In my opinion, very few things in this world pair best with (college) football than craft beer and artisan potato chips.
It is no secret that Kettle is my favorite brand of chips. Not only do they offer a unrivaled and delicious range of flavors, Kettle makes their chips using only the finest all-natural, non-GMO ingredients (I’m super against GMO’s). They do not use trans fats, MSG, artificial colors or flavors, or any ingredients that you cannot pronounce or need to Google to find out what they are.
Kettle Brand® is also dedicated to sustainable business practices. Green building, renewable energy, habitat restoration, recycling and reuse make up the pillars of the Kettle Brand® environmental initiatives. Kettle Brand chips are not only healthier for our bodies, but also for the planet. You read read more about their sustainability initiatives here.
In honor of the BCS Bowl Championship Series, I partnered with Kettle Brand® to create 5 kick-ass craft beer & chip pairings for each of the major 5 bowl games. I kicked the series of BCS Bowl Chip & Beer Pairings with picks for the 2013 Rose Bowl and 2013 Orange Bowl. Next up we have the Sugar Bow on January 2nd. And here are my picks:
2013 Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Louisville
Played since 1935, The Sugar Bowl, along with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl. The Sugar is played on January 2nd in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Under the current BCS format, the Sugar Bowl continues to host the SEC champion against a top-tier at-large opponent, unless the SEC champion goes to the BCS National Championship Game.When this happens, the Sugar Bowl usually selects the highest-ranked SEC team still available in the BCS pool. Starting in January 2015, the Sugar Bowl game will feature the SEC and Big 12 conference champions (unless they are involved in the national championship game).
This year, Alabama won the SEC conference as well as a bid to the National Championship game - leaving its opponent, Georgia, out of the BCS Bowl Championship Series running. Florida then, by default, slipped into the second-highest ranked SEC team spot, winning the bid to the Sugar Bowl. Something tells me that none of this sits well with Georgia.
After defeating Rutgers in its last game of the season, Louisville became Co-Champions of the Big East Conference alongside Syracuse and Rutgers (they do not have a play off at this time). Rutgers was rewarded at the end of the season with a bid to join the Big Ten, while Louisville secured a spot in the Sugar Bowl as a result of boasting the best season record and final ranking of 22 in the BCS standings.
Sugar Bowl Kettle Chip: Red Chili
Boasting a hot hint of cayenne pepper, a key ingredient in both Cajun and Creole cuisines, Red Chili is both sweet and spicy, making it a perfect match for the New Orleans-based Sugar Bowl. Back by popular demand for its 30th Anniversary series, Red Chili was actually Kettle’s very first flavor produced in 1982, after Sea Salt. It marries the flavor of sriracha sauce with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a searing chili sensation that leaves just the right amount of heat on the tip of your tongue.
Sugar Bowl Beer Pairing: American Amber Ale
Coppery red in color with notable Pacific Northwest hop bitterness and hints of caramel sweetness, American Ambers are a perfect match for the both the spicy heat and hints of sweetness in the Red Chili chips. Caramel malt flavors compliment the tart and sweet flavors in the chips, while the American hops sooth the hot pepper burn.
Sadly, both Florida and Kentucky are not the strongest states in the union when it comes to craft breweries per capita.
Louisville Fan Recommendations: Cumberland Red Ale, West Sixth Deliberation Amber, Lexington Brewing Kentucky Ale
Florida Fan Recommendations: Pensacola Bay Brewery Riptide, Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale, Funky Buddha Don’t Try Amber Ale, Swamp Head Brewery Stump Knocker (APA)
Both Fan Recommendations: Anderson Valley Boont Amber, New Belgium Fat Tire, Troeggs Nugget Nectar, Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, Green Flash Hop Head Read Ale
Wench’s Sugar Bowl Pick: Florida Gators
Having to publicly state my preference for Florida hurts me much more than anyone could possibly imagine. Florida crushed my dreams of an Ohio State National Championship title not once, but twice, in the same year and in two different sports. The mere mention of Florida make my blood boil. Nonetheless, all grudges aside, Florida is by far the better team in the Sugar Bowl matchup. So, despite my sincere loathing for green and orange, the Gators get my pick.
Stay tuned, next up are my picks for the 2013 Fiesta Bowl!!