Combining Booze and Heat, Defining the Chile Beer
If the alcohol doesn't get you, the spiciness will.
Written by Evan Malachosky
Image by Kinsley Stocum
Have you ever dreamt of chile-infused beers? Have you ever dreamt of both quenching your thirst and scorching your palate at the exact same time? You’re in luck (or terror, depending on your preference). Chile beer is a trend in brewing that utilizes peppers, pepper oils, juices, and other infusions to add heat, spice, and aroma to their beer. Delicious to some, avoided by others, these beers can include jalapenos, bell peppers, habaneros, or even the infamous ghost pepper.
The beers range in spiciness and flavor, and some even come pepper included — Cave Creek Brewing has a variety of these (though not well reviewed). Some are more mild and sneak the heat in masked under more dominant flavors. Dogfish Head’s Theobroma mixes cocoa and chilies, as does New Belgium in Cocoa Molé.
Some let it all hang out. Rogue Ales does a Chipotle Ale which is all heat and no cover.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give any of these a try, but be forewarned: your mouth may hate you, despite how delicious they may taste. If it’s cold outside, these will warm you up and pair perfectly with some tacos. So you should eat a taco, drink the beer, and repeat. Apply as necessary. Tacos are delicious. Beer is too.