Picture this: a beer blogger so bloated he has resorted to wearing his wife’s old velour stretchy pregnant pants. My post-holiday gut firmly resting on my lap and my ass imprinting the word “yciuJ” on our Microfiber couch like an ass-stamp. The elastic waist band on these babies can easily hold a 20 pound turkey, a couple yams AND an actual baby!
Why so bloated? Today I participated in the OC Beer Society’s first annual chili cook-off and bottle share at Peace Brewing in Anaheim. Before I succumb into my yearly ten-pound anti-booze hibernation, I wanted to get one last binge in before I shed some un-needed lap-lard. Why not do it with rare beers?!?
Going to a bottle share with a ‘Society’ is bit like a girl going to a dance. What should I wear? What if someone is wearing the same thing? I wander aimlessly inside Total Wine & More, wishing they had a mirror so I could watch myself pose while holding a selection of bottles. Dorkishly I turn the corner while talking to myself as a sales woman approaches, “find everything alright?”, “does this make my ass look fat?” as I hold a beer near my waist. I settle on a Unibroue Trois Pistoles, a very ‘safe’ beer to bring to such an event. I figured the dark label was slimming and the cork & cage seal is always a crowd pleaser. Now, I do actually have some beers slumbering away in a cellar, however my selection of Stone Vertical Epic, Alaskan Smoked Porters and various Bruery beers aren’t near their prime and probably commonplace in this group. I have yet to jump into beer trades at this point in my tenure, but this event will probably change all that.
On the way home I hit the local store for my fixin’s to make chili. I wanted to add a beer element by caramelizing onions in a cedary-pumpkiny milk stout from the Bruery, “Burly Gourd”. I thought the spice element of the beer would work well with the sweetness of caramelized onions. It smelled unbelievable, nearly like a port wine with added spices.
My Chili Recipe: “The Bourly Greg”
- 1 Pack Charmin Wet Wipes (for day after)
- 1 lb 93% Ground Turkey (any meat is good)
- 60oz Tomato Sauce
- 30oz Kidney Beans
- 1 can Herndez chili peppers
- 1 package chili spice, I used McCormick’s Hot Chili Spice. (follow directions on packet, silly!)
The event went super smooth. Someone grabs a bottle and cracks it. Smart phones pop out, everyone Untapp’s it. We have a brief chat and move on to the next.There were five chili’s to choose from, each so different and delicious in their own right! My Chili took fourth with only one vote, which wasn’t that bad considering I voted for the winner: Rico Nolan’s chorizo and steak masterpiece was diabolical. “I treated it like a brew day with additions and such” says Rico. The meat was pleasantly tender and absorbed the delicious chorizo grease for a complex and not overly hot mouthgasm. “I could swim in it” says Scott Bennett of SNB Brewing. Indeed. His serrano chili homebrewed Wit paired extremely well with it, carrying the spice nicely. He was pretty excited at his winnings, but was reluctant to share! Boo!
- Firestone Walker Abacus, Reserve Porter 07
- Surly Brewing Surlyfest, Smoke, Furious, Abrasive, Bender (Thanks Scott!)
- Fifty Fifty Totality (eclipse base beer), Eclipse – Elijia Craig 2011
- Cigar City Brewing Cubano-Espresso Brown Ale, Maduro Brown Ale
- Upright Brewing Six
- Duck Rabbit Milk Stout
- Three Floyd’s Behemoth 07
- Alpine Beer Co Pure Hoppyness, Bourbon Barrel Aged Token
- Goose Island Big John (Favorite)
- Stoudts Fat Dog Stout
- Unibroue Trois Pistoles
- Weyerbacher Brewing Rapture
- Victory Brewing Dark Intrigue
- Kuhnhenn 4th D Old Ale
- New Glarus Brewing Hop Hearty Ale
- Shorts Brewing Co Bourbon Wizard
- Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
- Sierry Nevada Ruthless Rye
- Homebrew: SNB Brewing 2010 Holiday Ale; Rico’s Chili Wit.