The hottest beer on the planet is back. Elevator Brewing Co. in Columbus has brewed a new, limited batch of Ghost Scorpion Lager, a beer made with Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and ghost chili peppers.
The beer is legendary. It made its debut on draft last year at the Fiery Foods festival in Columbus and some brave souls vomited after trying it. Ghost Scorpion then was available in bottles.
"It’s not quite as dangerous as it was last year," Elevator owner Dick Stevens said about the new version. "But we still tell people not to drink the stuff."
Is it any wonder? Both the scorpion and ghost peppers far exceed 1 million on the Scoville heat index. For comparison, jalapeños rank anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.
Last year’s batch featured six pounds of peppers, and then puree was added later, giving it an explosive burn. This year, the brewery used 10 pounds of pepper and chili flakes, but no puree.
"It’s still undrinkable, but it might be a touch lighter this year," brewery sales manager Jay Taylor said. "That wasn’t by intention. It was the production process. We didn’t want to make it intentionally less spicy."
Elevator more than doubled production this year because of the publicity and demand for the brew last year. Still, there are only 100 cases available.
It’s not an easy beer to make, given the ingredients used. Brewers have to hand bottle the beer because they’re worried about contaminating the bottling line.
Taylor expected about 60 of the cases to be sold in the Columbus area — it’s now available at the North Market — and the remainder to be distributed to key accounts in Ohio in the next few weeks.