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My beer pick of the week: A brewski with, uh, roasted green chilies in it.

Talking about Karl Strauss’s Green Chili Big Barrel Double IPA.

I discovered this by accident. Was sitting here at Karl Strauss’s original downtown joint, the old, old brick one covered in vines (1157 Columbia Street, 619-234-2739)...



The roof inside tells you this is at least 90 years old

So this was a tonight-only cask beer. It’s flatter and warmer than most cervezas. No CO2. The ale's sucked out of the cask by a “beer engine,” a kinda siphon pump.


I spot it on the specials board

Also, this one’s cheaper: $4 a pint, and it’s not even happy hour.

Also quite a bang for the buck, 9 percent alcohol whatever.

But what sets this apart: its load of roasted green chilies brewed into it. Oh man. The first sip flanges around your gills like electricity. Makes you think cactus, nopal paddles. You check your tongue for spikes.

And you wonder what’s this doing in a cerveza? But quicker than you realize, it begins to lay on you like a warm blanket...okay, with some claws coming through, but seductive, like cat-woman.

Partly it's that this is a one-off cask beer. Yes it's spiky-hot. But its flavors are fatter.

Jeff the PM (perpetual motion) bartender, says it was their head brewer Paul Segura’s idea to do the chili thing. They’re roasted first, then dunked in to this über-hoppy beer.


Jeff. Green Chili beer (with a couple of glugs out of it) is in the foreground


Have to say, Karl S. is coming out with some good stuff these days. For a long time they were unadventurious, and let the Young Turks like Pizza Port run away with the new ideas.

But these last few years they've definitely picked up steam. And originality.

If this is anything to go by, they’re ba-ack.

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