Yaga's Chili Quest and Beer Fest 2024

Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest 2024

JANUARY 12-14, 2024


Galveston is the only island in the U.S. where you’ll find tidal waves of chili.

Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest has one mission: Find the best chili in Galveston, Texas, no matter how many variations festival goers have to try. Yaga’s Chili Quest (going down with the help of the Beer Fest) will return for its 15th year in a row to downtown Galveston in mid-January. The festival brings thousands to the island every year for chili cook-offs, tastings, beer sampling, and a variety of clothing and goods vendors. The weekend also has a 5k ‘fun run’—the only quest here is holding down all those beans. 

For the chance to win in several categories including regular and exotic chilis—and a margarita contest for the tequila inc(lime)d—the festival’s annual chili cook-off is open to everyone who registers. Enter your own chili for a shot at your own Kevin’s famous chili moment or enjoy the afternoon tasting the other team’s entries. For those who crave power more than spice, you can also register to be an official judge. In tandem with the 15th annual chili quest, the beer fest has drawn a sold-out crowd for the past decade for an indoor beer festival that runs a lineup of over seventy craft beers and spirits to wash all those savory samples down with.

The Specs

  • Up to 5,000 people have attended the festival in years prior.
  • Ticket tier prices will be released in fall 2023.
  • Those interested in the Chili Cook-Off must register, those who register before December 31 will receive perks including free event t-shirts and 5 lbs. of ground beef. 
  • Beer Fest tickets have sold out online for 10 years in a row, those interested are encouraged to secure theirs early. 
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Texas here.


Friday, January 12

  • 7:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. – Chief cooks meeting @ 2314 Strand Galveston, TX 77550 USA.

Saturday, January 13

Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest is located on the Historic Strand District at the intersection of 23rd Street and Strand Street (2302 Strand).

  • 6am – Cook teams set up
  • 8am – Teams begin cooking
  • 8:30am – Cornhole check-in (Saengerfest Park)
  • 9am – Beerfoot 5K Fun Run begins (28th & Seawall), cornhole tournament begins (Saengerfest Park)
  • 10am – Vendors open
  • 11am – Will call and information booth open
  • 12pm – Public chili sampling begins
  • 1pm – Indoor public beer tasting opens, live music starts at Saengerfest Park
  • 2pm – Exotic chili turn in (2:00-2:10)
  • 3pm – Public chili sampling ends
  • 4:30pm – Awards ceremony at Saengerfest Par
  • 6pm – Fest closes


Where is the nearest airport?

William P. Hobby Airport in Houston is the closest major airport to the festival, 42 mile drive from Galveston Island. 

It’s my first time attending. What can I expect?

The event consists of the ever-so-popular chili and beer tasting plus the quirky washer pitching tournament, a jackpot margarita contest, and a historical Strand merchant walk-about. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy award-winning chili.

Will there be live music at the annual Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest?

Yes. Live music begins in Saengerfest Park at 1 pm on Saturday, January 13, the second day of the festival. The artists are small, local bands and musicians. Recent years have seen bands such as Houston-based alternative rock band East of Eado. 

What breweries will be at the festival?

The official selection for 2024 is not available at the time of writing. Past participating breweries and distilleries include Austin Eastciders, Bell’s Brewery, Bishop Cider Co., Independence Brewing Co., Galveston Island Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Shiner Beers, Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, and more.  


BY Emily Frantz