After a year of a pandemic that stretched to epic proportions, months of protests, and a contentious presidential election, we had nearly forgotten about Colorado and New Mexico’s epic chile war.
But one Golden, Colo. brewery didn’t!
The brewers of Mountain Toad Brewing have taken this fight from online and billboards to the beer-lovin’ glasses on their customers. This October, co-owner Thad Briggs tapped two chile beers: one stewed with Pueblo chiles and the other a Hatch chile concoction.
“We do a Smoked Hatch Pale Ale every year,” Briggs told Westword.
This year, however, when the Smoke Hatch Pale Ale was announced on social media, a loyal customer “teasingly called us out for not representing Colorado’s Pueblo chiles. We accepted the challenge and said if he could bring us some hot Pueblo chilies, we’d brew with them. So he did, and I asked him what he thought the base should be, and he agreed that a light crisp pale ale would be best.”
The whole debacle started after the states’ governors had it out via social media over the Hatch chile versus the Pueblo chile.
This social media battle was initiated by Colorado Governor Jared Polis after Whole Foods Market announced it would be stocking Pueblo Chile in Colorado. This is what Polis had to say about it on Facebook:
“About time! Whole Foods Market will soon offer Pueblo Chile, widely acknowledged as the best chile in the world, in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Whole Foods will stock 125,000 pounds of Pueblo Chile in Colorado, Kansas, Idaho and Utah. New Mexico stores will unfortunately not be offering the best chile and will instead keep offering inferior New Mexico chile.”
Understandably on the defensive for her state’s infamous food, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was having none of it.
“If Pueblo chile were any good, it would have been on national shelves before now. If Colorado wants to go chile to chile, no question that New Mexico can bring the heat - Hatch chile is, has always been and will always be the greatest in the world,” she fired back on Twitter.
Not to be outdone, Polis responded with, “I agree with @GovMLG on a lot of things, but we disagree on this one. I challenge @GovMLG to a chile taste-off in Trinidad! Let’s put this to the test.”
A few months later, New Mexico True, the state tourism department, launched a new ad boasting of New Mexico’s #blessed green chile and their “less fortunate neighbors to the north,” according to 9News. Perhaps the best burn though was flashing a shot of a Subaru, the unofficial vehicle brand of Colorado, with a Colorado license plate.
The 30-second TV ad chastised Coloradoans for thinking the Pueblo chile even holds a candle to the Hatch.