Beer: Xalapa
Style: Spiced / Herbed Beer
ABV: 5.2%
7 Stars

On a recent beer purchasing expedition (research material, as it’s called around my house), an incredibly helpful and knowledgeable Holiday Market employee suggested a few beers from a brewery I had never heard of, One Well Brewing in Kalamazoo. He further suggested I try Xalapa, a jalapeño blonde ale. I was hesitant …

Ten years ago my dad told me a story about a man who drank two jalapeño beers, drove home to his wife, went to bed, and passed away. My father led me to believe that the beers were the cause of his death (but that would not end up being the case. Keep reading!).

… Should I face my fear? The very thought made me sweat all the way down to my hospital-grade face mask. I summoned my courage and bought the beer.

Upon pouring it into a glass, I was struck by the strong scent of jalapeño wafting up. No need for a nose dip. This could be smelled across my dining table. As I hesitantly raised the glass to my lips, I couldn’t help but remember the man in my dad’s story. I powered on. After taking my first sip, I honestly thought I’d somehow gotten a defective can. Surely, someone had mistakenly filled my can with only the juice of jarred, sliced jalapeños.

Enjoyed on a pre-stormy Friday night

The flavor! Peppers were all over the place on the perfect canvas of a blonde ale. I found myself wincing in the anticipation of the heat, but, surprisingly, there was almost none of it. On its finish, Xalapa delivered a bite that reminded me of just what I was drinking. It felt a bit like a wake-up call. Why had I been so afraid of a spicy beer? This was almost refreshing, though as a blonde ale, it was still filling enough to make me take my time.

With my fears thus conquered, I had to call my dad and ask him about the man who passed away. Did he remember that story? Oh sure, he told me. The poor guy had a known heart disease and suffered a garden-variety heart attack. It was still shocking but had nothing to do with the jalapeño beers as my dad had led me to believe. I was stunned. And chagrined. All this time I’d been afraid of … nothing!

I’ll be going back to Holiday Market to get more of this beer, obviously!

Disclaimer: Dani purchased this beer for her review.

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By Danielle Fracassa

Early late 30s, married, 4 cats, cheeseburger obsessed, New England IPA lover and world traveler. Head of the Detroit Chapter of Girls Pint Out, a national organization for women who love craft beer.

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