Brew Review

Food Review – Neal Brothers Kettle Chips, Part I


A few weeks ago, G-LO received the following email from a representative of Neal Brothers Foods, a Canadian food company:

Hi G-LO,

Whether you’re hosting a party, entertaining a small group of friends or having a quiet night in, chips are a great snack for every occasion. Add a new twist to an old favorite by trying Neal Brothers Foods gourmet kettle chips with a tasty craft beer or glass of wine for a perfect pairing. 

Neal Brothers’ variety of mouth-watering and savory kettle chips beautifully compliment the flavor notes in any craft beer and wine. With sweet, spicy, smoky and bold flavors, Neal Brothers Kettle Chips offer something for everyone.

Flavors include:

  • Pink Himalayan Salt (Pair with golden amber, medium-bodied, hints of citrus and pine, prominent hop bitterness)
  • Spicy Srirachup (Pair with golden orange, medium-light bodied, hints of fruit and spice, slightly tart, dry)
  • Maple Bacon (Copper, medium-light bodied, strong hop bitterness, citrusy, floral, resinous , fruity)
  • Montreal Steak Spice (Coppery red, medium-bodied, light hop bitterness, hints of caramel sweetness)

We would love to send you samples to review and to possibly feature paired alongside your favorite beverage!

For more information on the company, please see the attached.

Thank you,

Kelly French
PR and Marketing Associate

Never one to overlook the magic word “samples”, G-LO got back to Ms. French lickety split and 4 packages of gourmet potato chips were delivered to his doorstep. As a bit of a backstory, Neal Brothers Foods began in 1988 with Peter and Chris Neal making products in their mom’s kitchen. Today, Neal Brothers seeks to offer products made from organic ingredients with a look to sustainability while focusing on the freshest, chemical free ingredients.

While we were given some direction in terms of the beer pairings, we kibitzed about which beer might go best with which chip and arranged for a tasting. As I am on the mend and limited to just a couple of short pours, we decided to split our chip review into two tastings. For our first sampling session, we paired the Montreal Steak Spice with Sixpoint Brewery’s The Crisp, a German style Pilsner brewed in New York while the Pink Himalayan Salt was paired with Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale, an American Pale Ale.

Let’s start our review with the Montreal Steak Spice Kettle Chips…neal-brothers-montreal-steak-spice-kettle-chips

  • On its Own
    • Limpd: Nice meat flavor with a bit of peppery spice that leaves quite a bit of flavor in the aftertaste. I really liked the kettle cooking and substantive crunch. Two of my urchins (the sound of crunching potato chips was impossible for them to resist and one of them may have actually drooled when he heard us munching away, so we let them join in the fun. Like we had a choice!) thought they were a bit too spicy. Of course, they were not going to get any of the Crisp to counter the Montreal steak spices.
    • G-LO: Very crisp with a charry like flavor (kind of like a properly prepared steak. Go figure!). Loads of spice that builds in intensity and lingers for a good, long time.
  • With The Crisp
    • Limpd: With The Crisp, it is quite complementary. The Pilsner and the steak spice were a great blend of flavors. My Better Half (who I discovered really likes The Crisp and drank most of my beer) found that the Pilsner reduced a bit of the peppery spice and enhanced the flavor of the chips.
    • G-LO: This combo worked really well together. The chips are pretty intense and spicy and the beer does a great job of mellowing it out a bit.

And now our impressions of the Pink Himalayan Salt Kettle Chips…neal-brothers-pink-himalayan-salt-kettle-chips

  • On its Own
    • Limpd: A really mild chip that is lightly salted with a Muncho like finish. Nothing fancy, just a good solid chip.
    • G-LO: Nowhere near as charry as the Montreal steak spice. Much lighter in color and flavor. Very crisp and crunchy with an appealing texture. Very light on the salt (and what exactly makes Himalayan salt any better than some other kind of salt?) I really like the potato-ey flavor. They taste real.
  • With the Peeper
    • Limpd: With the Peeper, the melding of flavors and the crunchy texture were fantastic. My better half did not care for the Peeper (she thought it was too overpowering) but with the chips the beer became far more palatable. Had we used a lighter beer, I think the result would have been even better.
    • G-LO: While the chips and the beer went well together (how could they not?), the chips might have been a bit overpowered by the hopped-up Peeper. Perhaps a maltier pale ale would have worked better with this chip.

The Verdict

  • Limpd: I really enjoyed the texture and the crunch  of both chips. Maybe these aren’t the first bags of chips that you would grab in the grocery aisle but they provide a nice change of pace and will work really well during a drinking session with the guys. If you are looking for a healthier alternative and enjoy quality, these Neal Brothers Kettle Chips are worth a try. You won’t be disappointed.
  • G-LO: Overall, I was quite pleased with the quality of these chips. Our pairings may not have been as perfect as we would have liked, but they weren’t bad either. There’s only one downside to this whole beer/potato chip pairing thing: You’ll eat more and drink more all night long. OK, so maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

_________________________________________________

 Many thanks to Kelly French and Neal Brothers for the samples!

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