James’ Pale Ale Chili

This recipe is part of my Old Yale Series, a collection of recipes that I’ve created featuring beer from Chilliwack’s award-winning Old Yale Brewery. Details of my partnership with them (disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, but the views expressed are my own), and info on where you can find their beer can be found in the introduction to the first recipe of this series, my Beer-Battered Shrimp Po’ Boys.

When it comes to chili recipes, there’s a lot of pride out there. People who know how to cook virtually nothing else in the kitchen, still somehow manage to have their own chili recipes that they swear by. Often they’re family recipes passed down through the generations. Like the colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices, there’s often tons of secrecy about just what exactly goes into those cherished family recipes, and the only way to find out is through blood, marriage, or adoption.

Saying that, I hope you understand how special it is that I’m sharing this recipe with you. I should be holding it tight to my chest, keeping it a secret to pass down to my future children, and to them alone. I don’t really understand that mentality though. Instead, I’d rather share it with the masses, but with the one caveat: I’m stamping my name on it. When you make it and serve it to others (because though we rarely share our recipes, we always share the results), and they ask who’s recipe it is, please share the love and tell them it’s James’ Pale Ale Chili.

James’ Pale Ale Chili


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oilpale ale chili b
  • 600 g. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • red bell pepper, chopped
  • green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 28 fl. oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 14 fl. oz. can pinto beans, drained
  • 14 fl. oz. can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can Old Yale Off Trail Pale Ale, or similar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large pot over medium heat, warm up the oil then toss in the onions and beef. Season with a tsp. of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, breaking apart the beef and occasionally stirring.
  • Add in the garlic, along with the chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Toss in the peppers, tomatoes, beer, and water, along with the cocoa powder, cayenne, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low-medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the pinto and kidney beans and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
  • Add in the balsamic vinegar, then season to taste with pepper and additional salt. Continue simmering for another 15 minutes, or longer if you’d like more of the liquid to evaporate (though the chili will thicken slightly upon sitting).
  • Serve hot with warm crusty bread and enjoy.

Serves 5-6


pale ale chili a


4 thoughts on “James’ Pale Ale Chili

  1. James, I’m totally with you- recipes are meant to be shared with the world. That’s why we blog, right? 🙂 This looks really yummy! I have never tried beer in my chili, but looks like I’m going to have to now….


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