Written by Jonathan Shikes for blogs.westword.com
I’ve cooked in chili cook-offs, competed in a hot wings eating contest and eaten my fair share — and then some — of jalapeno poppers, New Mexico and Colorado green chile.
And I’ve sampled at least four kinds of chili beer. Hell, my boss even has one named for her at the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
But I’ve never tasted anything quite like Ghost Face Killah — a beer that Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing Company hopes will end up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the spiciest beer on earth.
To make it, brewer Jeff Brumley made a batch of a wheat beer, then added six kinds of dried chilies: Anaheim, Fresno, jalapeno, Serrano, habanero and the famed ghost pepper, commonly recognized as the hottest pepper in the world (about 200 times more pungent than a jalapeno). Then he let the chilies soak in the beer for a couple of weeks.
The results are a beer that made my lips and mouth burn and seared the back of my throat for a good two hours. And while this brew was certainly spicy, it also had a nice, rich, warming flavor that would have gone even better in a plate of enchiladas.
I tried it on May 5, when Twisted Pine tapped a keg for its Cinco de Mayo party, and while the beer — which was served only in four-ounce glasses — was gone after about three days, the brewery will bring it back for the Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest (June 4-5); it will also likely have a keg at its Boulder taphouse at the same time.
“It was going pretty quick,” says Twisted Pine’s Mike Burns. “Everyone who usually drinks Billy’s Chilies [Twisted Pine’s bottled chili beer] was happy to be drinking it.”
Burns adds that a couple who actually grow ghost peppers in their Boulder garden each had about two pints and offered to supply the brewery with fresh peppers.