Why can't I stand chili in beer?

Don’t get me wrong, I like spicy food. I often use chili fruits when cooking, and even though I have to cut back on it for my stomachs sake, I never had any bigger problem eating it. The heat is pleasant and I like the taste.

But when it comes to beer, I usually can’t handle it. Beers other users describe as “light heat from the chili” is so overbearing for me that I can’t stand to drink it.

I know, simple solution is to just stop buying / drinking them. But there are some beers with chili that I enjoy, for example Cigar City Hunahpu’s or Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti. When its not overtaking the beer, and linger in the background, it can add an extra dimension to the beer.

I’m just curious to why my mouth can handle the heat from spices and chili in food, but not in beers? Any ideas?


One of the worst adjuncts in beer. I only find value in such beers as occasional flavoring agents for food.


I think it is a pretty bad adjunct in everything other than imperial stouts. Chili imperial stouts are some of my favorite beers, but a chili lager or IPA is pretty gross usually. Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killa is particularly undrinkable.

Edit: I should note that like OP, I have no problems with spicy food, even the occasional ridiculously spicy food.

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I’ve had a few that have given off a horrid vegetation like taste which you don’t get when used in food. The heat is unusual in a beer but not the main problem for me.

I’ve no doubt there is the occasional very good one out there but I’ve yet to come across an example.

I simply love pepper beers. I never pass one up and usually love them. I prefer clean lagers with a mildly to moderately spicy pepper flavor.

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I remember when I first came to RB. Almost everyone hated this:

Cave Creek Chili Beer • RateBeer

When I finally found and tasted a bottle, I never looked back. I like the heat in beers. It’s also good in mead and cider as well!, JMHO

I don’t care for IPA but I bet a chili IPA with heat may be a must taste!

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There are two things I can’t stand in my beer: Overly high acidity (think of Hanssens) and exaggerated heat from chilis. The latter doesn’t even contribute to the taste in many cases, making it a rather unnecessary addition. Only in heavy Imperial Stouts and only in small quantities, it can add something to it for me, e.g. in Prairie Bomb. In other cases, just leave it out.

I do like spicy food though :thinking:

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