Since the sweet and spicy flavors of chili and corn bread can overwhelm many beers, serve dark and malty full-bodied brews. Try nationally available specialty beers, such as Rogue Chipotle Ale, Murphy’s Stout, or Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. Or go with good old Sierra Nevada Porter.
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Fix Up the Space
On the day of the party, clear off your coffee table (for gaming) and dining-room table (for the chili bar). Tray tables make handy perches.
To set up a chili bar, fill the table with an array of colorful toppings―from the traditional, like jalapeños and Cheddar, to the unexpected, like cut-up radishes and toasted pumpkin seeds.
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Play Up the Theme
For a festive table runner, arrange playing cards on a sheet of paper, make several color copies, and tape them together. Use it to decorate your dining-room table.
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Set Out the Dishes
Minimize damage from spills with big napkins or dish towels. Use dinner plates as trays to hold chili and corn bread. Fire up the crowd and add some heat to the meal by offering a variety of hot sauces from around the country. Go to sweatnspice.com for a selection.