Regional Beer Review: Bent River Jalapeño Pepper Ale

While I’m banging my head against the new problems that the update to WordPress has caused my beer schedule articles, let’s drop another video beer review.

I have had Bent River Brewing Co.’s Jalapeño Pepper Ale some years ago, at their original Moline brewpub, which is in itself worth a visit. Anywhoo, it’s kind of an open secret that I like chile beers. Even after my first taste of that awful Cave Creek Chili Beer. Rather, back on a Rt. 66 trip through the Southwest, I found the flagship Green Chile Beer at Eske’s Brew Pub in Taos, New Mexico. Bright vegetal flavors on a matching wheat malt base. From that point, when I took up homebrewing, I made several chili beers. One of them, using an extra hot chocolate habanero pepper, won a medal at Chicago Beer Society’s Spooky Brew Review homebrew contest for “Spookiest Brew.”

Bent River Jalapeño Pepper Ale

And now I find it does pop up in bottles occasionally in the Chicago market. I got this at my nearest Binny’s, waiting to do a new One-Take Beer Review with it.

The current packaged version is listed as a wheat ale, made with fire-roasted jalapeño peppers.

First off, the warning about chili beers is that chili peppers might still have enough oil in them to kill off any attempt at a head. But this one poured a nice frothy head. An amber wheat ale color.

The nose has a little bit of fresh roasted green pepper heat to it. Just a nice chili burn without going overboard. And so far, hot chili pepper is not a taste you can get out of a new hop varietal. It has a nice hot chili note backed by some malt. Certainly can’t pick out hops, but that’s to be expected. I like a good beer like this. Most of the beers with chili in them have been darker imperial stouts with chili as part of any number of adjuncts, but here we can taste how well it works with a lighter style.

And here are my notes from when I first had the beer at Bent River in 2004:

Well, this is my style of beer. In fact, it tastes pleasantly like a chile beer I’ve made. Appears to be a golden American Ale base, but lighter on the hops. Chile burn is there, but bright and fruity, like fresh jalapenos. Actually finishes clean, with no afterburn.

Filed under: Beer Review

Tags: Beer review, Chili Beer

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