Beer Type: Hefeweizen ABV: 5.6% IBUs: 17 Tried on draught.
Their Description: “Our award winning beer that is a hefeweizen and is infused with freshly roasted jalapenos and serrano peppers. It was a vibrant pepper aroma with a subtle spice on the palate.”
The Reality: Looks like a typical hefeweizen with an unfiltered golden color, but has a strong scent of jalapeno peppers. The scent is strong enough to worry me about the taste, but that worry turns out to be unfounded. The taste is actually a nice mix of wheat and citrus that just has the pepper taste in the finish. It’s not really spicy at all, but it is very well-balanced and complex. It drinks light and has a pleasing savory aftertaste with notes of clove that remains refreshing.
Final Verdict: I’ve seen more and more beers popping up that are brewed with some type of hot pepper, and I’ve even tried several of them. This one is hands down the best of them. I think the key is that the base beer is a well-made hefeweizen and the wheat and citrus flavors are a great compliment for the jalapeno. Also, they used the right amount of the pepper, making it just another player in what makes up this beers profile, not a dominant force that bullies the other elements. Lastly, this beer isn’t spicy, at least not in the way a jalapeno pepper is spicy, and that’s smart. I’ve tried some hot pepper beers that are quite spicy, and while the taste is interesting at first, it’s tough to drink several pints of it. The opposite is true of this beer, it’s very light, refreshing and delicious, and I actually did have several pints. “El Heffe” means “the boss” in Spanish, and we all know that “The Boss” is Bruce Springsteen, so we reached out to his camp to get his take on this great beer, and although no one returned my calls, we think his actions on stage speak for themselves (I believe he’s downing a cup of El Heffe here):