beer chili with beans in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and dairy free sour cream

Judging by the fact that it might hit 90 degrees this weekend – something it didn’t do all summer here – I don’t think fall is as officially here as we might like. But, can we just pretend for a minute, because I’m in desperate need of some cooler weather. Especially with this baby bump getting so big.

Either way, I have a quick and easy beer chili recipe for you that will get you through fall and into winter. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal, but it’s also football party quality. It’s not too spicy, either, making it perfect for crowds, but that can totally be adjusted if you want to kick things up a notch.

Other dairy free chili recipes: slow cooker white chicken chili | sweet potato lentil chili | buffalo chicken chiliCincinnati chili / white turkey chili

close up of a bowl of beer chili with beans in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and dairy free sour cream
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Here’s what you’ll need to make beer chili:

So, what beer goes best with chili?

As far as beer goes, you can use whatever you want. We happened to have a  IPA in our fridge so that’s what I used. I think a dark beer like a stout or a brown ale would work really well in here, too, but you have to be careful to get a beer that is dairy free and/or vegan friendly (if you need it).

You could use a light style beer and it will work just fine. I’ve definitely done it in the past, but I would recommend using a full bodied beer if you have the choice. They just add so much more flavor and complexity to the chili.

overhead shot of a two bowls of beer chili with beans in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and dairy free sour cream next to a glass of beer and some fresh cilantro sprigs

How to make chili with beer

Prep your ingredients. To make this beer chili super easy, I opted out of chopping too many veggies. Normally, I tend to think chili needs bell pepper for flavor, but I only chopped one sweet onion for this one. I also used pre-minced garlic to save you some time. Just make sure your jar is fresh, or you’ll be missing out on flavor. Of course, you can still use fresh, and I’ve included the amount in the recipe, just in case.

Cook your onions and garlic. Heat a large pot (Dutch oven, stock pot or even a nice, deep skillet) to medium high. Add olive oil, garlic and onions to the pot and sauté them until the onions are translucent. Stir frequently to prevent them from burning.

Brown you beef. Add your ground beef to the pan and brown it. Use a meat chopper or spatula to break the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks. When it’s no longer pink, add your seasoning and cook until fragrant.

Simmer the chili. Add the rest of your ingredients and bring your pot to a boil. Reduce the heat and let everything simmer about 15 – 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper to taste before serving.

a bowl of beer chili with beans in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and dairy free sour cream

Like cooking with beer? Instant Pot beer braised short ribs /


Quick and Easy Beer Chili

This is the best, spicy beer chili recipe. It’s perfect for game day and made with beef and tomatoes, beans and dark beer or stout.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup IPA beer
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed


  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add onion, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef and continue cooking, breaking meat into pieces as it browns. Add spices and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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  1. This looks and sounds so comforting, and perfect for cold weather! I love the sound of an IPA with this. I’ll be trying this recipe soon, thanks so much for sharing it!

  2. I haven’t made this one yet, but based on other chili recipes I’ve made, I recommend sam Adams cream stout as a chili beer.

    1. That sounds great! I will have to give it a try. I love stouts and I’m sure it would pair really well!

  3. This recipe is disgusting. I followed it exactly and it tastes like chilipowdered cardboard with a side of alcohol. We had to toss it.