Here's a list of things that are good: 1) beer, and 2) spicy foods. This list is universally agreed upon. So, with that in mind, we here at New Belgium decided to team up with our pals at Cigar City Brewing in Florida. Speaking specifics, we pooled our collective brainpower to concoct an ale brewed with anaheim and marash chilies — with the aid of some Spanish cedar, of course.
The result? A hoppy chili beer that, though far from devoid of personality, doesn't cause steam to shoot from your ears, nose and throat. I'm big on balance — summer/winter, salty/sweet, Mulder/Scully — so I was tickled to write a blog post regarding this collaboration.
Then, as he has often done before, Juicebox jumped in with an inspired recommendation. "Nic," he said, "how about you pair the chili beer with this delicious habanero carrot hot-sauce I made over the weekend." Hmmm ...
So I grabbed a taco from hometown favorite La Luz, cruised home and set to work.
Hot things + hot things = great hot (hawt?) times. I'm nearly certain Einstein wrote that equation, and Einstein never lied. And even if he did, he certainly got this one right. We all know the magnificent pairing of spicy foods and hoppy beers like Ranger or Rampant. While not quite as bitter as those brews (this collaboration humble-brags an IBU of 50), it still brings the required personality to a plate of spicy eats. And while the anaheim and marash chilies add their own subtle high-kick to the taste buds, they equal-parts offer the clear, crisp finish typical of chili based foods.
What I was left with was a fantastic lunch.
I'm not sure how you can get your hands on some of Juicebox's super secret proprietary-recipe hot sauce, but I can tell you that the Cigar City/New Belgium collaboration should be available from your local distributer. I highly recommend pairing it with something hot. And speaking of hot things, cold things and regulating between the two, check out these sweet new bottle koozies available at the Mothership's Liquid Center:
Sweet, huh? And here are some other hot things that this Cigar City/New Belgium collaboration likely pairs well with:
Death Valley, California
Asphalt so hot you can cook an egg on it
Can you think of something else that's really hot? Let me know, and I'll add it to the list.
Edit: Juicebox asked that I insert more superlatives relative to his hot sauce. And to be honest, I probably should have devoted an additional sentence or two to it. It's a darn fine sauce, walking the delicate line between too hot and too sweet. As far as hot sauce is concerned, Juicebox hit a home run, pulled in the hail mary, made the half court shot, sunk the long range slap shot and served up the ace. (I decided to go with cliche sports metaphors as opposed to superlatives.)
Cheers — Nic The Intern