Every person walking in was covered in huge wet falling snow flakes that were falling from the sky. Inside, the windows were fogging up and it smelled of so many savory delectable items you didn’t know where to start. 22 crock pots full of chili were lining the walls, and the beer was flowing in the taproom of Grimm Brothers Brewhouse.
I squeezed in and set up my crock pot full of Smokey Pumpkin Chipotle Chili next to Joel, who made a red bean chili and Jenna, who was serving a fiery pork green chili. All of the chili’s had to be made with a Grimm Brothers beer. As a result, the variety of styles and flavors was out of this world. From vegetarian bbq chili, to an oxtail chili and all the traditional reds and greens you could ever want.
For $10 customers would get a beer and 10 tickets to try 10 samples of chili. Each person who tasted was allowed to cast 1 vote for their favorite. As the 3 hours of tasting went on I gave out tons of samples. Some people even liked my chili so much they used 2 of their 10 tickets for it. The best part was trading other cooks samples of chili. Everything was delicious.
The winner, a green tomatillo chili took 1st place with 7 votes. 2nd place also received 7 votes but took 2nd after a staff run off because the smoked gouda apple wood chicken sausage green chili (that’s a monthful) was more a soup than a chili. Soup or not, it was amazing. Joel took 3rd place with his traditional red chili. The most creative name, as chosen by the staff, was Little Red Kidney Bean and the Big Bad Bison. Creative name, and one of my favorite chili’s, it had perfect heat.
As the chili cook off ended the crowded tap room cleared out quick. It seemed all of the chili cooks brought their entire families with them. We all ventured back out into the snow, bellies full of warm chili and dirty crock pots to clean. Even if you’re not a cook, everyone is an eater. Make sure you check out next years chili challenge.
Here is my recipe for the chili I submitted. The key is to use smoked spices from Old Town Spice Shop
Smokey Pumpkin Chipotle Chili
Pairs best with Grimm Brothers Master Thief
2 slices thick cut smoked bacon
1 lbs ground beef
1 yellow onion
2 bell peppers, any color
3 cloves garlic
2 cans (14oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
1 can (14oz) pumpkin puree
1 can (8oz) tomato paste
3 cups Grimm Brothers Fearless Youth
4 Tbs Chipotle Morita powder from Old Town Spice Shop
2 Tbs Smoked Paprika from OldTown Spice Shop
2 Tbs Hickory Smoked Sea Salt from Old town Spice Shop
1 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tbs Cumin
-In a large fry pan, brown strips of bacon.
-Remove bacon from pan, leaving grease.
-Chop onion and caramelize in bacon grease over medium heat
-Add chopped peppers and diced garlic
-Add ground beef to onions and brown.
-In large stock pot, add all canned ingredients and beer.
-Pour the cook a beer
-Add ground beef mixture, and spices. Adjust according to heat and smoke preferences.