As soon as the leaves begin to fall and the breeze starts to pick up, all I can think is, ‘When am I gonna get my first bowl of chili?’ I wait all through the summer and spring until it is finally cold enough to bust out the crock-pot for some good ole’ fashion chili. Now, when it comes to making chili I’m normally classic with my recipe. Ground beef, chili beans, tomatoes, onions, and all the yummy seasonings to go along with it. However, when my friend from Atlanta mentioned a Chili festival…I knew I was about to see the promise land.
The Chomp and Stomp festival occurs once a day every fall in the unique area of Cabbagetown in Atlanta, Georgia. This festival hosts a variety of things for people to enjoy. There is of course the chili, different food trucks and stands, plenty to drink, unique art, and Bluegrass music! This festival is such a unique festival perfectly complimented by the environment and phenomenal volunteers working throughout the day.
In order to enjoy all of the tasty chili provided by the seventy-plus contestants you need to purchase a spoon. By purchasing a $5 spoon you will be able to sample each of the chilis available…but you need to be there early! Spoons are being purchased early in the morning and lines are already being formed at booths two hours before the chili cook-off officially begins. So, in order to get the most of the chili-tasting experience I would get there early and go ahead and find your space in line!
For the Ultimate Chili lover there is the Foodie Tent. In this tent you get the complete VIP treatment. You receive a stamp card for five guaranteed tastings, five beers, a souvenir ‘Chomp and Stomp’ pint glass, and one special cocktail. With the rush of the festival being so intense for trying to get as many tastings as possible, this is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the food and drinks in a more relaxed environment. Plus, all of the people serving chili in The Foodie Tent are previous winners of the chili cook-off…so you KNOW it’s gonna be good. The Foodie Tent is how I spent most of my time at the festival and let me just say….it’s the way to go! Tickets for the Foodie Tent do run more expensive, but if you want to guarantee yourself plenty of chili and beer I suggest looking into getting yourself some tickets for this unique addition to the festival.
What is a good bowl full of chili without a delicious, cold beer? Sweetwater Brewing Co. was founded in Atlanta and continues to be the home for the company so, it’s only natural that they were the sponsors for the festival! There are trucks all around where you can pick up a fresh brew right from the tap, all you need to do with find a booth selling tickets and pick up a couple of beer tokens. In buying the tokens you have to show your I.D. and you pay for the tokens just like you would normally pay for the beer only this way you only have to pay/show your I.D. once! Another cool thing about having Sweetwater at the festival is that they have a special variety of beers that you can’t get at the store! They have a special festival brew, some of their newest seasonal brews, and of course some of there classics like 420, Blue, and Hop Hash. Now, Sweetwater is hands down my go-to for beer so I don’t wanna be too biased…but it is the perfect compliment to all of the tasty chili that you will be sampling.
Not in to chili but found yourself at a Chili festival? No worries! The Chomp and Stomp has plenty of other stuff to peak your interest! There are dozens of local food trucks and fair-style food for you to enjoy. No tickets necessary to enjoy these, all you have to do is pay when you order! Everything from funnel cakes, to corndogs, to specialty fries….like these bad boys smothered and covered in blue cheese and hot sauce.
Food festivals are the perfect opportunity to expand your horizon on a food that you have stereotyped in your mind. While I’m use to classic ground beef chili I was able to sample Korean chili, chili with fresh brisket, BBQ chili, and so many more. Between the food, the beer, the music and the overall energy of the festival I would make this a MUST for anyone near the Atlanta area who loves a good ole’ bowl of chili!