The Best Beer with Chili: 7 Tasty Combinations

Jul 29, 2021 | Pairing Guides

Beer and chili have some of the best combinations and here, we’ve made a detailed list of the best beers that go with different kinds of chili. Some of the best beer pairings are with chili. Chili is a tummy-warming, heartwarming, happy dancing dish. Pairing it with beer makes the whole experience a lot more complete.

Chili is a classic American dish that is commonly eaten during the colder seasons. Its flavors warm up our bellies and its heartiness keeps our stomachs lined with goodness. A typical chili goes very well with many kinds of beverages like beers, wine, cocktails and sodas. The most popular pairing with chili is a nice bottle of beer. However, there are many kinds of tweaked versions of chili. There’s the everyday chili, hot chili, vegetarian chili, smoky chili, white chili, chili with meat chunks, and so on.

The fact of the matter is, whatever the chili, beer goes well with it. Here are the 7 best kinds of beer that we know go oh so well with chili.

  1. Pilsner

A pilsner is a very straightforward kind of beer. There’s no fuss, no complicated flavors and undertones to fish out of the water. A pilsner has a crisp and refreshing taste that goes well with most kinds of food. It’s like the god beer, the Chardonnay of beers that could be matched with anything. Pilsner’s refreshing and thirst-quenching characteristics are perfect for chili’s smoky, spicy, and slightly hot notes. It balances the flavors in your mouth without overpowering the flavor of the dish.

  1. India Pale Ale

The India pale ale is also known as IPA. It’s a hoppy beer that could be fruity and bitter. It could have a good amount of alcohol content but what it is, is a smooth beer with a great mouthfeel. These characteristics are great to have with chili because of its boldness that coincides with the actual chilies in the dish.

  1. Amber Lager

If you’re having “white chili” amber lager or lighter beers go best with this kind of chili. White chili is a lot about balance and delicate flavors. You can’t have white chili with stronger beers like IPA or stout. Amber lager is a good match because it is balanced in hop and malt, with a caramel-like malt flavor.

  1. Stout

Stout beer is a dark beer made of roasted barley and hops. Stouts are thick and dark beers that have notes of licorice, chocolate, coffee, and molasses. They’re typically paired with chocolates and other richer and hearty food. It makes a perfect pair for chili because it balances the richness of chili and they’re just simply great together.

  1. Red Ale

Red ale is a malty kind of beer, which is soft and moderate. It’s a mild beer that’s great to pair with chili. It slightly balances the strong flavors of the chili and its malty characteristic adds enhances the sweetness of the chili, making the dish even more balanced.

  1. Honey Beer

Honey beer is a kind of beer that still raises some eyebrows in the world of craft beer. Most aren’t wowed by their experience with honey beer but we like it and you should try it with chili. Honey adds a balance to chili and to beer, which is a perfect marriage. Honey beer has honey carefully infused into it. There are a lot of honey beers that do not have good honey–beer balance but there are some that get it very well.

  1. Pale Ale

Pale ale is a hop-forward beer with a strong malt flavor in it. This beer is full of flavor without it being too heavy. It’s a great pair for chili because of its moderate lightness and added flavor that enhances the tomatoes and beans in chili.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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