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Flavors we love: Heat meets sweet

We did the math: Chilies plus fruit equals warm-weather deliciousness.
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If you’ve looked at bottle shop shelves lately and noticed a preponderance of fruit (apricot wheat! grapefruit IPA! tangerine everything!), you’re not going crazy; data show that “tropical-flavored” beers were up 250 percent last year. But a smaller subset of this fruitsplosion has us totally hooked: the intersection of fruit and spice. Combining fruits like apples, apricots and pineapple with a zing from chiles and peppers yields an awesome one-two punch of summer flavor. Taste it for yourself:

DuClaw El Kabong, a pale ale brewed with apricots, chilies de arbol and ancho chilies, leads with peachlike flavor before a peppery prickle arrives late and lingers into the dry finish.

Seattle Cider Three Pepper cider marries subtly sweet apples with a trio of poblano, habanero and jalapeño peppers, creating a simultaneously sweet-and-hot harmony not unlike mango salsa.

Elysian Hawaiian Sunburn is a pineapple-habanero sour whose honeydew sweetness and flash of pineapple juice round out the beer’s underlying tartness.

 

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