5 Colorado Pepper Beers to Spice Up Your Fall
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. There is nothing that lifts my spirit more than the smells of the season. Whether it's the smell of raking leaves, the faint smell of winter in the morning, or, my all-time favorite... Roasted green chiles. When I was not in Colorado, I longed for the smell of the green chiles being scorched by powerful propane flames in a screened metal drum. The unmistakable scent wafting through the air could be smelled from blocks away and would only get stronger the closer you got to the chile stands.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine introduced me to a brewery in Louisville located in a business park. A trip to the brewery that day was my first taste of a pepper beer. It was love at first sip. Crystal Springs Brewing Company's Solano kicks off this list of pepper beers.
44 IBU/6.0% ABV
Solano is brewed with roasted chiles and American malts. This pepper beer has a tiny bit of heat with a great flavor. This beer will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first pepper beer. I was ecstatic when I found this beer at a liquor store in Denver last weekend.
The next pepper beer is crafted just west of the Front Range off of Interstate 70 in Idaho Springs. Green Chile Lager by Tommyknocker is a pepper beer available year-round.
27 IBU/5.3% ABV
There is not really any heat in the brew that I can pick up, however, there is a great pepper taste that accompanies this beer. Green Chile Lager is infused with Anaheim Chile Peppers.
Normally, I am pretty finicky when it comes to pumpkin beers. Either they are great or they really aren't. There is no in-between. I prefer my pumpkin beers to be aged in either bourbon, rum or brandy barrels and high in ABV. When I happened upon a pumpkin beer with three different peppers, I had to give it a shot.
10 IBU/6.4% ABV
New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin is a fall mainstay in my beer fridge after the first time I sampled this beer. This pumpkin beer is brewed with cinnamon, and three peppers. Aji, Del Abrol, along with Habanero peppers make this a great pumpkin beer.
Let kick it up a bit on the Scoville scale, shall we? This next beer is going to sting a bit. If you are not well versed in your peppers, here is a quick tidbit for you... Habaneros are an orange little pod of pain. They're probably the most abundant of the peppers on the hotter side. You can find them in the grocery store, in hot sauces and also in the next featured beer.
27 IBU/7.1% ABV
In the ever-growing town of Windsor, you will find one of my favorite Northern Colorado breweries, High Hops. This fun brewery has grown over the past few years right before my eyes just like the town it calls home. Their pepper beer is one of my favorites and it packs a sting to the tongue from the red ale, Habanero Hunny. If you are feeling adventurous or are a pepper head like myself, give it a try. However, if you can't handle spice very well, try a taster then go from there.
The last pepper beer on the list is my favorite and was found shortly after relocating back home to Colorado in 2015. When my wife and I came back, we stayed with her grandparents in Littleton for about six months. While we were living down south, we found a brewery that was close by called Locavore Beer Works.
32 IBU/5.3% ABV
Locavore gets top honors for their pepper beer, Heisenberg. The pale ale is brewed with New Mexico's finest freshly roasted Hatch Green Chiles. You can taste the roasted peppers and you can feel a little burn. This is an excellent pepper beer to give a try and pairs well with pretty much anything.
There is your list of pepper beers from Colorado I could recommend to you to spice up your fall. If you happen to know of any more pepper beers that I should try please let me know, I would love to give them a taste.