There is a wretched excuse for a chili beer on the market: pallid yellow liquid sold in a clear bottle with a chili pepper at its bottom.
And then there is delicious stuff, such as The Brewer's Art's Green Peppercorn Tripel. When I posted my review, a comment was made that
There's a beer made in Wisconsin called Knot Stock made with black peppercorns - a great base for beer-battered vegetables.
The December issue of Maxim features a recipe for chili from celebrity chef Bobby Flay. He doesn't call for any beer in his recipe, but Lucy Saunders, author of The Best of American Beer & Food, was asked to offer her choices for beers to go with the chili.
She selected three (and offered her flavor reasons why): one for lamb or venison stew, one for chicken or turkey, and one for a basic beef chili.
I shouldn't spoil the fun, but Saunders gives Clipper City's Small Craft Warning Uber Pils the nod with the chili.
Not that I would imagine to be in Chef Flay's league, but here's my recipe for meatless chili. In addition to a good measure of heat, it relies on beer and cumin for flavor. My former father-in-law and I shared a taste for scotch whisky. I introduced him to the use of cumin in his chili; I'd like to think he still uses that.
Of chili, Chef Flay (who calls for cumin) says this:
Timid chili is the mark of a timid man.
"As is a timid beer the mark of a timid man," I would riposte.