LaFayette, N.Y. — Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards has reintroduced a CBD-infused coffee drink two years after its first attempt was pulled from the market.
This time, the drink appears to be legal.
Beak & Skiff Research’s CBD Nitro Cold Brew Coffee debuts today at the company’s tasting room and shop on its Apple Hill campus, just south of the intersection of Routes 20 and 80. It will soon be available in selected shops and stores.
Beak & Skiff president Eddie Brennan introduced the CBD coffee with a Facebook post that read: “After 2 years of red tape we are finally able to release our CBD Cold Brew Coffee. Cheers to the team that didn’t give up on this.”
It’s Beak & Skiff’s second launch of a CBD-infused drink this year, following January’s release of a line of CBD Seltzers.
And it’s further evidence of the company’s continued expansion from its core apple business into the emerging cannabis industry, with CBD beverages now and, potentially, recreational marijuana products in the not-too-distant future.
“We’re excited to finally have this on the market,” Brennan said. “We expect this and similar products to be a big part of our future.”
But the road to the legitimate release of the CBD coffee was a little bumpy.
In 2019, the company rolled out a new product called CBD Cold Brew Coffee. But that came just as state officials declared CBD, an extract from non-psychoactive cannabis, to be illegal in food or drinks under the regulations of the time. The coffee, destined to be sold at Wegmans stores, had to be pulled from the market.
A lot has changed since then. Most significantly, the state clarified its regulations on CBD and other hemp/cannabis-extract products last year. That, for the first time, provided state guidelines for CBD in food and beverages.
Meanwhile Beak & Skiff forged ahead in the cannabis business by planting acres of industrial hemp, from which CBD is made, on its sprawling property around the crossroads of Route 20 and Route 80. It also formed a new division, called Beak & Skiff Research, which in turn led to the development of the Beak & Skiff Hemp House adjacent to the 1911 Distillery on Route 20.
The Hemp House is where the hemp is processed into extracts like CBD, which can be used in products like salves, oils and tinctures, along with beverages and “edibles” like gummi candy.
Beak & Skiff’s new coffee uses CBD from the Hemp House, which is then added to coffee and canned at the company’s beverage packaging facility across Route 80 from the Apple Hill campus. Each 12-ounce serving contains 20 milligrams of CBD, less than the maximum 25mg allowed by state law. It also has no calories or sugar.
A new twist on the CBD coffee from the previous version is that the cans are also infused with a jolt of nitrogen. Otherwise the flavor profile is similar, Brennan said.
The first batch is about 1,000 cases — a case is a dozen 12-ounce cans. (Beak & Skiff also has a line of non-CBD Cold Brew Coffee).