Thousands turn out for Grand Sierra Beer & Chili Festival

RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- Thousands of people attended the annual Grand Sierra Beer and Chili Festival October 21, 2017, at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

The grounds could be characterized as a paradise for beer and chili lovers.

"I didn't know something like this actually existed," said Nate Mackinnon, first time attendee.

Whether it's your first time or not, one thing is for sure.

"It’s really is the Super Bowl of chili," said Christopher Abraham, Vice President of Marketing, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

More than 200 chili cooks were on scene serving up their traditional red chili and home-style chili, while 30 breweries served up beer.

"It's the perfect time of year for chili. 200 different types of chili, so everybody can try from all over the country," said Abraham.

By the end of the day, mostly everybody had their favorite chili and others discovered something new about their taste buds.

"The thing I really learned today that I didn't know before is I love green chili. You are used to red chili and having that all of the time; now we had a great opportunity to have green chili today and it was absolutely delicious," said Mackinnon.

While people were enjoying the chili, local restaurants were fighting it out for bragging rights for the best chili in the region. Last year's Celebrity Judge Winner, BJ's Nevada Barbecue Company of Sparks, was on the other side this year.

“I competed today, didn’t win, came in second," said . Can’t win them all.” said Jay Rathmann, BJ's Owner/Chef.

BJ’s did take home the win for People's Choice, while ‘Bam! Dog Righteous Hot Dogs’ took home the Celebrity Judge choice and a $1,000 prize for charity.

The two-day event ends October 22, 2017. It’s in the Grand Sierra parking lot and entry into the event is free.