March 11 (UPI) — A pair of alumni and a student from Virginia’s University of Mary Washington are attempting to obtain a Guinness World Record for brewing the world’s spiciest beer.
Ray Parrish, who obtained his degree in physics from the university in 1991, is now co-owner of the Maltese Brewing Company in Federicksburg, which produces Signal One 2.0 beer, a pineapple IPA infused with 500 Carolina Reaper chilies.
Parrish said he discovered Guinness World Records does not currently have a record for the world’s spiciest beer, so he decided to originate the record by measuring Signal One 2.0’s heat — but he needed help.
The brewer reached out to Sarah Smith, a 2012 graduate who is now a visiting professor in UMW’s Department of Chemistry and Physics. Smith brought junior biochemistry major Valerie Ebenki onto the team.
The trio said they are using the Scoville Heat index, a unit of measurement that calculates chili heat, and attempting to determine the brew’s concentration of heat-inducing chemicals capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin.
The researchers said their findings will be submitted to Guinness in mid-March and they expect to hear within a few months whether Signal One 2.0 is indeed the world’s spiciest beer.