Beer Profile: Billy’s Chilies

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Profiled by Ken Carman

You’re going to have to excuse me, I’m doing this one from memory. I had this beer at the Bluebonnet and describing one beer from something like the BB is almost like describing a single drop in a thunderstorm. I type “almost” because this one stood out: not for what it was but what it wasn’t.

You would expect a beer with anaheim, fresno, serrano, jalapeno, habanero peppers in it would be overwhelming: especially one with a light ale body like this. Well, I believe “ale,” but to be honest I’d need another taste minus the thunderstorm to be sure. I can usually tell the difference: ale more fruity, lager variable amounts of a sulfur-like sense.

But, instead of a pepper whack, the spicing here is gentle: subtle; just enough to tingle the buds. No hops evident and aroma is pepper… not much else. The example I had was clear and a little darker than Bud: not dark at all, really.

Brewed by Twisted Pine Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado.

Not being a pepper expert, except marginally maybe bells, I couldn’t pick out the 5 peppers, but it’s so subtle I’m not sure you could. I would advise trying this quaff for any Bud or Miller drinker who has a love of peppers. I may even bring it to my Beaver River Station beer tasting this summer, if I can find it. Depends upon distribution/availability. But I don’t think a beer geek would automatically steer away from what they would consider an example more “lawnmower” in nature: a bad analogy since “beer” and “mowing” should be kept as far apart as possible.

Says “malt beverage” on the label. What qualifies this for that designation? Or is it some local/Colorado law that demands that designation?

The net reviews are all over the map. One poster claims too peppery. Wow. Weakest taste buds… ever. Another says “too vegetal.” Um, it’s called “Billy’s Chilies:” duh, but I do wonder if he got a bad bottle. Most of the other reviews I read are similar.

Just don’t expect a big whack to the buds unless your bud is driven into hypersensitivity mode. Then you might want to avoid real beer. Get thee back to your Bud Select nunnery and go ahead: worship your favorite worse than tasteless swill.

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