It’s Chili Slam Time!

Beer By Bike Brigade’s 4th Annual Fundraiser

Lee Neves, photos by Bob Good

Cooks are perfecting their recipes in preparation for the 4th annual Beer By Bike Brigade (BBBB) Chili Slam, kicking off January 13th! Roasters and ladles will be ready to serve by 11:00 a.m., with contestants eager to earn your vote for the coveted Best Chili title and traveling trophy.

The 2018 Chili Slam boasts 34 groups vying for the title, up from 19 groups in the event’s first year. Within just three years, the event more than doubled its original attendance of 300 chili-tasters, so the event will be held at the La Crosse Center Ballroom to accommodate even higher participation this year.

With so many recipe contestants, a great variety of chili styles will be offered, including several vegetarian options like Hillview Urban Agriculture Center’s chili featuring their garden vegetables and microgreens, and SEVEN’s own SEVEN Bean Chili (shameless plug). The La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner will have a delicious turkey chili to complement their annual event, while Rotary East will bring attention to their Lobster Fest by serving Chili of the Sea à la lobster. A fun take will be Outdoor Recreation Alliance’s Chilly Chili served in an ice cream cone.

Two local bike shops, BBBB year-round supporters and friends, and nine local nonprofit groups will be dishing up this year. The nonprofits include Habitat for Humanity, Sprout for Kids Foundation, La Crosse Jaycees, La Crosse SOUP, La Crosse Area Mountain Bike Team, Outdoor Recreation Alliance, Logan Bike Works, Hillview Urban Agricultural Center, and La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner. To top it off, Kohl’s Cares will provide 10 volunteering employees and a $500 annual contribution to the Chili Slam!

This year, Slam organizers have taken steps to move toward a more environmentally sustainable event by replacing foam sample cups with compostable paper cups and getting rid of plastic spoons entirely. Numerous silverware donations came in from locals in response to a BBBB request.

In the past, benefiting organizations would work with BBBB to provide bikes for kids and families. This year, funds raised from the Chili Slam will be put into a store credit at Smith’s Bike Shop to provide the La Crosse Area Mountain Bike Race Team with racing bicycles and equipment for team members who may not have the funds to participate in the sport otherwise. To maximize the team’s purchasing power, Smith’s Bike Shop is also giving the team wholesale pricing.

In addition to the chili contest, BBBB is holding a raffle for a Sunseeker fat-tire recumbent trike outfitted with a helmet, lights, lock, a fancy unicorn bell, plus $1000 in gift cards to local businesses. This raffle prize totals more than a $3350 value! Only 500 tickets are available and being sold now for $20 each. The winner will be announced at the Chili Slam (don’t need to be present to win).

Throughout recent years, BBBB fundraisers have supported numerous projects like providing bikes for kids,  installing bike racks throughout the city, paying off the La Crosse School District overdue lunch account, and more. If you haven’t gotten in on the Beer By Bike Brigade fun yet, the Chili Slam is your opportunity to have a tasty lunch for a great cause. See you on January 13th!

For event details >>>> Click Here


Sunseeker Fat-Tire Trike Raffle

Includes helmet, lights, lock, unicorn bell Plus: $1000 in local gift certificates $20 per ticket; do not need to be present to win.