Beer: Sriracha Hot Stout Beer
Brewery: Rogue Ales & Spirits
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
ABV: 5.7 percent
The red chiles grown at Underwood Ranches in Camarillo, California are very important vegetables. Every day, 30 semi trucks packed with peppers journey east to the L.A. suburb of Rosemead and deposit their payloads at Huy Fong Foods. The company, founded in 1980 by Vietnamese refugee David Tran and named after the ship that brought him to America, buys peppers only from Underwood -- no one else. At Huy Fong, the chiles are ground up and combined with garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. They're placed inside clear plastic bottles decorated with a rooster and topped with a bright green cap. They become Sriracha.
For a majority of the chiles, this is a noble end. I imagine being the main ingredient in Sriracha, a wildly popular sauce that grows in demand by its owner's estimate about 20 percent every year, is a status that makes the peppers grown at Underwood the envy of chiles worldwide. But for some, the journey does not end on the supermarket shelf. Some lucky bottles of Sriracha are sent northward, to the headquarters of Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon to become part of a beer.