Tissues at the ready, chilli fiends: the Northbridge Brewing Company (NBC) Chilli Fest is back for 2016. Expect plenty of heat, tears and bravado, not least if you’re planning on going toe-to-toe with the fearsome Trinidad scorpion. Clocking in at over a million Scoville heat units - that’s roughly around 500 times hotter than a jalapeno - it’s one of the world’s hottest chillies.
The scorpion is a key component of Darkhorse hot sauce, a punishing WA-made condiment being showcased throughout this year’s festivities. The scorpions are blended with red 7 pot and Southern Cross varieties and aged for six years in new American oak barrels.
Special dishes have been added to the menu to challenge diners. Festival favourites such as the 18-inch “heat-seeker sub”, pulled pork nachos, monkey bread and buffalo wings are being offered alongside newcomers such as Northern Territory mud crabs. Russian roulette sliders randomly spiked with scorpions are on-hand for those that like to eat dangerously.
It’s not all about the food, however. NBC’s chilli beer was a highlight of last year’s festival and brewer Ken Arrowsmith has again brewed a small batch of the beer that will only be available during Chilli Fest.
“We’re not making it absolutely red-hot, I think some of the food is hot enough,” says Arrowsmith. “If you infuse a beer with fresh chillies, you get some of the fruit flavour as well as the heat. I’ve found that bird’s eyes are the best for us. We just score the skins and then infuse the beer with the chillies. Perhaps not my favourite style, but it’s a nice novelty.”
Desserts such as chilli chocolate fondant and deep-fried ice-cream offer relief from the capsaicin burn.
The NBC Chilli Fest runs from September 12-18.
Northbridge Brewing Company
44 Lake Street,
(08) 6151 6481