Jalapeño Beer: throw back a “hot” cold one

jalapeño beer

If you’re a beer drinker who enjoys hot peppers, you may want to try jalapeño beer. Like, jalapeño wine, it can still hold the flavor of the original beverage while adding a dimension of spiciness. However, because it is made by different breweries in a multitude of ways from using fresh peppers to ground seeds, the flavors can vary quite a bit. So if you’re curious, it’s advised to taste various types and find out what fits your spice tolerance and flavor preferences. Just because you may dislike the taste of one, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t love the next.

Jalapeño beer has been around for decades, mostly made by beer connoisseurs in their home breweries. In the early 2010s, it grew in popularity along with America’s desire for spicy foods and could be found in many breweries that specialize in craft beer. But because it is a psychological hurdle to drink a cool beverage that might “burn” your mouth (depending on how much you can handle), it quickly became more of a novelty drink found regionally in the U.S.

However, as the jalapeño becomes less and less threatening as more extreme hot peppers hit the market (e.g. Carolina Reamer, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, etc.), it’s quite possible that jalapeño beers become as widely accepted as the Bloody Mary.

What brands make jalapeño beer?

There are dozens of breweries that make beer with jalapeño. Some of the most popular include

  • Spicy Nachos – Evil Twin Brewing
  • Ghost Face Killah – Twisted Pine Brewing
  • American Presidential Stout – Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
  • Jalapeño Common – Darkness Brewing
  • Jalapeño Pale Ale – Birdsong Brewing Co.

What are other types of spicy beer?

Besides jalapeño, there are many other types of spicy beer you can enjoy. Here are several highly-rated spicy beers to try:

  • Voodoo Grande Negro Voodoo Papi – Voodoo Brewing Co.
  • Habanero Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing
  • Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Cigar City
  • Prairie Bomb! – Krebs Brewing
  • Sweet Heat – Burnside Brewing
  • Fate El Ultima Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout – Fate Brewing Co.
  • Viva Habanera – Night Shift Brewing
  • Triple Day of the Dead – Garage Project

Where can I find jalapeño beer?

If you’re looking to simply try spicy beer (not necessarily made with jalapeños), you’re likely to find them in cities known for their breweries like San Diego, CA; Portland, OR; or Asheville, NC. For breweries that specifically make jalapeño beer, check out this interactive map.

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.