Beer Blog: Hot Sauce Porter

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Nothing gets me going like a collaboration beer.

Here’s the concept: take two entities—maybe it’s two breweries, or maybe it’s a brewery and a band—and put their creative spirits together to brew a limited release beer.

Musicians collaborate with breweries, cartoon artists collaborate with breweries, actors collaborate…Everyone seems to be working together in the craft beer world today.

New Belgium collaborates with all sorts of breweries, ditto Sierra Nevada. That’s how these Big Boy brewers stay young and fresh. But small breweries collaborate too. Take Asheville favorite Hi-Wire Brewing. They just collaborated with another Asheville favorite, Firewalker, a locally-made hot sauce. Together, these mad geniuses came up with a Rum Barrel-Aged Hot Sauce Porter.

Oh yeah. Hot Sauce Porter. Sounds like a feisty action hero, doesn’t it?

It was cold as balls last night, but I had to make the trek through downtown Asheville to get a taste of this enticing brew. I’m a huge fan of Firewalker and porters and rum, so I figured the beer has to be a winner. And I was right.

There’s a really cool smokiness to this porter that I’m guessing comes from sitting inside wood for several months. The rum adds a layer of sweetness that you wouldn’t normally pick up from a beer that’s aged in, say, a whiskey barrel, while the heat from the Firewalker is barely noticeable at first. Then it builds and builds with each sip, until you realize that yeah, there’s some hot sauce in this beer. The whole package is incredibly addictive. And it’s the perfect beer for these cold nights.

The Firewalker Porter is a limited release, available only in the brewpub right now, but it’s worth braving the elements for a pint or two (or four). I’m hoping they’ll bring it back as a regular seasonal and maybe even put it in a bottle. I’d love to sip this beer while I rest in the parking lot at the end of a ski session. Or while soaking in a hot tub after a ski session. Or while riding a lift during a ski session…




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