Chili and Beer: The Perfect Match

By Haley Manker

As the Winter months continue to pass, a few things have stayed consistent: the need for a hearty chili and the need for a good beer.

Our staff weren’t eligible to enter last Saturday’s chili cook off, but we’ve decided to share our own tips, tricks, and recommendations for some tasty beer-infused chili.

Porter – Founders Brewing Company
This robust porter features a smooth finish that serves as the perfect backdrop for building spice profiles.

Oro Negro – Jackie O’s
In Cincinnati we believe that chocolate and cinnamon DO in fact have a place in chili. We also believe that beers with chocolate and cinnamon should have a place in chili, so this imperial stout is the secret ingredient. The beer’s flavors from oak staves and habanero help to create a rich and full-bodied chili.

Spencer Trappist Stout – Spencer Brewery
A bold and roasted beer with dark stone fruit flavors and coffee and caramel noes. These alluring traits will only enhance the savory and succulent profiles that come from homemade chili.

The Real H.R. Frederiksen – Evil Twin Brewing
A collaboration brew — this is exactly what you need for a complex and fantastic chili. The char profile accompanying cinnamon, peppers, and roasted nuts aid beautifully in making a warm and nourishing chili.

Bell’s Amber Ale – Bell’s Brewery
With toasty malt flavors and a slight hop bite on the back end, Bell’s Amber is a wonderful compliment to a spicy chili. The smoke, heat, sweetness, and bitterness all deliver a flavorsome punch that any chili aficionado can appreciate.

Psychopathy – Madtree Brewing Company 
An IPA can be a tasty but unexpected addition to homemade chili. The bitterness of the hops (we recommend sticking between 50 and 75 IBUs) mingle flawlessly with the peppers. To take your chili to the next level, soak shallots in an IPA overnight and then garnish when serving.

Finally, congratulations to this year’s #ChiliAF Champions:

First Place – Dave Burig, Second Place – Jason Doepke, Third Place – Mike Carpenter,
People’s Choice – Del Hall

Thanks to all who entered, our judges, and those that came down to Cappy’s and crushed some chili! Cheers!