As an avid wine drinker, I have enjoyed the wonders of how a little vino can work with the aromas of a food and completely change my sensory experience. Whether I am splurging on an expensive salmon (that I would obviously pair with a pinot noir) or am pulling an Olivia Pope with a wine and popcorn pairing, a glass can totally elevate whatever I am eating. When hosting a dinner party, I know choosing a fitting wine for the meal is essential. However when it comes to beer, I was doubtful that the brews could work well with anything apart from Biergarten pretzels.
Enter this challenge. Beer sommelier Matt Simpson made a list of pairings that mixed craft beers with Pringles and I was to try them all. First off, I had no idea there was such thing as a beer sommelier. I have been to a few breweries in my life and know a lot of work goes into the crafting of beer, but didn’t realize the extent of the industry behind it. Second, I think the last time I paired Pringles with any beer was with Bud Light at a college party. To say that was a less than revolutionary experience for my taste buds is an understatement.
So I sat down with the Lonny Photo Editor Briana Gagnier as we cracked open the cans. Like any proper wine tasting, we went from lightest to darkest. First off was Original Pringles paired with a cream ale, Cali Creamin'. We decided to go with a sip of beer and chase with a Pringle method. As soon as we each bit into the Pringles, Briana and I looked at each other in surprise. This was really good.
We went down the list of 12 different combinations including pairings of a Porter craft beer with BBQ flavor and a Flemish Red with Salt and Vinegar (our personal favorite). As the tasting continued, we realized that we really have been missing out on an amazing opportunity by sticking to wine pairings.
In a conversation with beer consultant Matt Simpson, he elaborated upon why beer pairings are the new frontier. "There is no food you can put before me that you couldn’t pair with beer," he said. "The great thing about this Pringles and craft beer pairing is it not only rings the bell for a crisp eating beer drinking person in the U.S., but it also expands people’s horizons to what could happen with beer."
Simpson advises to learn your palette with tastings at your local brewery, and sample what foods compliment each aroma back at home. So if you want to change things up for your next dinner party, try pairing your meal with beer instead. We're sure your party guests will be just as happily surprised as we were.