Craft Beer Stories – Sweet Heat

Sweet Heat

Burnside Brewery

Portland, Oregon

Wheat Ale with Scotch Bonnets and Apricots, 4.9 %

“I gotta change things up a bit”, I said to the cashier at my favourite liquor store. “Do something different, you know?”

“Mhm, is that cash or debit?”

“I’ve been drinking a lot of hoppy beers lately”, I handed him the cash and let him have the change. The shiny nickel bounced into the tip jar. “Do you know what the opposite of hop is?”

“What is it?”

“Wheat”, I left him stunned by my incredible wisdom and walked out the door.

“I don’t think that’s accurate”, he replied, but I was gone too far, physically and mentally.

I couldn’t even wait to get home and decided to take a stroll through a nearby park. Protected by bushes and trees, I cracked the bottle open with my keychain. A man of beer always came prepared, and so I filled my portable tulip glass with this apricot wheat ale. Fruity wheat beers have been quite popular in the summer, although most breweries went for raspberry with the occasional mango beer exception. Apricot was something I have never seen before in a brew and had to try it.

Before I took my first sip, I was interrupted by two wolves crossing my path. They weren’t paying any attention to me. It seemed as if they were more occupied with each other and soon they disappeared into the bushes.

“Huh, that could be foreshadowing”, I mumbled.

I drank the wheat beer, a generous sip to really take in the apricot. The beer had everything I expected. It smelled like a wheat beer, and it tasted like the other fruity wheat beers, only with a hint of apricot instead of raspberry. I was content with my purchase at first, but mere seconds later the world changed around me.

Suddenly I found myself trapped inside a gigantic oven. The heat was turned all the way up and tinted my vision in an orange hue. Sweat dripped down from my forehead down my cheek and evaporated the second it dropped off my chin. The air got thick. It was impossible to breathe, so I opened my mouth to take in more oxygen.

That’s when I realized my mouth had been open the whole time. The heat came out of my throat. I sealed my lips but could not hold it for longer than a moment, for the fire inside me began to cook my flesh inside out.

“Scotch Bonnet”, I said out loud, coughing.

Finally, it made sense to me. It wasn’t the name of the dude responsible of adding the apricot into the beer. It was the Caribbean cousin of the habanero pepper.

Smoke and flames engulfed my body, creating a fire hazard the province of British Columbia was already used to by now, but was nonetheless a bit much for a single human being. Soon all that was left of me was a fiery skeleton casually strolling through the woods, sipping on the fruity beer that only doused the flames more and more. I couldn’t just pour it out. It was a tasty drink, after all.

But I sure hoped those wolves wouldn’t come back. They seemed to have a bone to pick.


Rating: All Scoville Units out of Ten.




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