Monday, June 25, 2012

Chili Beer Co. - Original C Cave Creek Chili Beer

As you well know if you've read this blog before, I'm a big fan of and their Top 100 List. To date, I've tried 38 of the Top 100 and I've obtained a few more that I should be tasting in the very near future. In addition to BeerAdvocate's Top 100 Beers List, they have a number of other lists, including Top 100 Beers of Fame (beers with over 1,000 reviews on the site), Top 100 New Beers (beers that have only been on the site for less than 6 months), and the ever popular Bottom of the List. The 100 "Bottom of the List" beers are the beers with the worst average reviews on the site. In case you're wondering, Corona Light is the worst reviewed beer on with an average rating of 1.83 out of 5. While I kind of want to tackle the 100 "Bottom of the List" beers, I really don't think my body can take that much malt liquor, so I'm going to stay away and only go for the ones that are consistently mentioned in the "Worst Beers You've Ever Had" forums. One that seems to always come up is Chili Beer Company's Original C Cave Creek Chili Beer.

According to the brewery's website (which, coincidentally, happens to be one of the worst websites I've ever seen. Click here if you dare), Crazy Ed Chilleen starting brewing beer in 1989 in Cave Creek, Arizona. One of Crazy Ed's pet peeves was when people asked for lime in their beer, so anytime this would happen, he would drop a serrano pepper in instead. When, again according to the website, about 2 out of 10 people liked the beer with a chili in it (doesn't seem like a great success rate to me, but whatever), Crazy Ed decided to start bottling it and a monster was born. Apparently, the original brewery shut down so Cave Creek Chili Beer is now made in Tecate. Today, you can find this beer in a variety of places including Total Wine in Redondo Beach, which is where I was able to find a bottle. Because of this puppy's reputation, it spent about 6 months lurking in the back of the fridge while I drank beers that I didn't think had a chance of killing me. Finally, I decided to give it a try.

Original C Cave Creek Chili Beer pours a clear and golden (read: piss) color with a thin off-white head that disappears about as soon as the beer is poured. The smell has a lot of pepper, breadiness and boiled corn. If you were to soak a jalapeno corn cake in water for about a week, I would guess the smell would be pretty similar to Crazy Ed's concoction.

It's interesting that this beer is now made in Tecate because it tastes an awful lot like a beer that shares names with that location, but with a kick. The taste opens very watery with a lot of boiled corn and grain flavor. About midway through the taste, the pepper hits and the heat becomes the only thing you can taste. And the heat you're going to find in Cave Creek Chili Beer isn't the flavorful, complex heat that often complements the other flavors in beers that use chili well. This heat is a dry, abrasive heat that kind of made me feel like I had heartburn in my mouth. Not the greatest experience.

So now the real question remains: Is this the worst beer out there? This is, undoubtedly, one gross experiment that needs to be put out to pasture. But worst beer ever status? Not a chance.  Wild Blue, the title is yours for another day.

Final Grade: D-

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 38

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