What Beer Pairs Best With Your Favourite Chips?

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Chips come in so many varieties, just like beer — good thing they’re ideal snack mates

What’s the quickest way to satisfy your post-game hunger? A bag of crunchy chips and an ice-cold brew might be the best duo since Jágr and Lemieux. Whether you’re a nacho cheese man or an all-dressed gal, here are the beers to pair with your favourite chips.

Plain potato + pilsner

Whether they’re ruffled, paper-thin or kettle-cooked, plain potato chips demand an equally straightforward beer. Clean, crisp pilsner is a natural with fried foods and cuts through the starchiness of the potatoes. Meanwhile, all that salt softens the tasty bitterness of the brew.

Salt and vinegar + English-style pale ale

Since Brits love to douse their fries in vinegar, cracking open an English-style pale ale with your salt and vinegar chips is a no-brainer. Also known as extra special bitter, or ESB, this hoppy ale stands up to the chips’ tartness, which, in turn, brings out the beer’s fruitiness.

Dill pickle + kolsch

Dill pickle chips are another tongue-tingler. Here you’ll want a kolsch (a.k.a. lagered ale) to revive your puckered taste buds — its grassy hops really flatter that herby pickle flavour.

Ketchup + saison

Whether you’re Team Ketchup or not, you can’t deny these bright red chips belong in the Canadian Snack Hall of Fame. This True North flavour is excellent with saison, a Belgian brew that sometimes goes by the name “farmhouse ale.” Whatever you call it, saison’s gentle sourness plays well with that sweet-and-sour ketchup seasoning.

Barbecue + stout or porter

Dark, full-bodied stout (and its lighter sibling, porter) is a perfect companion to these tasty chips. Stout’s coffee and chocolate flavours complement the smoky spices, and its gentle acidity enhances the sweet tang of tomato.

Sour cream and onion + cream ale

Here’s an easy pair to remember! Mild, frothy cream ale has the smooth texture to balance that sour cream zing, while its sweet, corn-like flavour flatters the roasted onion in the chips. They match up like Federer and Nadal.

All-dressed + India pale ale (IPA)

This genius mashup of barbecue, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, and ketchup varieties is another all-Canadian fave. To handle the flavour fiesta, you need a beer with moves. Enter zippy, bitter IPA, which packs a punch yet is still refreshing enough to recharge your mouth for the next chip.

Nacho cheese + brown ale

Since brown ale goes so well with sharp cheeses, it’s a slam dunk with a bowl of nacho cheese–flavoured tortilla chips. This brew’s malty sweetness helps balance the intensely savoury seasoning. Bonus: Brown ale is also a hit with the other orange favourite, cheesy puffs!

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