it’s the weekend. st. patrick’s day is right around the corner and happy hour is calling your name. if you are anything like us, finding that perfect salty snack to go with your favorite craft beer gets your taste buds buzzing. our friends at arizona beer week took on the tough task of snacking and sipping to find the perfect popchips and craft brew pairings. here’s how to kick off your st. patrick’s day weekend by snacking responsibly!
popchips’ original is a crunchy version craft beer’s lighter styles. mudshark up river lager and four peaks sunbru are obvious choices, however, most of your favorite beers will work well with this chip. since popchips have been certified gluten free, you might enjoy it with an omission lager or pale ale, specially crafted to remove the gluten. o-mission accomplished!
brown sugar and tomato are dominant in this chip followed by onion, garlic, spice and salt. sleepy dog’s red rover bring sweet caramel malts and finishes rich and sweet if one prefers to punch up the bold barbecue flavors. the dry finish of four peaks kiltlifter and the splash of hop bitterness in prescott brewing’s liquid amber provide a wash of the tomato revealing the spiciness of paprika.
sweet potato has a dry character if we’re using beer terminology. our favorite pairing was mudshark full moon belgian style white ale. at 8.5%, this white really benefited from the sweet potato which mellowed the slight burn of alcohol in this bigger beer. we also coaxed out notes of caramel and toffee in the chip when paired with prescott brewing’s liquid amber.
there is nothing subtle about sea salt and vinegar chips and out tasters went in two different directions with this audacious snack. sierra nevada kellerweis normally restrained citrus marmalade tartness gets a kick in the mouth with each bite. we experienced a one two punch when we chose prescott brewing’s ponderosa ipa, sierra nevada torpedo and four peaks hop knot. hop bitterness jabs the tongue and holds the bracing acetic acids of the vinegar at bay until kaboom! the left hook from sourtown.
“wow, i could eat these all day with this”, exclaimed one of our panelists. the beer was deschutes black butte porter. the creamy cheddar worked well with the porter’s distinct ashy toasted malts. we also enjoyed this chip with all of the ipas on our flight. sharp cheddar and hop bitterness were great companions.
while most hop-centric beer drinkers are familiar with the citrus and pine flavors from american hops, fewer are familiar with the garlic and onion character of hops like summit and columbus hops. sour cream and onion popchips worked nicely with the ipas in our flight. widmer’s hopside down ipl (india pale lager) and firestone walker’s union jack do not feature these oniony hops, but work nicely with the onion, garlic and buttermilk in the chips.
is it 5 o’clock yet?