Company: Coalition Brewing
Title: Co-owner and general manager
After more than a decade spent working in bars on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Phil Boyle knows beer.
“Beer is the great equalizer,” he says, an Irish accent dripping across every word. “We can all sit and have a beer; we can’t sit and have a spliff.”
Today, he is the co-owner and general manager at Coalition Brewing, a microbrewery in Portland Oregon whose Two Flowers IPA was the first CBD beer to be sold on store shelves.
Boyle has been bartending since 16 in his hometown of Dublin, where it is treated like a “craft” instead of just a job. But he fell in love with a woman from Portland and immigrated to the United States about six years ago to marry her. He first found work in an Irish bar in Portland and then moved on to Coalition, one of the city’s many microbreweries.
As competition increased around Portland’s oversaturated beer culture, Boyle says he began to feel the pressure to innovate and heard of a brewery in Colorado adding CBD to its beers. He began to research and learned about the agricultural and biological similarities of hops and cannabis.
“The more research I did, the more I didn’t want it to be a gimmick beer,” he says.
Today, Coalition makes a whole series of beers that incorporate cannabinoids and terpenes. This year, the company hosted its second 4/20 Beerfest featuring 10 CBD beers and an appearance by Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Boyle sees the growing cannabis industry much like the craft beer industries of the 1990s and is excited to be a pioneer in combining the two.
“Both beer and cannabis are children of prohibition,” he says. “Cheers.”