The first thing you need to know about these 5 delicious craft beers is: they’d be totally wasted on birds.
These brews are infused with chili peppers, a flavor birds can’t taste! It’s true! Capsaicin (the stuff that makes it spicy) has no effect on them! And, that’s a real bummer for birds, because few flavors are as bold, as interesting, and as downright fun as the kick you get when you chomp on chilis.
Some of the best craft beer makers in the country realized, years ago, that a little heat could make their beers more interesting — like a drizzle of hot sauce amping up a bowl of rice and beans. In recent years, brewers have dosed all kinds of different styles and beer flavors with a little bit of chili heat, and fans can’t get enough of that fiery booze!
If you like to heat up your tastebuds, there’s a whole world of flaming-hot brews to explore. And, if you’re wondering where to start, these 5 Chili-infused Craft Beers are a great way to set off on your spicy adventure!
Fiesta Fiesta Lager from Casita Brewing Company - Wilson, North Carolina
To create this spicy crusher, the crew at Casita started with a clean, crisp, chuggable Lager. Then, they added Tajin spice — a mix of lime and mild chili that’s often sprinkled on fresh fruit in Latin America. But, that wasn’t enough pep for them, so they cranked up the flavor with real lime, black pepper, and habañero chili!
That might seem a little intimidating, but don’t worry — this is one welcoming fiesta! On the sip, the lime comes through first, riding a slightly sweet, malty backbone. Chili slips in towards the finish, and it’s just enough to add complexity and a bit of heat without scorching your tastebuds. So, you can party with this brew all night long!
You might even find yourself tempted to fill a piñata with this stuff, but it’s not recommended. The cans are too heavy. Besides, you might end up whacking one open. Then you’ll just have a soggy piñata and a lot of wasted beer.
Imperial Mexican Chocolate Stout from Main & Mill Brewing Company - Festus, Missouri
Main & Mill crafted this desserty Dark Beer using cinnamon and Mexican vanilla beans on top of 4.5 lbs of cacao nibs per barrel.
Then, they kicked this chocolate-vanilla swirl up a notch by adding 1.5 lbs of Ancho and New Mexican Chiles to lend nuances of sweet, dried cherries with a subtle kick of peppery heat.
It’s like sitting on a veranda down south of the border, sipping a freshly made, booze spiked, Mexican Hot Chocolate! It’s almost shocking that it actually comes from the little town of Festus. But hey, that’s why Sauce Magazine lauds them as one of the Best-Kept Secrets in St. Louis Beer!
Mexican Chocolate Stouts are perhaps the most widespread of all the chili beers (shout out to Westbrook Brewing for helping pioneer the style). But, as the next beer proves, they’re just the tip of the spicy iceberg.
Best Made Spicy Pickle Gose from Martin House Brewing - Fort Worth, Texas
The North Texas taste masters at Martin House brewed this hot-to-trot treat with a refreshingly tart and citrusy Gose base. Then, they used locally-sourced, spicy dill pickle juice to infuse the mildly sweet n’ sour brew with all the salty, briny character you love in pickles, PLUS an added layer of red pepper heat!
It honestly tastes like slurping spicy pickle brine straight from the jar. This brew will be the absolute star of any bottle share (or remote tasting) if only because it will arouse everyone’s curiosity. Even your buddy who hates pickles will have to sneak a taste just to find out what a spicy pickle beer tastes like.
It’s a tricky one to get a hold of, though. The Martin House crew doesn’t make it often, and it always sells out fast.
ET Stay Home: Pineapple, Guava, Chili Sour Ale from Evil Twin Brewing - Ridgwood, New York
This strange brew tastes like a freshly-blended tropical fruit smoothie with a sprinkle of citrus zest. And, just when you think it's a fruity-sweet delicacy throughout, BAM! A surprising kick of chili spice comes in loud and clear on the finish.
You'll want at least a few sips back-to-back just to hone in on all the tropical-spice complexity dancing across your palate — we know we did!
Even with the finishing heat, this brew is lip-smackingly drinkable. So much so, you’ll find yourself naturally reaching for another once you hit the bottom of the can. But, that’s par for the course for Evil Twin NYC. They even made the most popular brew on Tavour in all of 2020!
Chili Chocolate Avarice Imperial Stout from River North Brewery - Denver, Colorado
If you’re looking for a delectably dry Imperial Stout with waves of spiced heat that flow into deep, dark fudge, River North has you covered with this one. And, the really great thing about this beer is that you can drink it fresh and it’ll bring the spicy ruckus straight to your tastebuds, or you can cellar it for a couple years and the heat will ease off, exposing more and more chocolate flavor.
It’s the best of both worlds! As long as you’re patient, that is.
In the craft beer world, River North is famous for their long-lived brews. They made their Vicennial Series to snooze in the cellar for up to two decades, getting better with every passing day! This brew won’t keep for quite that long, but you probably won’t be able to resist opening it anyway.
As craft beer breweries grow ever more experimental and seek out new and bolder flavors, we predict the world of chili-infused beer will continue to get hotter and hotter. And, we mean that literally — this is one hot trend you can actually taste!