Just because it’s getting colder outside doesn’t mean you should stop making margaritas. Or indeed, drinking beers that taste like them, because that’s the first thought that came to mind when I first sipped on this week’s beer. That and, “ouch.”
You see, Fuego Feroz, a pale ale from Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer Company, isn’t like other pales. In fact the label even warns that this beer is to be consumed with caution. That’s because Fuego Feroz is brewed with habanero peppers and the spicy flavour these impart is balanced by the addition of fresh lime juice.
“We actually wanted to make an all-chilli beer, so added the habaneros on their own first,” Fierce founder and brewer Dave Grant says. “However the flavour was a little dull, so we added fresh lime juice too.”
The combination might sound a little wild, and believe me when I say this is a long way from your run of the mill pale ale, but somehow it just works. On tasting the beer the chilli heat hits you like a blowtorch to the face, but habanero heat is a pleasant, savoury heat. The lime juice tempers this and add a touch of sweet, zingy balance, which mellows this beer out. It’s that lime kick that reminds me of sipping on margs in some of my favourite cocktail bars.
“Chilli and spice lovers really love it, and can’t get enough,” Grant says.
This is without a doubt a beer for chilli (and hot sauce) fans. Its similarity to a margarita also means that it pairs well with dishes such as fish tacos or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, breakfast quesadillas. Caution is advised, however, as heat levels vary from bottle to bottle and you could end up playing Russian Roulette with your palate if you’re not careful.
Music Pairing – Kurt Vile, Pretty Pimpin’
The best way to tame chilli heat is to mellow it out with something creamy. As I don’t have any natural yoghurt to hand, this sublime slice of chilled out alt-pop from Kurt Vile will have to do instead. This track features one of the most hypnotic and enjoyable pieces of guitar playing I’ve heard in years, and as it gently trundles on throughout pretty much the entire track, you’ll soon forget that the beer you’re drinking has set your mouth aflame.
Find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. You can find Fierce Beer Fuego Feroz in store or at our online shop to get it delivered to your door.