Monday, 11 January 2010

FABPOW! Vegetable Chilli and BrewDog Zeitgeist

After yesterday’s post about food and beer and a weekend of eating and drinking (as well as Alan’s reply about the whole pairing game), here comes the first FABPOW! of the new year.

It’s bloody freezing outside and we wanted something warming but also healthy. As Lauren doesn’t eat meat we decided on a vegetable chilli. Nothing complicated, just onions, peppers, courgettes, carrots, mushrooms, tomato, spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, garlic, ginger) and beans, left in a big pot for an hour until rich and hearty and finished with lime and coriander. To cope with the sweetly acidic tomato, earthy-sweet vegetables, chilli heat and fragrant spice, you want a beer with enough balls to stand up to it all but not one that will knock it out with brute force. You want hops to tickle the chilli heat and you need something to soften the thick tomato sauce. BrewDog Zeitgeist is the answer. It’s smooth and roasty, chocolatey and has a lifting hop finish to clean the palate and play with the spice. Normal FAB logic is to go with an IPA but the roasted flavour in this dark lager just work perfectly with the vegetables and tomatoes and it also softens the chilli heat. A very worthy Food and Beer Pairing of the Week.


  1. Have you tried incorporating a beer into the chili itself? We usually use a porter or a stout (we've used Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and the Southern Tier Choklat in the past, among others) in the mix when we make chili here, and the results are always delicious.

  2. Doug, I have and it's great. It adds super depth and the chocolate really works with the flavour, especially if you use beef.

  3. nice one mate, we have chilli a fair bit in our house (who would have guessed it eh?)

    I've never thought of trying zeitgeist with it, usually go for soemthing hoppy or stouty so it seems like a great comprimise.

    Also try a few chunks of dark chocolate or a shot of espresso, along with a bayleaf and cinnamon stick - its amazing the difference it makes.

    I keep wanting to use this last bottle of ring of fire as part of my next batch of chilli as i reckon it will add a nice depth as well as a bit of chilli heat....

  4. Sounds good. I often put dark chocolate into a chilli. Gives it a real richness and glossy finish, so I can see the logic with your pick.

  5. Andy, Chunk, I used bay leaves in this (just forgot to put it in the post) and often use cinnamon too, but we don't have any. If I have chocolate around then that often finds its way in too! Zeitgeist echoes that chocolate character.

    And I think Ring of Fire could be great addition to a chilli. Nice!

  6. It's not chilli without some oregano! I must have a go at this — still have loads of Zeitgeist from that 70% off deal!