Maltese Brewing Company is attempting to get their super-spicy IPA recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

By Jelisa Castrodale
March 15, 2021
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The list of Guinness World Records contains dozens of beer-related records; this shouldn't be a surprise, since a couple of Guinness brewery execs came up with the idea for a book of world records in the first place. 

Although Guinness keeps track of the world's oldest beer, the largest glass of beer that was ever poured, and even the biggest collection of beer bottles, it doesn't currently have a listing for the World Hottest Beer. But Roy Parrish, who co-owns a brewery in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is doing his very best to change that.

pouring beer
Credit: Jack Andersen / Getty Images

Parrish's Maltese Brewing Company produces Signal One 2.0, an absolutely eye-watering IPA that is infused with 500 Carolina Reaper chili peppers. (In 2017, Guinness recognized the Carolina Reaper as the world's hottest pepper.) 

According to the University of Mary Washington, Parrish—who earned his physics degree there—reached out to the school to see if the physics department could help him calculate Signal One 2.0's heat content. He has since teamed up with Sarah Smith, a professor in the school's Department of Chemistry and Physics, and Valerie Ebenki, who is currently a junior biochemistry major. (And, before you ask, yes, there was a Signal One 1.0, but Parrish estimates the new version could be 70 percent hotter.) 

"Being able to participate in real world research, proposed by an alum who is now working in the local community, is a fantastic opportunity," Ebenki said. 

The team is working in the University's labs to try to measure the concentration of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, two chemicals that give a chili pepper its heat. They'll then determine where to put the brew on the Scoville Heat scale, which is a system of measuring how hot some hot peppers can get. A jalapeño's spiciness can be between 2,500–8,000 on the Scoville scale, while the Guinness-listed Carolina Reaper registered around 1,569,300 Scoville heat units.

The University says that they hope to report their findings to Guinness later in March, although it could take several months for the records-keepers to respond. Until then, Parrish is still hosting the Signal One 2.0 Challenge at Maltese Brewing, which requires the bravest beer drinker to down 10 ounces of the ultra-potent brew in 10 minutes or less. 

Huh, I wonder if Guinness has a record for "The most dangerous-sounding records ignored by a single person" yet? Because that's something I might actually qualify for—sorry, Signal One.