Some people avoid the hot pepper symbol on the Chinese menu. Some people ask tentatively before trying Mexican food, “is it spicy?” Some people think the jalapeño was put on earth as a punishment to the taste buds. If you’re one of those people, the word “chili” and “pepper” will be mentioned far too often in the next post. Don’t read it. Go back to your world of chicken broth, white bread and American cheese. It is much safer.
I see those remaining might be ready for a little heat. That’s where Black Mountain brewing Company’s Cave Creek Chili Beer comes in. This is a favorite of my wife’s. I personally would never have bought one, let along 6, bottles of this, especially at $9, but she wanted it. Why would she want this beer? In each bottle is a single serrano pepper. For those unfamiliar with the pepper hierarchy, the serrano is one step up from the jalapeño, lots of heat, strong flavor.
This beer pours like a typical macro/mexican lager. A little more colorful, but there is a quick rising head that falls away rapidly, almost like a soda. The aroma is nothing more than roasted peppers, hot ones. On the first sip, you’re assaulted by the pepper. Plenty of spicy burn along with a very strong flavor off of the serrano. Can’t say much for the beer, as it’s more a vehicle for the pepper. Having had this beer before, I salted the rim, think of it as a spicy Corona. The burn continues after the beer is gone, and as your drink, the intensity of the pepper flavor remains.
The pepper is a sad looking example of a serrano, possibly due to having been placed in the bottle with the beer. Olive green and stale looking, this pepper looks nothing like the vibrant green that a fresh pepper usually has. While not fearing the heat, the pepper just looks gross, and I do my best to avoid it.
But you want to know, how’s the beer? Like I said, a spicy Corona is a good way to describe it. You buy it for the novelty of the pepper, and not a whole lot else. I’ve used this in marinades, but for the price, you can easily use any cheap lager and some fresh peppers. As for the heat in the bottle, I like things spicy, and this one makes me sweat a little.
If you want to get a laugh out of friends, buy a 6 pack for the BBQ, but don’t be surprised when they take one sip then ditch the beer. This is not a session beer, and I wouldn’t rely on this as the only option in the cooler, but it is something fun to have once in a while. We have 4 more in the fridge, I’m sure they’ll survive the summer.