Originally Posted by IceMan
I think it's entirely foolish to ask other people's opinions about what to do with "chili". Everyone has "the best" recipe. Everyone makes it "the best" way. Everyone has rules and/or regulations about making chili. At a competition ... forget it. You're talking about a great religious experience here. Chili competition people are nuts. You are making something with your name on it. The only opinion you need is YOURS.
In general, I agree with what you are saying. Certainly people who take chili seriously have their "best" recipes and are pretty bull headed about things, but I also think there is plenty of room for asking advice on chili and ingredients. In this case a discussion of beer in chili. It can be a great addition to chili, if you like that sort of thing but you have to be careful about its use or it can go from a great addition to making your chili horrible. Using too much, or over reducing can lead to off flavors and my general rule of thumb is that IPAs are not really good for cooking, especially many of the American style IPAs where they are pushing the hop bitterness to the next level. The bitterness of those beers can wreck havoc on dishes and once the bitterness is in there it is virtually impossible to get it out without making everything too sweet. Of course, there are always the exceptions, but in general IPA's are a poor choice for cooking with, even in something as strongly flavored as chili.