Vegan Recipe: Drunken Bean Chilli with Cloudwater Brewing Co.

Posted by Alfie Austin on

 This dish, quite simply, is beans stewed in beer.
One problem many people seem to have with a plant-based diet is that many plant based stews, sauces, soups and one pot meals rely on a tomato base. Is it a problem? For some perhaps. Too much acidity? Tomato allergy? Dislike of red foods? Who knows, but worry not plant-based novice! We got you covered.

Vegan Drunken Bean Chilli and West Coast Pale Ale Pairing

Our friends at Cloudwater BrewCo have asked for a recipe to pair with their West Coast Pale so we figured we’d slosh some West Coast Pale in there and see what happened! The result was delicious, but you can of course use any vegan beer you’ve got handy.

This chilli stew is different from its traditional brother - not only in the lack of tomatoes but also in that there are much fewer spices and herbs, meaning that the flavour of the beer really comes through.

We suggest serving this with a side of our colourful and zingy salsa fresca and some tortilla chips. The crunchy chips provide a contrast to the soft stewed beans and the fresh flavours of the salsa really lift this dish up sky high. Obviously you can have it with rice, chips, a jacket potato, bread, or anything else you fancy.

Serves 4
Prep time 30-40min


  • 1 x 440ml can of Cloudwater West Coast Pale (or any other clear and dry IPA with citrusy zestiness)

  • 3 x Tins Suma Borlotti Beans (Cannellini or Butter Beans would also work nicely)

  • 2 x large white onions

  • 5-6 cloves of garlic

  • ½ red, ½ yellow, ½ green bell pepper

  • Oil (rapeseed, sunflower or vegetable)

  • Pickled Jalapenos

  • Spices - Ground cumin, Paprika (non smoked), Oregano, Salt + Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

  • Vegetable stock powder - we like Marigold’s


  • Peel and dice your onions. Heat up approx 5tbs of oil in the saucepan then add your onions and stir well. Reduce heat so onions aren’t burning and saute for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients. 

  • Peel and finely chop the garlic. Very roughly chop about 8 slices of jalapeno peppers (more if you want it more spicy!).

  • Use the pepper halves you have left over from the salsa. Remove pith and seeds, then dice quite finely.

  • Add garlic, jalapenos and bell peppers to the onions in the pan and stir well. Add a dash of oil or pickle liquid if the mixture seems dry. 

  • Glug in some of the beer and increase your heat to medium. The vegetables will start releasing juices; you want that to get mixed up with the pale ale to form a good base flavour. Stir everything well and cook out for about 5min. 

  • Crack open the tins of beans over a colander and rinse with some cold water then set aside. Then, add the spices to the vegetable and beer mix - 1tsp ground cumin, 2tsb ground paprika, 1tsp oregano and a pinch of salt + pepper. Stir well and saute for a few more minutes while you prepare the stock. 

  • In a measuring jug, mix 200ml of boiling water with 1.5tsp of stock powder and stir well to make sure all of the stock has been dissolved, then add to the pan with another generous slosh of Pale Ale. Stir well, bring to a boil then cover with a lid and simmer for 15min or until you notice all of the vegetables have gone soft and the stew’s has a thicker consistency.

  • Finally, add a last splash of beer, then taste the chilli and adjust your seasoning, if needed, with salt + pepper and cayenne pepper if a spicy lift is required.

  • You’re good to go. Serve topped with salsa fresca and a side of tortilla chips, and enjoy the rest of your can! 

  • 3-4 ripe vine tomatoes (salad tomatoes are also ok, but vine ones are better)

  • small red onion

  • ½ red, ½ yellow, ½ green bell pepper (the other half will go into the chilli)

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Juice of ½ a lime 

  • White sugar

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Olive oil

  • Fresh coriander

  • Salt + Pepper to taste

  • Start with preparing the salsa before the chilli as it will need a little time to mature in the fridge for all the flavours to come together. Cut the tomatoes in half, spoon out the seeds and discard. With a serrated knife, dice the tomatoes into small-ish chunks. You can choose how chunky you want your salsa!

  • Cut your bell peppers into halves, then quarters, remove the pith & seeds and dice into cubes. Peel the red onion then, you guessed it, dice it into cubes. Add all of the vegetables into a mixing bowl. 

  • In a measuring jug, pour 150ml of apple cider vinegar, add ½ a tsp of white sugar and stir well until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the vegetables. Add the lime juice. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1tbsp of olive oil, salt and cracked balck pepper. 

  • Rinse your fresh coriander well, roughly chop and add to the bowl (approx 3-4 tbsp worth. If you want to use up the full bunch so it won’t spoil, go right ahead.).

  • Stir well and set aside. Don’t taste it yet. The salsa needs a little time for the flavours to come together. Once it has sat in a bowl for about 30min give it a taste. You are looking for a lovely fresh and vibrant flavor, providing a nice balance between acidity, sweetness and saltiness.
    You can adjust the seasoning with a little salt, pepper, sugar, cayenne and lime juice. If adding more sugar, do so sparingly and make sure to always stir well so that the sugar dissolves. 

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