Winter Beer

Icelandic Porters, Ancho Chili, and 21 Inches of Snow

Over this past weekend mother nature decided to dump 21 inches of snow into my backyard. What perfect timing to make chili and pair it with an Icelandic Toasted Porter to help keep me warm.

The Beer

2016 Jan 24 007Einstök (ÖLGERÐ) Icelandic Toasted Porter was my beer of choice and it was prefect for the blizzard I just lived through. How did it stand on it’s own?

Taste and body: It was toasty with a smooth, but rich finish. I could definitely taste the coffee and dark chocolate flavors that were in the bottle description. The bottle also said that there should be toffee notes in the flavor, but I was unable to taste them.

Color: Very dark.

Aroma: Right off the bat I could smell the coffee and chocolate.

Level of Recommendation: High. I really like dark beers and this was one of the best I have tasted (my favorite being the Edmund Fitzgerald by the Great Lakes Brewing Company). If you like dark beers, black coffee, and/or dark chocolate, you will also like this beer.

The Food

I made one of my favorite winter dishes, crock-pot ancho chili. It’s not as spice or hot as other chili dishes I make. It pairs well with chocolate for dessert. I have developed my chili recipe to my tastes and the size of my crock-pot.

The Basic Recipe:

  • Ground Beef – as much as is desired, though I typically use 1/4 to 1/2 cup.2016 Jan 24 005
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of beans (kidney or pinto are good)
  • 1 large clove of garlic (or 2 small cloves)
  • Ancho chili powder to taste

Optional Additions (that I enjoy):

  • Frozen corn
  • Cumin to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into the crock-pot. Set on high for 6 or low for 8 hours (time varies depending on amount of food and size of crock-pot) and make sure the meat is heated to at least 165º F.


Serve with rice.

How Well Did The Two Pair?

As a whole I would say this pairing was good. I will likely have it again in the future. The ancho and cumin (if you so desire) help to bring out the chocolate flavors in the beer. It made for a nice warm meal while the sky dumped as much snow as possible outside.

Combination Rank: Blizzard Approved.

2016 Jan 24 008

If you enjoyed this post please let me know. I also don’t mind suggestions for future combinations. I hope everyone stays warm this January.


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