From Mother Liquor to Market: BRĒZ's Unique Approach in Hemp Beverages

From Mother Liquor to Market: BRĒZ's Unique Approach in Hemp Beverages

Balancing innovation and compliance in the dynamic hemp industry is complicated. Shifting consumer trends, compounded by cannabinoid conversion rules, means operators must continually reimagine and reformulate to stay on top. Many top brands design products with cannabinoids synthesized from hemp-derived CBD. However, naturally extracted psychoactive blends might have an advantage. 

BRĒZ, a hemp beverage company, illustrates this approach with its flagship drink, Live Free, that combines full-spectrum hemp Delta-9 with organic lion’s mane. The product delivers a light buzz and offers a sleek alcohol alternative that avoids unwanted attention. Consumers are reacting positively, and the formula adheres to restrictive state rules. 

How it Started 

BRĒZ’s journey jump-started at Cannadelic in Miami in February of 2023 when founder Aaron Nosbisch met Travis Duncan. Travis worked with Cannasol Technologies, conducting nanoemulsion research. Nosbisch was the CEO of Lucyd, a conscious compound marketing agency. Nosbisch founded BRĒZ with a vision and found a partner with shared values and formulation know-how in Travis.   

The meeting sparked an organic alliance built on quality, care, and unique ingredients.  Within three months, BRĒZ shipped their first samples of Live Free, a beverage they describe as “subtle enough for mom to try, or stackable for your ideal high.”

The blended beverage features:

  • 5-10mg CBD
  • Carbonated water with agave nectar, Italian lemons, and elderflower
  • 25mg Lion’s Mane extract from 1600mg fruiting bodies
  • 2.5 - 5.0mg D9 hemp extract from mother liquor

Mother Liquor

BRĒZ’s use of naturally derived mother liquor (MLQR) is distinct from that of many other hemp operators who utilize chemical conversion methods to create Delta-9 from CBD. Mother liquor is a natural cannabinoid-rich extract that maintains a full spectrum of hemp compounds, including THC and terpenes

Most hemp suppliers consider mother liquor a waste product, according to Travis, because it doesn’t contain enough concentrated D9 to mass-produce vape distillates. However, he notes that MLQR contains enough cannabinoids for psychoactive beverages and edibles. 

So many growers and extractors have mother liquor. Unfortunately, most suppliers aren't committing to it on a resource level because brands aren't demanding it,” said Travis.  

Brands like BRĒZ that do maintain a regulatory edge in an increasingly restrictive environment.

Cannabinoid Conversion Rules

As of January 2024, eleven states, including Colorado, Montana, New York, and Utah, passed legislation banning cannabinoids made through chemical conversion. These rules affect at least half of all hemp-derived THC products

Converted cannabinoids are safe if lab tests confirm they’re free from residual solvents and other contaminants. Additionally, they’re legal as long as they’re sourced from hemp-derived CBD, according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, a growing number of states disagree, leaving many hemp D9 brands non-compliant and in need of reformulation to sell nationwide. 

BRĒZ is part of a niche segment whose products adhere to these rules. 

But compliance isn’t Travis or Aaron’s primary goal. They want to meet a growing demand for less processed, more authentic ingredients.

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Combining Hemp and Mushrooms

"Our goal is much longer and larger than just making a drink that sells well," he says, emphasizing that their approach is not a judgment on cannabinoid conversions but a reflection of personal and consumer preferences. 

"It's about integrating functional wellness options into our society so that more people know they can access these compounds,” he explains. “Also, the delivery mechanism is well thought-out based on the experience consumers seek.”

Currently, BRĒZ has only one effect and flavor profile through its hemp-mushroom blend. And the resulting formula stays true to nature. 

"It has sort of a bite to it. It's zingy, it's citrusy, it's herbaceous. We did that intentionally because that's what cannabis tastes like."

Live Free’s modest THC concentration gives consumers a mild buzz, while the lion's mane balances the effect within a clarity-enhancing dimension. Lion’s mane also introduces alpha and beta glucans, polysaccharides known for their immune-boosting and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Brez Hemp and Mushroom Beverage Full Panel Test Results (COA) by ACS Laboratory.

There are many ways to achieve an ‘effect’ from products,” according to Travis. But BRĒZ is one of the only brands that pay reverence to the ritual aspect of enjoying a craft adult beverage with friends and family.

Nearly 450 Live Free reviews online indicate the effects match the claims among consumers looking to reduce alcohol intake without sacrificing social drinking. 

Verified buyer Dana V. said

Wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried the 7.5 [oz.] and noticed a subtle, relaxing, mellow effect. For me, it’s a different feeling than alcohol or THC…lighter with more mental clarity. The effects were a bit less than expected, but I only drank one 7.5oz can at a time. Overall, it provides a nice alternative to an evening cocktail! And tastes great!

Reviews like this testify to BRĒZ’s intention to contribute positively to wellness and social interaction. Their ingredients and extraction methods also check the necessary boxes for innovation and compliance. 

What we aspire to do with BRĒZ is just give people one tool and one experience that helps them know themselves better and then be better versions of themselves in the world and for their families, for their communities.

Bottom Line

The shift in state regulations against cannabinoid conversions challenges many in the hemp industry. But brands like BRĒZ, embracing extraction methods that avoid chemical processing, can navigate these changes effectively. This approach meets regulatory standards and taps into consumer preferences for transparency. BRĒZ’s path, focusing on innovative hemp and mushroom blends, provides a model for adapting to industry evolution.