Roaring Lions Winter Ale Chili

Winter Ale Chili BestP I N this to pinterest


One of my most curious discoveries of Cross-Country Skiing was the sound your skis make behind you.. you could be convinced someone is following you. This poem sprang from that feeling of someone “lurking” behind, the lengthening shadow as it comes around and stands in front of you while you finish your route.. and the power of the harsh cold contrasting with the deceiving allure of a freshly bright winter’s day.

One should always travel with provisions, a map or a compass.

The Hunted Poem- Best ResP I N this to pinterest

This was the view as we headed up the Silver Star Mountain road…

Winter Ale 7P I N this to pinterest And this was the view down the trail..

Winter Ale 5P I N this to pinterestThis was the gang.. notice us standing beside the same set of signs..  twice.. with map in hand..
{ note daughter rolling her eyes at the “adults” who should know their way around..}

Cross Country Collage 2012P I N this to pinterest

Fortunately for us, my daughter brought out her iPhone compass App
and with a Good Samaritan’s Guidance..
we looped around the same trail twice, never found the Black Prince Cabin,
but got back to the pub in time for a well-earned meal and a few..
Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

snow flake flourish

There’s something about snow, fresh air and cross-country skiing..
that tuckers you out..and makes you ravenous..
for something steaming hot to warm your belly..

..and makes you long for an icy cold beer to wash it down.

Last winter, after traveling the same Silver Star trails last January, I made a batch of Wylie’s Winter Ale Bison Stew
Bison Stewbut this year.. I wanted to experiment again.

snow flake flourishLions Winter Ale appears just in time for our deep snow and weeks of icy winter…
notably around January. Eagerly anticipated for its seasonal vanilla flavor,
its warm creamy caramel notes finish with just a hint of citrus.
I could swear I taste cloves in there too..
but you get the idea.

At first I thought it would be great to have beer with chili..
and then thought it would be awesome to have beer in chili!!

{ Then I really had to toss in a chunk or two of bittersweet chocolate }

{ and a teaspoonful of cinnamon to play off the flavors in the Winter Ale }

This chili is the perfect end to a day of playing in the snow..
whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, tubing, tobogganing or building snowmen..

Note: I made this one sizzling hot, so reduce the cayenne and peppers if you must,
or just crack open an extra cold beer to cool things down..Winter Ale Chili 4P I N this to pinterest


Roaring Lions Winter Ale Chili
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 4 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (reduce or omit to taste)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce or omit to taste)
  • 3 heaping tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) Lion’s Winter Ale (Granville Island Brewing Company)
  • 1 14 oz (398 ml) red kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz (398 ml) brown beans
  • 1 14 oz (398 ml) tomato sauce
  • 2 oz dark, unsweetened chocolate (70% cacao)
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large dutch oven over medium high heat until it is cooked through and no pink remains. Meanwhile, fry the chopped slices of bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and continue to cook until the onion is softened. Spoon onto paper towels and pat well to remove excess oil. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the ground beef. Stir in the red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and spices (from cayenne to the salt). Stir and continue to cook until the red pepper begins to soften somewhat. Stir in the maple syrup.
  2. Slowly add the Lion’s Winter Ale, both kidney and brown beans and the tomato sauce. Stir gently to mix. Add the bittersweet chocolate and stir slowly until it is melted and mixed through.
  3. Simmer until ready to serve. Add extra Winter Ale to achieve the desired consistency.



 P I N this to pinterest

  • Years ago, I went cross country skiing with my high school. Somehow I found myself straggling behind and before you know it I was alone. Yeah, I looked back a few times wondering who the heck was following me lol!

    I’ve wanted to take my daughter to silverstar but with the current road conditions and me driving a Yaris, Not sure I want to try 😀 so yummy bowl of chili though!ReplyCancel

  • Looks like a glorious snowy day. The sky is so blue!

    Chili is just the ticket (I had some turkey chili for dinner just tonight) in this weather and this looks so delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Amazing trees!
    How could beer not go with chilli! have you tried chilli vodka? I have mixed feelings about it – I like the heat, but it makes my head feel funny after 2 and it’s not the vodka doing that, I have hollow legs 😉ReplyCancel

  • Chocolate in chili???? Interesting but no go for me. And I was just thinking about making chili too 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Used to cross country a lot but I can resist it now – too cold out there. I still have Florida blood in my veins. Beautiful pics, Barb. Where was this? You always post pictures of something that makes me hungry !!! Naughty girl !!!!!!!

  • Those mountain photos are gorgeous!! What a fun time with the family. This stew looks perfect to thaw out after a cold day!ReplyCancel

  • I love Lion’s Winter Ale! I wish it was available year round, but then it wouldn’t be so special, I guess… Sounds like the prefect addition to chili 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Your ski path is so beautiful…just breathtaking! I could spend hours out there, but I likely wouldn’t get far as I’d be snapping pics in every direction. Glad you had a great time Smidge. And your chili certainly looks warming. My two little ones would enjoy this as well albeit without too much heat. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I love the ingredient combination in this recipe 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I can’t believe we’re this far into winter, and I still haven’t made chili. I’m drooling over yours!ReplyCancel

  • Tenderest spring lies under… indeed. Smidge, your photos are heart-stoppingly gorgeous! And your ale chili is the perfect punctuation on a snow-filled Canadian winter’s day. Love your food styling here! What a beautiful post.ReplyCancel

  • Beer in chili is one of my favorite things ever ever EVER!! Not even kidding. Yours looks AWESOMe! So jealous of all your snow and winter sporting… we’ve not had snow here in 2 years and as a former resident of Upstate NY I am jonesing hard! Gorgeous photos & recipe. Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous photos! I’ve never cross country skied, but I would love to take it up. There are plenty of trails in New Hampshire. Now that we’ve moved, I don’t go anywhere without my iPhone navigation! Not even a short walk. LOL Your chili sounds wonderful and I’m going to try the chocolate in mine next time. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • gastrogardener

    What beautiful country! I’ve not x-country skiied in decades. Seems like a nice thing to pick back up. If it were ever to snow here!

    That Chili looks so comforting and I like the idea of the beer in it.ReplyCancel

  • I got goose flesh and the hairs on my neck went up as I read your poem! Ooooo! 😉 And what exquisite refreshment along those wooded snowy trails! I haven’t eaten beef for most of my life but oh if I did, it’d be a bowl of your Winter Ale Chili! (or 2!) (and btw, your posts, the layout, the graphics, just get more and more beautiful as you go! What an artist you are Smidge!) xxoReplyCancel

  • I´m not a skier but it does look sovery beautiful. And as for a gorgeous slow cooked chili with beer…sign me up!ReplyCancel

  • Fantastic! Oh, how I miss cross-country skiing…ReplyCancel

  • I think a day out in the snow like this would make you very hungry and coming home to a bowl of warming chilli would be awesome, especially with a few beers. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight as your image of the trees covered in fresh powdery snow. I would love to experience a day like you’ve just had! xxReplyCancel

  • Those views! Glorious! The chili sounds wonderful although I might dial down the heat a bit. I wonder if I can find this beer in Ontario? It sounds worth looking for!ReplyCancel

  • With such beautiful surroundings, it’s quite simple to see why you return there to ski. Your daughter’s and her facial expression could easily become the poster child for long-suffering teens the world-over. To you and to her, all I can say is that this, too, shall pass. 🙂
    Your chili sounds wonderful, Barb. I’ve 1 quart of of a very good chili left in my freezer and will need to make another to replenish my stock. There’s nothing like a good bowl of chili on a cold Winter’s day. Yours will be the recipe I prepare next time around. It really does sound good! Thanks for sharing — and bring a navigator with you the next time you go skiing. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Your cool chili (get it?) has attracted my wife’s attention! Great job, Barbara!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful poem…and what a beautiful spot you chose to ski….I only went once to cross country ski…when we were much younger…but I loved it….It was on a winter getaway and we just never managed to do it again….The only mishap happened after we were through and making our way back to the Inn and there was a slight incline however I did not know it was pure ice and so went flying and gave my head a crack…what an awful headache …DianeReplyCancel

  • Such beautiful sceneries. Do you get mostly powdery snow? Chili sound interesting with the addition of chocolate.ReplyCancel

  • Your beautiful view and experience skiing as a family is one that you will never forget. Your poem really captures your feelings and the experience. I was injured quite badly in a ski accident and can never be on a lift again but admire your family for finding the way back home after a long day out on the slopes. Your chili sounds amazing, great flavors and so rich I can’t wait to try it. Take care, BAMReplyCancel

  • It would be hard to get lost when its that cold, love the photosReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous – as always! This chili looks like something that 2.0 and I would thoroughly enjoy – there’s nothing like a big pot of hot chili to warm your bones from the inside out.

    Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Your poem is absolutely outstanding! And even though I’m a vegetarian, you have a way of being able to write a meaty recipe that I throroughly enjoy reading. This one looks like a real winter warmer.ReplyCancel

  • I am in love with this poem. It’s beautiful, Barb!
    Just like the scenery from the skiing. Sorry you kinda sorta got…….disoriented 🙂 I don’t think I’d mind getting lost on that trail at all. It’s breathtaking. Lucky girl!
    Thank you for this delicious chilli recipe too. I think it’s just perfect for playoff games day!ReplyCancel

  • I love all of this. The poem, the cross country skiing with loved ones, the chili waiting to be devoured at the end of the day.
    Beautiful photos to boot.
    Thank you. xReplyCancel

  • Love your chili “spices” – chocolate and cinnamon and beer – oh my!ReplyCancel

  • Tessa

    Fabulous chili and lovely photos!ReplyCancel

  • you are right: food never tastes better as after a day out in the snow. I remember how good the polenta and sausage was when eating it during our winter holidays on the mountains back in Italy. your scenery is even more beautiful and your chili hearty and nourishing. wish I could ski! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post. The last time I went skiing was several years ago in Maggie Valley. Love everything about a ski trip. You are correct about the noise the skis make and you believe someone is behind you. Love the photos and your poem. The chili looks amazing!! I love the chocolate in the chili!!ReplyCancel

  • Now those photos make me want to have snow!! What beautiful shots! And, if you knew me, I don’t ski or want anything to do with the cold! This is the perfect meal to warm up to! As always, you have just the most beautiful blog!!ReplyCancel

  • I loved the scenery, as much as a Brazilian can love images of the cold… from a safe distance, from the comfort of my computer screen, but my few experiences with skiing were…. let’s say “epic”? For lack of a better word. They involved one particular descent in which this tropical human being ended entangled in one of those plastic fences, one ski gone, the other miracurously still tied to my foot. I have ZERO grace with snow boots.

    Now, seriously: beautiful poem, beautiful photos, beautiful recipe.. You rock and roll, and cross country ski 😉ReplyCancel

  • It’s been years since I’ve been cross country skiing. So much fun (and tons safer than downhill!). And when you’re done you definitely want something hot and warming, like this terrific looking chili. How did you manage to pack so much flavor in this?! It looks wonderful – thanks.ReplyCancel

  • The chili looks fabulous and what beautiful photos! I like to use cocoa, cinnamon and maple syrup in my chili sometimes…sooo good!ReplyCancel

  • we really do live on opposite ends of the earth. Those beautiful cold pictures, just gorgeous Barbara. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 43C here….hot, damn hot. I’ll swap you a little cross country skiing in pristine snow capped woods.ReplyCancel

  • Wow, that I call winter … and winter comfort food. Stunning photos .. just like I expect for find Canada this time of year. Never done cross country skiing – only alpine. That first photo with the deep blue sky .. could you send some over to me – so sick of all the rain.ReplyCancel

  • Right. Part of the beauty of x-country skiing is the muffled sound in the quiet of the woods. Beautiful photos.ReplyCancel

  • Your staging photography is just beautiful!!! Keep up the great work.ReplyCancel

  • A wonderfully hearty dish for apés ski, Barbara. And a beer sounds great with this dish. How nice that you were able to spend such a lovely time with your children. The photos are incredible, would make a beautiful Christmas card next year.ReplyCancel

  • Spectacular pictures and fabulous winter warmers, Smidge. Thanks for a really exuberant post! Glad you had such a great time!ReplyCancel

  • Canada really is amazingly picturesque. Just so beautiful and white. I also agree, nothing makes you as hungry as the cold, being out doors and exercising, and a winter ale chili would be the perfect ending to that!ReplyCancel

  • mjskit

    What an absolutely perfect chili for a day of cross-country skiing! The road you skied looks perfect and the scenery breathtaking! I’ll never forget skiing under a full moon at 2 am and seeing a huge elk clumping through the snow. Can’t see a sight like that any other way. Love the chili and the choice of ale!ReplyCancel

  • Wow! the views you had were magnificent! What a sight! – beautiful blue sky over the snow-capped trees.
    the recipe sounds delicious and I would imagine it to be really hearty and good on a cold winter’s day, especially after all that skiing! Love the addition of bittersweet chocolate. I can imagine the depth it adds to the dish!ReplyCancel

  • Winter…when the world rests, awaiting spring’s touch. You bring beauty to our community.ReplyCancel

  • Oh what a glorious day! Thank you for sharing it with us. It is many many years since I went cross country skiing and I remember it vividly, your beautiful photos have brought those memories back. xxReplyCancel

  • Perfect for a cold winter day. Love the addition of cinnamon and chocolate!ReplyCancel

  • Great family shots and gorgeous snow! You have the perfect environment for family ski outings! And this recipe makes me warm just to read it. I love the addition of the ale, and although I’ve heard of beer in chili, I’ve never done it, but the bacon really surprised me! This is a must! We have a big Super Bowl family gathering in early February where everyone but me watches football…ha! I’ll volunteer to bring chili this year!ReplyCancel

  • Now although I do like your creamy cake recipes it’s these meaty numbers that really attract my attention – and the photography that goes with it – you need to get a book published.ReplyCancel

  • Lovely, creative, heartwarming chili and lovely winter pictures! I miss the snow here in Singapore.ReplyCancel

  • Smidge, you are such a poet! I loved this! And the chili with beer and chocolate (two of my favorite things 🙂 ) sounds delish and so comforting. Great photos, too!ReplyCancel

  • Sounds like a wonderful and delicious way to warm up after a day of skiing.ReplyCancel

  • The Chili looks fantastic! I wish I could experience skiing someday!!ReplyCancel

  • Can’t decide whether the chili or the image of going up the road to the mountain is better Barbara. 🙂
    Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful new blog/laylout! Love the poems, photos, and of course recipes. Hope all is well with you in the new year!ReplyCancel

  • It’s all here – your wonderful poem, images and such a great recipe…love itReplyCancel

  • Beautiful photos as always, Barbara! Hope you’re having a great start in this new year , take care!ReplyCancel

  • GORGEOUS photos!!! I love the recipe – and the new blog layout. It feels like a complete winter wonderland here. Happy Belated New Year Barb, I hope you have a fantastic 2013.ReplyCancel

  • I’ve missed your beautiful picture and writing (and recipes, too!) That chili sounds amazing on a cold winter day.ReplyCancel

  • lovely poem !!! wonderful photographs 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous photos of the trail and the trees!! I’m going Cross Country Skiing this afternoon and can only hope the trails look as beautiful here.ReplyCancel

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