019 | CNN Business

Cannabis firms are hopping on the non-alcoholic beer wagon