Mushrooms and bud: BRĒZ bev offers the best of both worlds
Cannabis has been used as a social libation for generations, and some infused drink brands are combining the plant with other compounds. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are a medicinal species that has been shown to have powerful interactions with the nervous system, and it’s quite delicious. One cannabis drink company, BRĒZ, pairs the powerful plant with the formidable mushroom into one delightful bubbly beverage.
It just so happens I’m super into Lion’s Mane, so I reached out to founder and CEO Aaron Nosbisch to learn more.
“Our mission with BRĒZ is to maximize human potential by offering a beverage that combines cannabis and mushrooms to offer a euphoric, inspiring, and relieving next-gen social tonic,”Nosbisch explained. “This unparalleled combination of natural plant forces provides the inspirational and social lubricant effect of alcohol without the low-vibrational aftershocks.”
There are many paths that have led me to my obsession with Lion’s Mane mushrooms. One is my love for nature and its potential for healing. That path brought me to cannabis, and eventually to mushrooms like chaga and turkey tail.
Another thing that makes me drop top dollar at the farmer’s market for Lion’s Mane is how it mimics the texture of chicken. It can be fried into nuggets, and shredded to be simmered into taco filling–the fruiting body is ripe with possibilities.
My final personal point of interest that led me to covet the white, frondy shroom is its potential for stimulating brain health. With these powers combined, it’s safe to say I’m fixated on this mushroom.
Trying the mushroom drink
Already impressed with the possibilities of Lion’s Mane and cannabis, receiving samples of BRĒZ cannabis and Lion’s Mane beverages was an exciting day in my house. The small iridescent cans contain 2.5mg THC, 5mg CBD, and 25 mg of Lion’s Mane, a combination meant to be enjoyed socially without heavy impairment. In fact, impairment is the opposite of the goal.
“After years of drinking, I realized that alcohol isn’t the social lubricant I thought it was. The ‘confidence’ I was getting only resulted in anxiety and the ‘fun’ I was having led to avoidable hangovers and regrets the next day,” Nosbisch shared. “As an extrovert who enjoys the social aspect of drinking, I knew there had to be a healthier yet efficacious alternative to disrupt the $1.5-trillion alcohol industry—and it wasn’t going to be a joint or an edible. That’s when BRĒZ was born.”
The flagship flavor reminded me of my favorite cocktail combo of gin, lemon, and sugar, serving as a nice wind-down beverage after putting my toddler to sleep. The bite of the Italian lemon with the sharpness of elderflower makes for a mocktail-like feel in a can. The slight wave of relaxation wasn’t bad either.
“Our goal was a simple and delicious taste that was refreshing, flavor-forward, and had a bit of an herbaceous, citrusy bite—I think we nailed it,” Nosbisch exclaimed.
One of the most common complaints about cannabis drinks, especially when they contain additional therapeutic compounds, is that they can taste nasty. That’s not the case with BRĒZ, though. The yummy flavor starts with good ingredients, and Nosbisch stated that mushrooms and cannabis are sourced from trusted American farmers.
The THC within is hemp-derived. My only other experience with hemp-derived THC left me with a wicked stomach ache, but I’m happy to report that this tonic didn’t upset the delicate ecosystem of my guts.
I’ve also had THC drinks formulated with too much flavoring, leaving me feeling like I was sucking down a perfume. Essentially beverage formulation is an art form, and not everyone is an artist. But BRĒZ delivers on flavor, which speaks to the research and development process.
“We tried about 10 different blends and many iterations of each—we started with lemon basil, which sounded great as a concept, but didn’t taste that good. We’re grateful we were able to discover the winning flavor fairly quickly and are already working on new blends,” said Nosbisch.
Thoughtful dosage makes for memorable experiences
The ratio of compounds, or “actives” as Nosbisch calls them, is also delicately chosen. The micro-dose of 2.5mg THC allowed me to keep my wits about me while I read a book or did a puzzle, but still let my shoulders fall from my ears and jaw unclench as I unpacked the day.
This composition of cannabinoids to Lion’s Mane is unsurprisingly designed for comfortability, sourcing information from empirical data, anecdotal research, trusted online sources, and personal conversations with cannabis industry veterans and consumers.
“We wanted to focus on an approachable amount of actives that would clearly showcase the beneficial effects of these ingredients while limiting the possibility of negative experiences,” Nosbisch shared.
While I was expecting to have negative comments that I’d attempt to hide in quippy humor, I don’t have anything negative to say about my experience drinking BRĒZ social tonics.
The drinks are heavenly, with a bite reminiscent of a craft cocktail. They are also a dialed-in dosage, built to be sipped on by a lightweight or paced out by someone with a higher tolerance over the course of a backyard barbecue or wedding. I’d recommend these to anyone looking for alcohol alternatives, cannabis beverages, or both.