What’s the best beer to use in chili?

Answered by Louis Krause

When it comes to choosing the best to use in chili, there are a few factors to consider. The type of beer you choose can greatly impact the flavor and overall profile of your chili. In my experience as a sommelier and brewer, I have found that lagers, porters, and stouts are excellent choices for adding depth and richness to chili.

Lagers are a popular choice for chili because they have a clean and crisp flavor profile. They tend to be lighter in body and have a milder hop bitterness compared to other beer styles. This allows the flavors of the other ingredients in the chili to shine through while still adding a subtle malty sweetness. Lagers also have a refreshing quality that can balance out the richness of the chili.

Porters, on the other hand, are known for their rich and robust flavors. They often have notes of chocolate, , and roasted , which can add complexity to the chili. The dark and slightly sweet flavors of a porter can complement the savory and spicy elements of the dish. Additionally, the creamy mouthfeel of a porter can give the chili a velvety texture.

Stouts are similar to porters in terms of their dark and roasted flavors. They often have a more pronounced bitterness, which can add a nice contrast to the sweetness of the chili. Stouts can also contribute a smooth and velvety texture to the chili, enhancing its overall richness. The roasted malt flavors in stouts can add a depth of flavor that pairs well with the spices and other ingredients in chili.

It's worth noting that the specific brand and style of beer you choose can also make a difference. For example, a Mexican like Corona or Modelo can add a touch of authenticity to a chili recipe with southwestern flavors. Similarly, a chocolate or coffee-infused porter or can enhance the flavors of a chili that includes cocoa or coffee as ingredients.

Ultimately, the best beer to use in chili is a matter of personal preference. It's always fun to experiment with different styles and brands to find the perfect match for your taste buds. Whether you choose a lager, porter, or stout, be sure to consider the flavor profile, body, and mouthfeel of the beer to ensure it complements the other ingredients in your chili. Cheers to cooking with beer!