A Land-Grant Collaboration with The Food In My Beard

Inspired by the recipes in his blog The Food In My Beard – we teamed up with Columbus-based cookbook author and blogger, Dan Whalen, to bring you: “The Beer In My Food” – a fun way to incorporate Land-Grant beers into your cooking. Dan is known for playfully crafting unique flavor mash-ups and pairings and turning them into must-try recipes, so we were thrilled when he came to us with a recipe for Sweater Vibes Chili.

Sweater Vibes Chili

As the brisk, autumnal weather settles in giving us all those familiar Sweater Vibes, it’s pretty likely that the soup pots and slow cookers are soon to follow. That’s right – Chili Season is upon us.  Sweater Vibes – our ESB-style English Ale – serves up subtle hints of apple and cinnamon that, when combined with malted oats, deliver a velvety smooth finish filled with familiar autumnal notes. Combine the two seasonal favorites and boom…you’ve got yourself a fall-friendly mash-up that you’ll undoubtedly return to again and again. 

Inspired by the aroma of the warm cinnamon in this beer, Dan first steeped dried chipotle and arbol chilies in 3 cans of Sweater Vibes Apple-Cinnamon English Ale and, once tender, blended them to create a complex base for the chili.

As Dan continued developing the recipe, he took things up a notch by incorporating lamb shoulder instead of only using ground beef, which helped enhance the richness of the chili. Additionally, his final recipe calls for a pinch of the Ethiopian spice blend – berbere – that works together with the chili powder to add an earthy element to each bite.

While these three special elements may not seem like big steps, their impact on the overall recipe creates bold depths of flavor that make the Sweater Vibes beer sing, so be sure not to skip!

Check out Dan’s full Sweater Vibes Chili recipe below and be sure to tag Land-Grant and The Food In My Beard if you make this recipe at home and use #TheBeerInMyFood. If you’d like to find Sweater Vibes Apple-Cinnamon English Ale retailer near you, you can use our site’s Beer Finder tool here.

Ingredients (Serves 10):

  • 3 – 12 oz. cans of Sweater Vibes Apple Cinnamon English Ale (see note)
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles
  • 5 dried arbol chiles
  • 2 pounds ground beef 85% lean “chili grind” if available
  • 1/2 pound lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 poblano chilis, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28oz can of diced tomato
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon berbere spice (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 14 ounce can small pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sour cream, cilantro, and scallions for garnish, if desired


  1. Pour the beer into a saucepan over medium heat. Break up the chipotle and arbol chiles with your hands into smaller pieces, removing most of the seeds and stem. Put a small frying pan over high heat and add the chiles. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Pour this mixture into the beer. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for a half hour.
  2. Put a large pot over high heat or set a slow cooker to “sauté” mode. Season the beef and lamb well with salt and pepper. In batches, brown the beef and lamb on all sides. Make sure you do this in smaller batches, not crowding the pan, to make sure to get some good browning. As each batch is done, remove to a large bowl, leaving the fat in the pot.
  3. Add the onions and poblanos to the pot with the fat when the meat is done. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 minutes until softened and slightly brown on the edges. Add in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add in the tomato, chili powder, berbere, cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaves, coriander, clove, allspice, vinegar, sugar, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Use a blender or hand blender to blend the beer-chile mixture until fairly smooth with no large pieces. Pour this mixture into the pot with everything else.
  6. Cover and cook at a light simmer for about 4 hours until the lamb is falling apart. Add in the beans and cook another half hour.
  7. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your personal taste. I added a pinch of allspice, oregano, and a little more vinegar and salt at this point.
  8. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and scallions.


Note 1: If you can’t get Land-Grant’s Sweater Vibes Apple-Cinnamon English Ale in your area, you could substitute with another apple ale and add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the spice blend.

Note 2: Berbere spice is an Ethiopian spice blend available now at many stores or online. Dan strongly suggests adding some to your spice cabinet.

Click here for a scalable, printable version of Dan’s Sweater Vibes Chili recipe.

A Bit About Dan

The Food In My Beard’s Founder: Dan Whalen

As the founder and creator of the highly popular blog, The Food in my Beard, Dan has authored several successful cookbooks, including Tots!: The Comfort Food Mash-Up Cookbook, Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook, S’Mores!: Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic and The Comfort Food Mash-Up Cookbook. Over the course of the last 10+ years, Dan has published more than 2,000 recipes that have racked up more than 50 million views. 

He and his wife, Georgina, currently reside here in Columbus, where Dan works as a full-time blogger and writer. Keep up with his latest creations on his TFIMB blog or follow him on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Dan’s next book – Nachos for Dinner: Surprising Sheet Pan Meal the Whole Family Will Love – will be releasing on December 21, 2021 from Amazon and will be available in stores by January 2022. Pre-order your copy today!