Beef and Beer Chili

This Beef and Beer Chili is perfect for game day, a busy weeknight, or Sunday night dinner with the family. It's loaded with all the classic chili ingredients - ground beef, a variety of beans, and a few key spices - and just a hint of your favorite beer flavor! Ready in 45 minutes with a handful of pantry staples, this beer chili will quickly become a family favorite!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz. ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons diced chipotles in adobo
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 12 oz. your favorite beer
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper



  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a spatula until cooked through.
  5. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, chipotles in adobo, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  6. Add beans, tomato sauce, and beer.
  7. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  8. Reduce heat to low or medium-low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with tortilla strips, Cotija, cilantro, jalapeno, and sour cream!


Use whatever beer you like drinking for this recipe. Unless it's Bud Light or Coors Light. You want something with more flavor. Opt for a local beer - try an ale or lager if you want something milder. Or a slightly hoppy IPA or rich stout if you like a bit more flavor.

If you prefer to make this chili sans alcohol, feel free to substitute the beer with stock or broth! The flavors will still be delicious!

I like to use 80/20 beef for this chili. I find that it gives the chili the most flavor without being too greasy. Always remember that fat equals flavor. A leaner cut of beef is not going to give you as much flavor. I would go as lean as an 85/15 beef but definitely not any leaner!

You can use any kind of beans you have on hand for this recipe. Just keep the ratios the same and you'll end up with a delicious beer chili!

If you don't have apple cider vinegar on hand, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or regular balsamic vinegar will work just fine in its place!

If you like your chili spicy, try adding more chipotles in adobo, a couple pinches of cayenne, or some red pepper flakes.

This beef and beer chili freezes beautifully! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer. Then thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. I'd recommend heating chili in a saucepan over medium heat until heated through.


Keywords: chili recipe with beer, game day chili, beer chili