21 September 2016
If you’ve ever seen the Weight Watchers commercial where Oprah Winfrey professes her love of bread, then you’d have some idea about how much I love chips. If that doesn’t convince you; then in the name of full disclosure I should mention that I actually grown my own potatoes to make my own chips.
With that in mind, of course I said yes when Neal Brothers Foods offered to send me some samples of their Extremely Tasty Kettle Chips to taste AND to pair up with some beers.
Neal Brothers is out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and not only do they make Extremely Tasty chips, they also make quite a few interesting (and Extremely Tasty) snacks and sauces…and of course to properly sample gourmet chips, we need to pair up some beers.
Up first I sampled Neal Brothers Pink Himalayan Salt Kettle Chips. These chips are seasoned with pink Himalayan salt and we really enjoyed the simplicity of these chips. They have great kettle chip texture, lots of rich potato flavors and a really nice dense salty feel. We paired Pink Himalayan Salt with Anderson Valley Brewing Briney Melon Gose and I really liked how the watermelon and tart flavors complemented the mineral-saltiness of the chips, and the salt brewed into the beer help highlight the salt in the chips. This may be an odd combination right out of the gate, but it really worked well.
Next Up we sampled Montreal Steak Spice Kettle Chips. These chips had loads of interesting and spicy flavors. Think complexity-spicy not hot-spicy and you’ll get close to the flavor mix going on here. Add in some sharp cheddar flavors and perhaps even some sour cream and you’d be even closer. We opted to stay simple and pair these chips with some Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat. With so much going the flavors of the chips, we decided to compliment them with the slightly spicy flavors of black pepper and clove found in Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver compliments the chips without complicating their already-complex flavors and the beer / chip combination really worked well.
For round three, I couldn’t resist the Maple Bacon Kettle Chips. If you can picture a stack of pancakes covered in Maple Syrup and bacon, you’d be on your way to understanding some of the flavors in these chips. There’s a bit of smokiness from the bacon flavoring and a ton of maple syrup sweetness to amp up the really nice sweet & savory combination going on here. This is all punctuated with a great salty balance and just a touch of paprika. While we initially were tempted to go for a maple-flavored brew, we instead decided to break out a bottle of Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean. The subtle smokiness of the beer accentuated the bacon flavors of the chips, and the vanilla in the beer really worked well with the sweetness in the chips. Try this combination!
Finally we wanted to end with the chip that has perhaps the most unique name of the bunch Srirachup Kettle Chips. As the name implies, these chips have an interesting combination of sweet ketchup with a touch of vinegar and a punch of spice in the sriracha chili sauce flavors. Again these chips tickled all the sweet and savory bones in me and I found them to be a bit addictive. Initially we considered a saison to pair up with these chips, but we finally settled in on Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. The punch of floral and citrusy hops really balanced out the sweetness and spiciness of the chips and each sip of beer made me want another chip, which in turn made me want another sip of beer. In the end my 5oz sample bag lasted less than 2 minutes so be sure to buy the larger size bag of these chips.
These chip are all non-GMO and gluten free and I’ve included photos of the ingredients and Nutrition Facts for you to check out as well. Be sure to try all four flavors of Neal Brothers Foods Extremely Tasty Kettle Chips and decide for yourself which one you like best (if you can pick just one). Check out my beer pairings as well and let me know if you hit on a better combination for these chips than I did.
In the end I really liked all four flavors of Neal Brothers Foods Extremely Tasty Kettle Chips, but my chip-loving-heart really belongs to Srirachup with Pink Himalayan Salt a close second. Thanks again to everyone at Neal Brothers Foods for giving me the opportunity to try them all out.