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America’s biggest problem — outside of an outdated political infrastructure, bubbling racial tensions and crippling international debt — is a tendency to overheat everything. Pepper usage is at an all time high and there’s no subtlety. Golf clap all around to Asheville Brewing Company and its Fire Escape Jalapeño Pale Ale, a pepper-fueled pale without excessive heat.

Don’t get me wrong: I like-a de spice. Jalapeño pales are one of my favorite offshoots in craft beer and with it being Cinco De Mayo, it was hard to resist picking one up.

My biggest fear was I’d have my palette scorched. For someone wanting to … ahem, work some more this evening that would be an issue.

Fortunately Asheville did a nice job balancing the heat — there’s only a mild hint of jalapeño hotness in the golden beer despite it having ample jalapeño flavor.

It’s nicely carbonated, medium malted and pleasantly hoppy.

Fire Escape falls somewhere below Birdsong’s Jalapeño Pale Ale and somewhere above Habanero Sculpin if only for balance.

It’s a jalapeño beer you could drink on the reg.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Availability: it appears Asheville is making inroads in terms of bottling and shipping; they had multiple beers at Bottlemixx Tuesday.

Price: $4.99 for 22 oz bomber.

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