Posted On: 05/02/2016
With summer right around the corner, the time is right to spice things up. Add fresh chile pepper beers to your beverage repertoire.
Dried or fresh peppers are added to beer using a variety of techniques. Brewers can choose to add the fiery guys pre-fermentation into the boil or post-fermentation as a dry hop. Dried chiles – frequently ancho chiles (aka dried poblanos) – are added when the brewer wants to create more concentrated, robust flavors in addition to heat, like tobacco, leather, chocolate and smoke.
Fresh chiles are typically used when a more delicate palate is desired, especially in lighter-bodied beers. The flesh and oils of a fresh or freshly roasted chile can create aromas and flavors of flowers, pit fruits and grass that pair nicely with its characteristic heat.
If you’re intrigued but lack the cojones, try adding these potentially sweat-inducing beers to a marinade for grilled meat and vegetables or as a beer float in a mojito, margarita or bloody mary. St. Louis, your summer just got muy caliente.
Apricot Wheat Mark Twain Brewing Co.
Clean heat with some apricot sweet, Huck’s light, wheat body and juicy, fresh apricot are the perfect complement to the lingering but not excruciating habanero spice. International Tap House, 1711 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314.621.4333, internationaltaphouse.com
Green Chile Ale
Main & Mill Brewing Co.
This draft-only beer is light, mild and thirst quenching with an intense fresh pepper aroma and a touch of heat on the palate from Anaheim and serrano peppers. An easy drinker, this is a surefire way to get into chile beers. Main & Mill Brewery & Restaurant, 240 E. Main St., Festus, 636.543.3031, mainandmillbrewingco.com
Habanero Sculpin IPA
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
This IPA is bitter, fruity and bursting at the seams with an array of hop character. Tropical fruit and zesty citrus give way to a continuous habanero heat that seems to increase with every sip. Mike’s Grill & Tap, 2447 State Highway K, O’Fallon, Missouri, 636.240.0633, mgtofallon.com
Dia de los Serranos
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Rich and complex, this brew is just like your abuela’s mole recipe. Intense, bittersweet chocolate and a roasty palate up front gives way to a beautiful, lingering fresh serrano heat. Pro tip: Let this beer warm up a bit to bring out the pepper flavors from the start. Craft Beer Cellar, 8113 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.222.2444, craftbeercellar.com
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