Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales - Smoke on the Water Edition.

By Candace Nelson - 6:10 PM

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

Two longtime chili cookoffs came together today - and I was lucky enough to be able to help judge once again.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

Wagging Tails and Nitro Ales is an official ICS chili cookoff for Dog Bless, a dog rescue group in WV. And Smoke on the Water is usually held in the summer during FestivALL and raises money for HospiceCare.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

Today was the first really chilly day that I've spent outside this season, but that's perfect for chili.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

The event had both hot chili and cold beer, as well as a nod to Cassie Johnson, the Charleston Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty last December.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

I was tasked with helping to judge the homestyle category. So while waiting for that round to start, I purchased some sample tickets to try some of the other versions.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

For example, I checked out some of the verde chilis. Usually these are not my favorite, but the ones I had today were delish! They had great balanced flavors but didn't feel super heavy.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

I also didn't get judge the traditional red this year, which is much more standard in terms of ingredients and flavors.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

So, my favorite is always homestyle. I think it gives the cooks more leeway to explore their creativity. 

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

I love getting a chili that has some heat, but also some sweetness and a perfect medium consistency with a variety of ingredients like meat, beans, etc. 

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

How do you take your chili?

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales

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