Posted September 20, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews

Chile Beer – Finally!

Lime is for Wimps!

A big thanks to Chris @ the Joint for ponying up and sending a desperate man a beer. Bless you Chris. And in additon to recieving beer, I also recieved an early copy of the Condiment Girls calendar (review to come soon). Condiment Girls & Chili Beer – Christmas has come early to HSB.

From the bottom of the box:
The Arizona desert. Home to 20 million rattlesnakes, Scattered F-16 parts, and lizards the size of beagles. All baked to a crisp 130 degrees. It’s the kind of wide open desolation that makes people think twice before shutting off the car. And a place where a cold beer is pretty damned important.

For Crazy Ed Chilleen, of Cave Creek, Arizona, (Pop.1328 including coyotes and cattle) beer was much too important to be trusted to outsiders. So, in 1989, he started brewing his own.

The town was suspicious. And became even more so when an entire brewery arrived in crates at the foot of Black Mountain, along with a German named Arnold. But after the first batch the people began to come around. The beer was good, damn good, So good in fact, the yuppies started driving in from all over to try it.

Something had to be done, so, whenever one of them whined for a “wedge of lime” Ed started putting a hot serrano chili pepper into the beer instead. Amazingly, about 2 out of 10 actually liked the stuff. Surely, thought Ed, the Eighties had come to close.

Today Ed with Juan Olguin brew the original “Cave Creek Chili Beer” “Juanderful Wheat” “South of the Border Porter” “Ocotillo Amber” ” Frog light” and the original “Black Mountain Gold”. Chili Beer is sold in 20 states in the U.S., Japan, China and some other countries with strange sounding names.

Our motto is and always will be


Hmmm, beer with a serrano pepper. Visually, Crazy Ed’s concotion does not have much appeal – the beer is pale yellow and the serrano pepper, once vibrant green have faded to a color similar to that found on bottled green olives. But who really cares what beer looks like as long as it tastes good, right?

Nasal Appeal – Smells just like a chile pepper. No beer aroma to greet the nostrils. When the bottle is opened, a little head of foam gathers around the top of the pepper, which continues to float – much like the draught system in bottles of Guinness.

Now I’m a beer snob – I admit it. My uncle started Sierra Nevada Ales – so I come from a long lineage of snooty beer drinkers. When I go out for beer, I usually go for a nice stout or if I’m drinking at home I’ll be sure to pick up a few bottles of Guinness – something with body. Like my coffee, I like my beer black and strong.

Back to the Chili Beer – Taste wise, first sip caught me off gaurd. The burn was more then I expected and the wife caught me sputtering a bit. But I kept it down and sat there a moment, pondering the feeling & taste. Since the serrano pepper is fairly mild, just above the jalapeno on the typical chile heat scale with 5-15,000 scoville units, the heat from the Chili Beer does not stick around very long. The burn will linger longer in the back of your throat then it will on your tongue. I talked the wife into taking a sip, after promising her that it would be nothing like the Caliente Lager from Spanky’s. She took a small sip and didn’t spit it out (what a woman!). Other then that she didn’t have much to say about it. She’s more into wine…

I could only finish 1 chile beer before my stomach started to say “no more” – the lingering burn in the back of my throat had traveled down to my gut and was causing some concern. Overall, I love Crazy Ed’s Chili Beer – I just wish I could drink more then one at a time.

Love the advertising…

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog