It's Hatch chile season, and for a pair of local breweries, that means Hatch chile beer.
Boulder's Twisted Pine Brewing will be making three kinds of beer using the specialty chiles, which are grown around Hatch, New Mexico, and shipped by the truckload to Denver, where fiery food lovers buy them on street corners by the bushel.
And all three -- a porter made with roasted peppers, a saison made with fresh pepper and a version of Twisted Pine's Billy's Chilies spiked with both roasted and fresh Hatch peppers -- will be available tomorrow at Centro in Boulder, which is holding a Hatch chile festival to honor the perennial prince of peppers. (It takes place from 1 to 6 p.m. at 950 Pearl Street.)
"The porter might be the best of the three," says Twisted Pine's Mike Burns, adding that the brewery used around thirty pounds of chiles in the three beers. "The roasted malts play off nicely with the spiciness of the chiles."
Twisted Pine makes a year-round bottled beer called Billy's Chilies, as well as seasonal chile beers, like Ghost Face Killah, using the hottest chile peppers in the world.
And in the foothills, Golden City Brewing is making its annual Hatch Chile Beer right now, says head brewer Jeff Griffith. It should be ready in a few days.
"I usually try to do it whenever the hatch chili stands start popping up. I get a couple of bushels and bring it here hot," he says. Griffith has made the beer for the past seven years, but Golden City was making it before that as well.
And if you can't make it out of Denver, the Wynkoop serves Patty's Chile Beer -- named for Westword founder Patty Calhoun -- all year round. Although the beer doesn't use Hatch peppers, it packs a kick that's just as strong. Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.