One of the wonderful things about craft beer is pushing the limits of what beer can be. It’s great to enjoy a classic beer style, something with hundreds of years of heritage, which tastes the same every single time. But what turned most of us on to it is the innovative and interesting flavors found in so many special brews. Taking beer to new places, Modist Brewing has partnered with Hormel Chili to create Chili Cheese Brew. Beer without boundaries.
Chili Cheese Brew
The Chili Cheese Brew isn’t just meant to be enjoyed with a bowl of Hormel Chili, it’s filled with much of the stuff you find in their chili cheese dip. Modist started with a lager made with pilsner malt and flaked corn, then added cheese powder and a spice blend to bring flavors from the dip bowl to your beer glass.
It pours a clear golden yellow straw, filled with tiny bubbles of carbonation climbing to the top. A good finger or two of brilliant white tight foam forms and slowly falls. It clings to the walls of the glass as it bubbles away, with just a bit of lace left on the sides of the glass. Looks like a lovely lager.
Lovely nose, with biscuity malt and a very nice touch of sulfur, common in many lagers. There’s just a touch of spice there, both from the hops and spice blend added. Only a very small hint of melty cheese in the distance (it does come out a bit more as the brew warms). Again, nothing seems off. Without knowledge of it going in, one wouldn’t likely notice the hint of cheese, and the rest is lovely.
Clean light pilsner malt upfront. Crisp, with a dry sweetness to it. The spice blend is subtle. It doesn’t really come in until the back of the throat, with a hint of chili, a dash of cayenne, and a touch of black pepper. As you continue to take sips, some heat builds on the tongue. Not much, but enough that it’s slightly noticeable after a bit. With the flaked corn in the brew, it does have a bit of corn chip going on.
And the cheese. Again, things are pretty subtle. It’s there in the aftertaste but like the “cheese” in cheese dip, there’s not much to the flavor. In the dip, it’s far more about the texture than the flavor that makes it. With that absent here, cheese only has a slight savory note.
Of course, the internet is up in arms. Beer geeks complaining that things have gone too far. And yet, they lined up for that latest limited-release sour imperial stout aged in Chornobyl barrels from the over-hyped brewery flavor of the week. Come on. There’s a difference between a beer made simply for the shock value and one that shocks while still being drinkable. Modist Brewing Chili Cheese Brew is the latter.
Pick up a 4-pack of Chili Cheese Brew at the Modist Brewing taproom (and enjoy a can while you’re there) or order some from HormelChiliCheeseBrew.com It’s an interesting brew to experience and pairs perfectly with your favorite dip while watching the big game.