Pairing Beer and Chips with Mackie’s Scottish Crisps

As any food and drink writer currently studying to be a beer sommelier (is there others doing this?) when you are approached by brands you take a look at how trying one thing can help with another. When an email dropped in my inbox with the opportunity to work with Mackie’s Scottish Crisps I knew I wanted to do something different all the while not adding any extra work into my already crazy life. Mackie’s comes in a bunch of wild and crazy flavours so why not find out which beer would taste best when you want to get your snack on? An adult beverage for an adult chip.

Deciding on the beers was pretty simple. I stayed away from the heavier beers like brown ales and stouts because who can really see themselves eating chips with those? Dessert more like it! Here are the 5 styles I experimented with.

Kolsch – This German style is a light, crisp beer with a low hop presence and some vinous characteristics. As a malt forward beer with a balance of sweetness and bitterness it works really well with  balanced flavoured chip like the sea salt and beef. When there are not as many flavours in play it compliments well.

Wheat Beer – These beers pair well with most food and have a full, grainy mouth feel. This beer style is great with salty snacks and its grain like flavour compliments the potato starch perfectly. (Note: All the chips paired wonderfully with the wheat beer)

Cream Ale– Similar to a lager, cream ales also contain a grain-like taste but with a crisp, refreshing finish. Also malt and hop balanced, this beer is a great choice for uncomplicated chip flavours.

Amber Ale– A malt forward beer with hints of caramel and toffee. It has very little bitterness. Being a little on the sweet side this beer is perfect for chips that you want a contrast in flavours. Mature cheddar versus dark sugar flavours.

IPA– The most bitter of the beers, IPA’s have a distinct resinous flavour and citrus notes. This beer is perfect for fatty foods as well as cutting through the heat on spicier chips.

I had group of foodies with varied beer consumption habits gather together on a warm summer day by a pool to make our chip tasting fun and delicious. Starting with the mildest flavour of chip and continuing through all the bags we sipped and chipped and judged our way to some very solid winners.

Mackie’s chips are made in such a way that it’s the flavour of the chip you are tasting the not the oil.  They are thick cut, crispy and hold up amazingly well with the beer.  And now on to the winners.

Chip Flavour: Sea Salt

Best Beer Pairing: Tie between Kolsch and Cream Ale

Chip Flavour: Sea Salt and Vinegar

Best Beer Pairing: Cream Ale

Chip Flavour: Crispy Bacon

Best Beer Pairing: Amber

Chip Flavour: Tangy Tomato

Best Beer Pairing: Kolsch

Chip Flavour: Mature Cheddar and Onion

Best Beer Pairing: Amber

Chip Flavour: Honey Mustard

Best Beer Pairing: IPA

Chip Flavour: Aberdeen Angus Beef

Best Beer Pairing: Kolsch

Chip Flavour: Haggis and Black Pepper

Best Beer Pairing: Kolsch

Chip Flavour: Scotch Bonnet Chili Pepper

Best Beer Pairing: IPA

Keep in mind these decisions were based on our taste buds and may not work for everyone else. It was certainly a fun experiment.  Want to try some pairings yourself?  Lucky for us Mackie’s is available in Canada at these fine retailers: Farmland, select Foodlands, Bruno’s, Bloor Street Market, McEwan, Farm Boy, Nature’s Emporium, Denningers, and Organic Garage.

Find out more information on their Facebook page

*this post was sponsored by Mackie’s Chips.  All opinions, however are my own.


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