Booze | March 17, 2021 6:00 am

The World’s Hottest Pepper Is Being Used to Create the World’s Spiciest Beer

Enjoy a pineapple IPA infused with 500 Carolina Reaper chilies at a Virginia brewery

Two Carolina Reapers, the hot pepper being used to make the world's spiciest beer
Carolina Reapers, the hot pepper being used to make the world's spiciest beer.
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It’s not an official record (yet), but the firefighter-founded Maltese Brewing Company in Fredericksburg, V.A., may have crafted the spiciest beer ever. Dubbed Signal One 2.0, the pineapple IPA is infused with 500 Carolina Reaper chilies, which is considered the world’s hottest pepper.

According to a news story at the University of Mary Washington website, Maltese co-owner (and UMW alum and physics major) Ray Parrish worked with both a current biochemistry major and a professor at the school’s Department of Chemistry and Physics to determine the beer’s heat level. The team, with ventilator hoods and protective wear in place, determined the concentration of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in the beer and utilized the Scoville heat index, which calculates chili heat (the beer has a final heat of 400,000+ SHU).

The results will be submitted to Guinness World Records, which does not currently have a record for the spiciest beer. “My hypothesis is that a Guinness World Record will provide a boost in business, mainly with visitors to the area looking for a unique experience and ‘chile-head’ destination tourists seeking the next big challenge,” Parrish told UMW.

Parrish also offers customers at his brewery a challenge: Down 10 ounces of the Signal One 2.0 in ten minutes and win a T-shirt — and some customers seem to enjoy it without being overwhelmed. Over at the crowd-sourced beer site Untappd, reviews of Signal One 2.0 noted “a nice fruitiness” while another imbiber noted, “The beer itself is good. The next few minutes aren’t.”