As someone who writes about food, I get invited to stuff sometimes. Some of those things are fun, some of them…not so much. It’s a hit-or-miss sort of game. But when I get an invite to a craft beer–centric dinner around the corner from my office, I know it’s going to be one of the good ones. And it was! I was seated with Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head (one of the greatest craft breweries of all time). We talked a lot about beer, and how awesome it is, and how good this one is, and how different that one is. But we also talked about food. He asked me what I do when I come up with a recipe. Then the conversation went something like this:

Me: “…like, if I was going to make something with 90-Minute IPA, I might do a chili that simmers for 90 minutes and call it ‘90-Minute Chili.’”

Sam: “Whoa. That’s awesome. I would totally eat that.”

AND THUS AN IDEA IS BORN. I know, it’s a really complicated process. I hope you were able to follow that.

Now, this is not your normal chili. You can totally eat it with a spoon if you want, with some sour cream and chives on top, but this is a thick and meaty concoction that’s dying to go on a hot dog, a cheeseburger, some fries, a baked potato — anything that wants chili on it (and CHEESE!). The molasses brings out the sweetness of the beer, and the hops in the beer adds its own nice finish that lifts you up out of the hot, sweet meatiness. Did I mention I put quite a bit of hot sauce in there? I had to make sure I put some chilies into my chili (Hot Mess from Lillie’s Q in Chicago is made from pickled cayenne peppers and is perfect for this).